How to add text to Instagram Reels

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To add text to Instagram Reels has advantages:

  • First, it allows people watching on mute to be still able to consume the Reel content.
  • Second, text on-screen tells a different story that movement or music only isn’t telling.
  • Third, it gives context to what’s going on.

But there’s a bit of a strategy when adding text to Instagram Reels correctly. So, let me unpack that here.

Text placement

Not all text placements are created equal, and some text placements that are straight-up can’t even be read. Let me show you what I mean.

add text to instagram reels examples

So, that text is in a spot where it cannot be read. And there are plenty of areas where text can’t be read because of existing and standard content and icons. For example:

  • Usually, the top has the account name, so the text won’t be readable if you get too close to that.
  • Then, we have the heart, comment, and share icons on the right. Stay away from that, too.
  • At the bottom, there’s the caption, music information, and filter information – if you used one. That information makes it easy for others to use the same filter or music on their Reels but also cuts down the visible area where you can put text.

Here are some examples of how text in different locations looks:

Add text to instagram reels - good placement

add text to instagram reels examples

add text to instagram reels examples

So, basically, the safe space to add text to the video is somewhere in the middle of the screen. Not too close to the bottom, the sides on the bottom or the top.

Read next: How to use Instagram Reels templates

How to add words to Instagram reel

Now that we know where to put the text let’s briefly discuss how to put text on a reel. Once your video is created, click the “next” button in the bottom right. From there, you get the option to add text by clicking on the letters on the top right.

add text on instagram reels

You can adjust how long specific text will be on-screen by clicking on the corresponding button in the bottom left. From there you can change when the text should appear. You can also add multiple strings of text that show up at different times. Here’s an example of how that can look.


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A post shared by Christoph Trappe (@christophtrappe)

Keep it short(ish)

Remember how long people have to read the text. If a particular video segment is 1.5 seconds, they won’t be able to read text that stretches from top to bottom on the screen. So some creators add: “Pause to read.” While that is practical advice, it’s still not that user-friendly.

I advise ensuring the text can be read in the allotted time.


Adding text to Instagram Reels is a good strategy and best practice and is widely used. It’s also one of several ways to grow your following on platforms like Instagram. So, it makes sense to use text that helps tell the story, but to do that, it needs to be in a place where people can read it and have enough time to read.

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