Designing titles for TV

Previewing titles on a TV monitor

If your intended audience will view your finished program on a TV, preview the program on a TV monitor as you work. Elements that appear satisfactory on a computer screen may be unacceptable when viewed on a TV because computer monitors and TV monitors display images differently. The outer edges of the image may be cropped, colors may bleed, and horizontal details may appear to flicker. However, once you are aware of a problem, it’s easy to take steps to correct it.

Use Safe Title and Safe Action margins

The Safe Title and Safe Action margins in the Monitor panel designate the title’s visible safe zones. These margins are displayed by default when the Monitor is in title-editing mode.

Safe zones are useful when editing for broadcast and videotape. Most consumer TV sets use a process called overscan, which cuts off a portion of the outer edges of the picture, allowing the center of the picture to be enlarged. The amount of overscan is not consistent across TVs, so to ensure that titles and important actions fit within the area that most TVs display, keep text within the safe title margins and all other important elements within the safe action margins.


If you are creating content for the web or a CD, the safe title and safe action margins do not apply to your project because the entire image is displayed in these mediums.

Safe title and safe action margins

A. Safe title margin B. Safe action margin 

Display or hide safe margins

  1. While adding text or editing a title, do one of the following:
    • In the Monitor panel, right-click/ctrl-click and choose View > Safe Title Margin, Safe Action Margin, or Text Baselines.

    • Choose Text > View > Safe Title Margin, Safe Action Margin, or Text Baselines.

A margin is displayed if a check mark appears next to its menu item.

Change the sizes of the safe margins

You can adjust the sizes of the Title Safe area, the Action Safe area, or both (for example, to customize them for displays with less overscan).

  1. Select Edit > Project Settings > General.

    This opens the Project Settings dialog box.

  2. In the Video pane, type new horizontal or vertical percentage values for Title Safe Area, Action Safe Area, or both. Click OK.
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