How to Caption Videos with YouTube

YouTube is a great option because it’s free and you can download the caption text file to use with your video. You can import the caption text file into an app to burn in your captions for open captions.

This tutorial assumes you’ve uploaded your video to YouTube.

Now, which option do you want to do?

Edit Automatic Captions

When you upload your video to YouTube, it takes time for it to generate automatic captions. How quickly depends on different variables. So, keep checking until you see them show up.

After YouTube creates automatic captions, you have a caption file you can download to use. However, it still needs editing. You could edit the file in a text editor or follow these steps. A text editor is faster, but the timing isn’t going to be as accurate.

Here’s a faster approach:

  1. Edit the timings in YouTube.
  2. Break up long lines of captions by hitting Enter where you want to break it. (32 characters per line, up to two lines.)
  3. Publish the edited captions.
  4. Download the caption file (typically, you want SRT).
  5. Open the caption file in a text editor.
  6. Edit the text and save the file.
  7. Upload the file in YouTube to replace the automatic captions.

Here’s the video tutorial:

How to edit automatic captions

1. Go to https://studio.youtube.com/.

2. Select Transcriptions Subtitles.

3. Select the arrow under Language for the video you want to caption.

4. Select Published by English (Automatic). (Your language may be different.)

5. Select Edit.

6. Play the video and edit the text until the captions are correct. (Use SHIFT+ENTER to move a line of captions to a second line to make them more even.)

7. Play the video and move the sliders to synchronize the text with the video.

8. Select Publish edits.

9. Select the item under Published. This example: English (United States).

10. Select Actions > .srt to download the caption file.

11. Open the SRT file in any text editor like Notepad or TextEdit and delete the extra lines.

If you upload it to LinkedIn, you may get an .SRT file error. That’s why you want to erase the extra lines.

When you upload a video, the service will have an option for uploading the caption file. The .SRT is your caption file.

Use Transcribe and auto-sync

Since you want to copy and paste a script, you’ll need to do Steps 2 – 6 before you go into transcription subtitles. Otherwise, you won’t be able to select this option.

Here’s a video tutorial on how to use transcribe and auto-sync:

How to use transcribe and auto-sync in YouTube

1. Go to https://studio.youtube.com/.

2. Select Videos and select the video you want to caption.

3. Select Advanced.

4. Select Video language and select your language.

5. Select Caption certification and the correct option.

6. Select Save.

7. Select Transcriptions Subtitles.

8. Select Add.

9. Select Transcribe and auto-sync.

10. Copy your script and paste it into the box. Press “Enter” to add extra blank lines between lines of captions. It helps improve the timing.

11. Select Set timings.

12. Wait a bit while YouTube sets the timing. Select the two arrows icon to refresh until you see the image in Step 13.

13. Play the video and edit the captions until they’re correct. (Use SHIFT+ENTER to move a line of captions to a second line to make them even.)

14. Play the video and move the sliders to synchronize the text with the video until you’re happy with it.

15. Select Save changes.

16. Select the item under Published. This example: English (United States).

17. Select Actions > .srt to download the caption file.

18. Open the SRT file in any text editor like Notepad or TextEdit and delete the extra lines.

If you upload it to LinkedIn, you may get an .SRT file error. That’s why you want to erase the extra lines.

When you upload a video, the service will have an option for uploading the caption file. The .SRT is your caption file.

Enter captions manually

With this option, you enter all the text while you watch the video. It’s the most time-consuming method of the three.

1. Go to https://studio.youtube.com/.

2. Select Videos and select the video you want to caption.

3. Select Advanced.

4. Select Video language and select your language.

5. Select Caption certification and the correct option.

6. Select Save.

7. Select Transcriptions Subtitles.

8. Select Add.

9. Select Create new subtitles or CC

10. Play the video and enter the text into the box.

11. Play the video and move the sliders to synchronize the text with the video until you’re happy with it.

12. Select Save changes.

13. Select the item under Published. This example: English (United States).

14. Select Actions > .srt to download the caption file.

15. Open the SRT file in any text editor like Notepad or TextEdit and delete the extra lines.

Upload a caption file

If you already have a caption file like an SRT, SBV, or VTT file, you can upload it with the video. While these steps are for YouTube, this is the sort of thing you’ll need to do on other social networks.

1. Go to studio.youtube.com.

2. Select “Create a video or post” Camera icon in the upper right.

Create a video.

3. Select “Upload video.”

Upload a new video.

4. Select the video to upload. (You can drag ‘n’ drop or use the file manager.)

5. Select “Publish” or “Done” to save the video.

6. Select “Return

6. Select “Return to YouTube Studio” or go to studio.youtube.com.

7. Select “Videos.”

8. Select the video to caption.

9. Select “Transcriptions” “Subtitles”

Open the subtitles editor.

10. Select “Add” under Subtitles.

Add subtitles.

11. Select “Upload a file.”

Upload a caption file.

12. Select Subtitles file and browse to open the caption file. (Typically, SRT.)

Select caption file.

13. Select “Upload.”

14. Select “Save changes” and you’re good to go.

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