Video Captioning 101

“Caption is a text representation of the audio in the video. Captions are often used by those viewers who are hearing impaired, and will describe what is being said, emotions, and background sounds.”—Vangie Beal

In addition, captions enable language learners to accelerate their understanding process. Especially when complicated words/slangs are used, captions provide reference for people to search on dictionaries. Wooster has a highly international community. Though it is not a requirement, including captions in your video projects could make them accessible to more people than you would imagine.

Using YouTube Captions

YouTube is one of the most widely used video sites around the world, and one of the best functions is its open caption. YouTube has more than 40 language options for users, 10 of which are supported by automatic captioning. In addition, video creators could enable global viewers to contribute to captions in their own languages.

Here are the steps for you to draft a new caption file to your video in English:

  1. Upload your video and choose English as the video’s original language.
  2. After you click “Edit” on the video you want to add captions, you should see a “Subtitle/CC” button on the top row.
  3. If automatic captions are available, you’ll see Language (Automatic) in the “Published” section to the right of the video. It is important to make sure your video has clearly read audio.
  4. Click on a published file to edit or choose “Add new subtitles or CC”> “Create new subtitles or CC”.
  5. Stop the video on the desired timing for a new subtitle, then type your script in the typing box on the top left and press “Enter”.
  6. You can adjust the start/end time or duration of the caption by manually changing the numbers on the left of the caption.
  7. Back to step 5-7 for a new caption line.
  8. After finishing all edits, click “Save changes” and YouTube will automatically publish the new file to your video.
  9. You can also choose “Transcribe and auto-sync” for adding a new file. Type everything that’s spoken in the video here, then click “Set timings” to automatically line up your text with the speech in the video.

YouTube also provides download of different caption files that users are able to upload directly in other video sites. Stream is a video platform under the Office 365 packet, completely free if you are a Wooster student/faculty/staff. Here are the steps to convert WebVTT file from YouTube to Stream using a Windows computer:

  1. Direct yourself to “Subtitles/CC” page under Video Manager and click on a published caption file.
  2. Click on “Actions” button at the top left of video and choose “.vtt” under download.
  3. Sign in to your Wooster email and find Stream in all apps.
  4. Under “Create”, choose “Upload video.”
  5. After selecting the same video, there is “Upload a caption file” button under “Options.”
  6. Select your desired language to display and select the .vtt file you downloaded from YouTube.
  7. Click “Publish now” and you should be ready to go!

Creating open captions with Adobe Premiere

Open captions are burnt in the videos so therefore they are always “open.” The benefit of such captions is to create more variation in styles. While Adobe Premiere is available through both Mac and Windows public computers on campus, it provides an easy user-friendly captioning environment.

Above are only some of the many options for video captioning. You can check some of the videos linked down below for more direct video tutorials, or feel free to contact Yuxuan Ke through I will be more than happy to explore other accessibility options with you.

Video Resources: YouTube automatic captioning Captions tutorial for Adobe Premiere Creating Subtitle Files (.VTT) for my Udemy Courses Using YouTube