Export to Final Cut Pro

Export subtitles to Final Cut Pro NLE editing software is done using Apple's .xml file. This .xml file stores information about the text, text style, timing and other information about the subtitles, which later in the process will be a video layer in your FCP project.

This document explains the setup needed for this export.


Some settings are vital for a successful export (Size and Style). Unlike subtitle files, the .XML file for FCP contain information about the frame size, FPS, Font style, size, etc.

The following values must be set (according to the source media in FCP):

  • Video dimensions (height and width)
  • FPS

Choose the font you wish to use with the subtitles and make sure it is installed on the MAC with the FCP.



The FPS is a part of the subtitles file, it is displayed on the status bar and matches the video sample that was used to create the subtitles.

If the FPS doesn’t match the media in FCP it must be changed using the Master FPS Command.

Video dimensions is set in Size options:

TV format can be selected from the list or to be set manually (Custom).

Fonts and sizes are set in Style options:

You can choose:

  • Character Color
  • Character Border Color
  • Antialias Color
  • Block Color
  • Block Transparency

There are three styles to use in a file, but when exporting to FCP only one style can be used in a subtitle.

Text placement on the screen is set in Size option:

Set the margins, the vertical position and the row space:

The distance, in pixels, between the left tip of the screen and the left side of the text

Left Margins

The distance, in pixels, between the left tip of the screen and the right side of the text.

Right Margins

The baseline, the text will place above it.

Vertical Position

The distance in pixels between two lines of text.

Row Spacing


  • One style per subtitle
  • Single alignment to each subtitle
  • The number of text rows in a subtitle is depended on the font size, video size and the row space.

Prepare to export

Once the correct values are set, you should check the subtitle with the low resolution video sample. Some sew settings may have changed its appearance.


At this point a timed text file can be exported to FCP:

  1. Go to File / Export
  2. Select the name and the type to export: Final Cut Pro (*.xml)


  1. Check the path to save the file
  2. It is possible to change settings from Size and Style, although it is not recommended
  3. Click on Export

Import the subtitles file into Final Cut Pro

  1. Select Import / .xml file from File menu
  2. Select the .xml file that we just made
  3. A dialog will open asking if to create a new project with it or to add it to the current project (select the second option). It is recommended to check " Override with settings from XML"
  4. A new item will be in the bin and its name is the same as the subtitles.
  5. Drag it to the timeline and it will add the subtitles as a video layer. It might add audio as well, you can delete it (lock the video layer and delete the audio).

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