Close Caption Using YouTube

YouTube’s Automatic closed captions

YouTube’s automatic captions are not recommended, as accuracy of speech to text has been problematic and generally inaccurate. The automatic captions, however, can be used as a starting point.

  1. Go to Video Manager and click the drop-down menu next to the “Edit” button for the video.YouTube | Video Manager
  2. Select Subtitles and CC
    Edit, then Subtitles and CC
  3. Select ‘English (Automatic)’
    English (Automatic)
  4. Click play on the video and start typing in the caption boxes to change any text as needed.
  5. Click Publish Edits when complete.
  6. YouTube will create a new file called (generally) English.English
  7. Right-click on the file called "English" and click Rename
    Action, then Rename
  8. Change the name to something relevant. This is the file you will use to make any future changes.
    Example: English-closed-captioned-by-minton

Add Subtitles and Closed Captions from Scratch

  1. Go to Video Manager and click the drop-down menu next to the “Edit” button for the video.YouTube | Video Manager | Videos
  2. Select Subtitles and CCChoose Add Subtitles and CC
  3. Select the original language of the video from the drop-down menu (160 languages)
  4. Click the Add new subtitles or CC button

    Add new subtitles

  5. Choose the language of the subtitles or CC you would like to create
  6. If you’ve already started working on that language, you will be brought directly to your draft
  7. Otherwise, choose one of the following options:
  1. “Upload a file”.
  2. “Transcribe and set timings”
  3. “Create new subtitles or CC”

Create new subtitles or CC

  1. Play the video. When you get to the part where you want to add a subtitle, click pause.
  2. Type your subtitle into the box that says, “Type subtitles here” and click the blue button to create it. You’ll see it show up in the transcript, and on the timeline below the video.
  3. Adjust when the subtitle starts and ends by dragging its handles.

Repeat the process for all spoken words in the video.

For closed captions: Also add text describing sounds like [applause] or [thunder].

Transcribe and set timings

This feature allows you to automatically align the timings of a transcript of your video. Transcripts contain the text of what is said in the video, and no time code information. Since the text is automatically synchronized to your video, the transcript must be in a language supported by our speech recognition technology, and in the same language as is spoken in the video. Transcripts are not recommended for videos that are over an hour long or have poor audio quality.

  1. Click Transcribe and set timings
  2. Enter all of the spoken audio in the text field using one of the two methods below. If you are creating closed captions, incorporate sound cues like [music] or [applause] to identify background sounds
  3. Click Set timings to sync your transcript with the video. You will be brought back to the video tracklist

Setting the timings will take a few minutes. Once they’re ready, your new subtitle or closed caption will automatically be published on your video

You can create a transcript in one of two ways:

Type the text directly in YouTube

Go to your Video Manager and add captions. You'll be able to type what was said in your video directly into the video transcript text box. Your video will automatically pause as you type. 
You can also use keyboard shortcuts to help you type your transcript:

  • Type SHIFT + LEFT or click the rewind icon  to rewind your video 5 seconds.
  • Type SHIFT + SPACE or click the play icon  to pause/play your video. 
Create a transcript file

In order to create a transcript file, type the text of what was said in your video and save it as a plain text file (.txt). You can do this by converting other formats (like Microsoft Word, HTML, PDF) into a plain text file or you can use native programs on your computer like TextEdit or Notepad.

In order to get the best results, use these formatting tips:

  • Use a blank line to force the start of a new caption.
  • Use square brackets to designate background sounds. For example, [music] or [laughter].
  • Add >> to identify speakers or change of speaker.

Here's an example of what your transcript file might look like:

>> ALICE: Hi, my name is Alice Miller and this is John Brown

>> JOHN: and we're the owners of Miller Bakery.

>> ALICE: Today we'll be teaching you how to make
our famous chocolate chip cookies!

[intro music]

Okay, so we have all the ingredients laid out here

Upload a file

Subtitle and closed caption files contain both the text and time codes for when each line of text should be displayed. Files may also include position and style information, which is especially useful for deaf or hard of hearing viewers.

  1. Click Upload a file
  2. Choose the type of file to upload
  3. Click Choose file
  4. Click Upload
  5. Use the editor to make any needed adjustments to the text and timing of your new subtitle or closed caption
  6. Click Publish