How to Create Instagram Reels with Aligned Captions: Adding Captions on Your Reels

By: Ellen Bartolino

Instagram Reels has transformed how content is created and consumed on the platform, offering users a dynamic way to produce short, engaging videos. With the increasing importance of accessibility and engagement, adding captions to your Instagram Reels isn’t just a nice-to-have—it’s essential. Whether you’re looking to optimize your content for the Instagram algorithm or make your posts more inclusive for a broader audience, understanding how to add captions to Instagram Reels effectively is key.

This step-by-step guide will walk you through the entire process, from using the Instagram app to navigate the Reels tab and selecting a video from your camera roll, to the finer points of editing with filters and effects. We’ll cover how to use the built-in captioning feature, which allows you to add text, align it perfectly, and customize the font and duration to match your video’s aesthetic. Whether you’re a seasoned content creator or new to the platform, this tutorial will help you create engaging, inclusive visual content with ease.

How to create instagram reels with aligned captions

How to Add Captions to Instagram Reels

Enhancing your Instagram Reels with captions not only increases engagement but also ensures your content is accessible to everyone. This step-by-step guide will help you skillfully add text and subtitles, with a particular focus on utilizing the align tool for precise caption placement.

  1. Step 1: Open the Instagram App and Go to the Reels Tab

Make sure your device is running the latest version of the Instagram app. Launch the app and select the Reels tab at the bottom of the screen. Here, you can either start recording a new reel or select a video from your camera roll.

  1. Step 2: Upload or Record Your Video

To record a new reel, press and hold the Instagram camera button. If you prefer to use an existing video, tap the gallery icon in the bottom left corner to upload it. After uploading, adjust the video length and combine multiple clips if necessary.

  1. Step 3: Adding Captions with the Sticker Tool

After preparing your video, access the editing tools by swiping up or tapping the sticker icon in the top right corner. Select the “Captions” sticker to automatically generate a transcript of the audio in your video, which will appear as an overlay.

  1. Step 4: Customize Your Captions

In the caption editing mode, you can modify the font, color, and other aspects of your captions. At this point, it’s crucial to use the align tool to properly place your captions.

Instagram Reels have a considerably higher engagement rate compared to other types of content on the platform, with a notable engagement rate of 1.23%​ (sproutsocial)​.

Using the Align Tool for Caption Placement

The align tool is essential for ensuring your captions do not obstruct key visual elements of your video. By adjusting the placement, you can optimize the viewer’s experience, ensuring the text complements rather than distracts from the video content. Align the text so that it is clear and does not overlap with important actions or graphics in the reel.

  1. Step 5: Edit and Finalize Your Captions

Preview your reel with the captions to check for accuracy and readability. Manually correct any errors in the transcription and adjust the timing as necessary to sync perfectly with your audio.

  1. Step 6: Share Your Finished Reel

Once you’re satisfied with the captioned reel, tap the share button to publish it. Don’t forget to enhance your post with a catchy caption and relevant hashtags to increase its reach.

Additional Tips:

  • Regularly utilize the align feature to fine-tune the positioning of your captions.
  • Consider adding subtitles in multiple languages to broaden your content’s accessibility.
  • Keep abreast of related articles and updates on Instagram’s captioning tools for the latest tips and improvements.

By following these steps, you can effectively add and align captions on your Instagram Reels, making them more engaging and accessible to a diverse audience.

As a content creator, I’ve always aimed to make my videos as inclusive as possible. After adding captions to my Instagram Reels, I received messages from hearing-impaired viewers who were thrilled to finally enjoy my content. This small change not only widened my audience but also deepened the connection with my followers.

Advanced Techniques: Adding Multiple Captions and Using Templates

Elevating your Instagram Reels goes beyond simple edits; it involves mastering advanced techniques like adding multiple captions and utilizing templates. These methods not only visually enhance your Reels but also streamline the captioning process, making it easier to create engaging content.

How to Add Multiple Captions on a Single Reel

Adding multiple captions allows you to effectively convey varied information as your Reel progresses. Here’s how to implement this technique:

  1. Segment Your Video: Identify different points in your video where new information is introduced or a change in topic occurs.
  2. Add Captions for Each Segment: After segmenting your video, tap the sticker icon to use the captions sticker and add text to each part. This feature lets you address diverse content parts distinctly within a single Reel.
  3. Customize Each Caption: Edit the text, style, and timing for each caption segment to align with the content at that moment. Ensure each caption is perfectly timed to be relevant to the visuals.
  4. Check for Flow and Clarity: Review your Reel to ensure the captions transition smoothly and maintain the narrative flow of your content, making your Reels easier to follow and understand.

Reels are shown to generate twice as much reach on Instagram compared to other post types, underscoring their effectiveness in capturing audience attention​ (sproutsocial)​.

Adding multiple captions and utilizing templates

Utilizing Templates for Streamlined Captioning

Templates can significantly enhance the efficiency and consistency of your Reels, providing a professional look with minimal effort. Here’s how to effectively use templates:

  1. Select a Template: When creating a new Reel, tap on the template option. Browse through the available options and choose one that suits the style and structure of your content.
  2. Apply Your Content: Upload your video clips into the template. Templates typically have designated areas for text, ensuring that your captions are well-placed and visually integrated.
  3. Customize and Adapt: While templates provide a basic structure, they can often be customized. Adapt the font, color, and size of your captions within the template to match your brand and message.
  4. Save and Reuse: If you find a template particularly effective, save it for future use to maintain a consistent aesthetic across your Reels.

