Strange Tip – Quickly Generating Typewriter Effect Videos (MP4, GIF, etc.)

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    This Post is over a year old (first published about 3 years ago). As such, please keep in mind that some of the information may no longer be accurate, best practice, or a reflection of how I would approach the same thing today.
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    Date Posted:
    Feb. 07, 2019
    Last Updated:
    Feb. 07, 2019

File this under “shouldn’t work, but does”.

I was in need of a tool today to quickly create a “typewriter effect” video – you know, a video where text appears letter by letter, as if someone was typing it out while being recorded. I rarely ever make videos, so I don’t have the best software (I’m using Magix Movie Edit) and it does not have a typewriter effect animation built in.

There are solutions out there online for generating GIFs, but they the quality seemed off and there was not much configuration available in terms of font and sizing. Commercial solutions are in the hundreds of dollars, which is way out of budget for a one-off project like the one I was working on.

After a little searching, I stumbled across an interesting response to a related question on Quora that suggested using Microsoft PowerPoint.

Hmm. Could that work?… IT DOES! This feels like such a “dirty” solution, but this was seriously so easy – I just created a slide in Microsoft Powerpoint with dimensions of 1920×1080 to match my video, added the text, set the animation effect to “Appear” and “Animate Text” to “By letter”, and then ran the animation while running screen capture software. Here is a sample output (not bad, right?!!):

If you are looking for a step by step process for PowerPoint, here is a video off YouTube that covers how to add it:

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