Effortlessly Add Closed Captions to Your Video: The Simplest Method

Making videos provides an excellent platform for content creators, where they can share their knowledge and ideas with many people. It is a great way to demonstrate a concept, practice a skill, or even showcase a product; however, it’s important that the videos are legible for all audiences. Closed captioning is a form of subtitles used in videos, making them accessible to viewers who are deaf or hard of hearing.

If you’re a content creator who’s been meaning to add closed captioning to your videos, you may be wondering what the easiest way to do it is. Lucky for you, there are many straightforward and efficient ways to do this. Below, we outline some of the easiest and most popular methods to add closed captions to your videos.

Upload through YouTube

Chances are, you’ve already got your go-to video sharing platform—and YouTube is typically the most popular option. Aside from its obvious advantages of being free, prevalent, and easy to use, YouTube also offers the option of automatically closed captioning your videos. This option is particularly handy if you’re working with short, English-language, well-structured videos, meaning that the video’s audio is crisp and clear.

To get started, once you’ve uploaded your video onto YouTube, go to the “Subtitles” tab on the video page. To enable automatic captioning, simply select “Automatic Captions” and click “Publish.” Unfortunately, because YouTube’s technology is not perfect, it is possible that the captions won’t be 100% accurate. In order to fix this, once you’ve sent the captions to be published, you need to go in and manually edit parts that YouTube may have misheard or misinterpreted.

Converting into SRT

If you don’t use YouTube as your go-to video sharing platform, then a great option for you to explore is converting your audio into an SRT (Scalable Rendered Text) file. To do this, you must first make sure that your video is uploaded somewhere, be it Vimeo, Dropbox, Google Drive, or anywhere else. Once your video is uploaded, you’ll have to navigate to a closed captioning service website (Rev, 3Play Media, and Amara are just some of the many options available).

From here, you’ll need to upload your file and submit it for transcription. Once complete, you’ll be sent an SRT file, which you can then download. Upload the SRT file corresponding to the video you’re working with, and you’ll have your captions automatically loaded. The captions’ accuracy should be a lot higher than those generated by YouTube.

Manual transcription

If you’re looking for the highest level of accuracy, the wisest decision is to do a manual transcription process. But this can often be very time consuming, which is why it is beneficial to enlist the help of online transcription services.

The process works by first getting the video transcribed, which comes at an additional cost. Once completed, you’ll be sent the transcribed copy which you need to break up into caption-sized portions and upload to the captioning platform as individual caption files. It’s also important to note that manual transcription requires a certain degree of knowledge and expertise with audiovisual editing software.

Using a transcription app

Using a transcription app is also an option for generating transcripts—typically a more affordable option than manually transcribing your work or using a transcription service. Most transcription apps can be used to generate transcripts from files stored either locally on a device or in the cloud. As with manual transcription, the accuracy of automated recognition software is limited; however, using a transcription app does dramatically decrease the time it takes to create a usable transcript and is the most cost-effective option for those working with smaller budgets.

To recap, adding closed captioning to videos can be a great step towards making sure they are accessible and legible to viewers who are deaf or hard of hearing. While there are many ways to do this, the three most popular methods are either through the use of YouTube’s automatic captioning feature, converting the audio into an SRT file, or through manual transcription. Whichever option you choose to go with, make sure to look for one that is both efficient and accurate for your content.

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