Benefits of Using Advanced Techniques

  • Consistency: Templates provide a uniform look that can help establish your brand’s identity across various Reels.
  • Efficiency: Pre-designed templates and the ability to add multiple captions at once save time and streamline the creation process.
  • Engagement: Well-placed and timed captions can keep the audience engaged by making content easier to follow and understand.

By mastering these advanced techniques, you are ready to elevate your content on Instagram. Whether you’re adding multiple captions to convey complex information or using templates to ensure consistency, these strategies are essential for any content creator looking to enhance their Reels.

Leveraging Captions for Greater Engagement

Captions are not just an accessibility tool but a strategic asset in enhancing viewer engagement on Instagram Reels. Here, we will explore various strategies to effectively use captions and also provide resources to deepen your understanding and skills in captioning.

Strategies to Enhance Viewer Engagement Through Captions

Utilizing captions creatively can transform how audiences interact with your Reels. Here are some effective strategies:

  1. Use Captions to Prompt Actions: Encourage viewers to engage by including direct calls to action in your captions, such as “Tell us your thoughts below!” or “Tag a friend who needs to see this!”
  2. Incorporate Keywords and Hashtags: Enhance discoverability by embedding relevant keywords and trending hashtags in your captions. This SEO approach helps your Reels appear in search results, attracting more viewers.
  3. Narrate a Compelling Story: Use captions to add depth to your Reels, providing context or background that enriches the viewer’s understanding and connection to the video content.
  4. Highlight Important Information: Use captions to underline key points or exclusive offers in promotional Reels, guiding viewers on how to take advantage of these opportunities.
  5. Optimize for Peak Times: Release your captioned Reels during times when your audience is most active. Leveraging Instagram Analytics to identify these peak times can significantly boost your engagement.

Boosting Engagement: When I started strategically placing captions within my Reels, I noticed a significant uptick in viewer engagement. By aligning captions to highlight key points, my Reels began to resonate more with viewers, leading to increased likes, comments, and shares.

Significant uptick in viewer engagement


Adding captions to your Instagram Reels is a game-changing strategy that not only enhances accessibility but also broadens the reach and impact of your content. By understanding how to adeptly add and align captions, you can transform simple videos into rich, engaging narratives that captivate a wider audience.

Whether you’re looking to make your content more accessible to the deaf and hard of hearing community or aiming to engage a global audience, using the align feature ensures your captions complement the visual elements of your Reels effortlessly. The process of transforming your video’s audio into text through automatic captions, and then refining the alignment at the top of the screen, makes your Instagram posts more inclusive and engaging.

As you toggle between different features within the IG platform, remember that captions enhance more than just understanding—they enrich the viewer’s experience by making your videos more informative and interactive. By adding music or using pre-made templates, you can further captivate your audience, turning every Instagram post into a potential game-changer.

For those ready to take their content to the next level, leveraging these captioning tools can help you transcribe auditory information into caption text, ensuring no detail is missed. The smiley face icon is your gateway to adding these features, allowing you to get free access to tools that can convert your spoken video into text.

In conclusion, whether it’s your first reel or you’re an experienced creator, knowing how to add and use captions effectively can significantly elevate your Instagram presence. The ability to create Reels that not only entertain but also educate and inform is what sets apart the ordinary from the extraordinary in the digital content space.

Case Study on Engagement: A detailed study showed that Instagram Reels have the highest estimated reach among all content types on the platform, with Reels reaching up to 33.8% of users compared to 29.9% for image posts. This indicates the potent impact of well-crafted Reels in boosting visibility and engagement​ (Influencer Marketing Hub)​.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I add captions to Reels if I’m using an older version of the Instagram app?

If you’re using an older version of the Instagram app and can’t find the “Captions” sticker, you can alternatively add text manually to your Reels. Simply tap the text icon after recording your video and type in your captions. You’ll need to manually sync the timing with your audio, so it’s a good idea to update your app to access the latest features for easier captioning.

Can I customize the appearance of automatic captions on Instagram Reels?

Yes, once you add automatic captions using the “Captions” sticker, tap on the caption text to customize its appearance. You can change the font, color, and position of the captions on your Reel to make sure they match your video’s style and are easy for your audience to read.

What should I do if the captions generated by Instagram do not accurately transcribe my video’s audio?

If the automatic captions aren’t accurate, you can edit them manually. After the captions are generated, tap on the caption text, and select ‘Edit’ to make necessary changes. This ensures that your message is conveyed accurately and remains accessible to all viewers.

Are there tips for making captions more engaging on Instagram Reels?

To make your captions more engaging, consider using a conversational tone that reflects your brand’s voice. You can also include emojis or hashtags to add personality and improve discoverability. Keeping captions concise and to the point can also help maintain viewer attention and enhance engagement.

How can adding captions to my Instagram Reels benefit my content strategy?

Adding captions to your Instagram Reels can significantly enhance your content strategy by making your videos more accessible and increasing viewer engagement. Captions ensure that your content is inclusive, allowing those with hearing impairments or those watching without sound to enjoy your Reels. Furthermore, captions can boost SEO by incorporating relevant keywords that help your videos get discovered by a wider audience.

Author Bio

Ellen Bartolino

Ellen is a seasoned author and communication expert, with a particular focus on Instagram. Her extensive knowledge of the platform has allowed her to create engaging and effective content for businesses and individuals alike. Ellen has a proven track record of crafting compelling Instagram captions and influencer marketing.