Easy Steps to Create Subtitled Videos

When creating videos, adding subtitles makes all the difference. From the major streaming sites to YouTube, subtitles enable all viewers, no matter their location or preferred language, to access and understand your content. For content creators, subtitles provide a layer of engagement that wasn’t available before. But if you’re not sure how to start adding subtitles to your videos, you might feel a little overwhelmed.

Adding subtitles – also known as captions – isn’t as hard as it might seem. In this article, we’ll go through all the steps you need to take to add subtitles to your videos. We’ll help you navigate the technology, so you can start adding captions to all your videos.

Let’s get started.

Why Are Subtitles Important?

Before we get into the specific steps you need to take to add subtitles to your video, it might be helpful to discuss why subtitles are so important.

Subtitles have often been used to make videos accessible to viewers who may not speak the same language as the video narrator, but there are many other benefits as well. Audiences watching your videos on their phones in a noisy public place, for example, can benefit from subtitles and understand the video without relying on sound.

Subtitles are also helpful for viewers with hearing disabilities – such as those who are deaf or have auditory processing challenges. Subtitles provide a crucial layer of engagement and help keep everyone involved, no matter speaking ability.

Finally, subtitles can improve videos SEO rankings. Most streaming sites and social media platforms, such as YouTube, Google, and Vimeo, prefer videos with subtitles. This improves accessibility for all viewers and can get your content seen by more people.

The Tools You Need

Now that you know why subtitles are important, let’s go through what tools you need to create captions for your videos. Luckily, you don’t need a cinema production set up!

You can choose from a range of free or paid tools. Many software programs have built in tools that make adding subtitles easier. In this article, we’ll primarily focus on the two options: creating subtitles with a simple text editor or using a human voice recognition system.

With a Simple Text Editor

The simplest and most affordable way to add subtitles to your videos is with a simple text editor like Notepad. This requires manually transcribing the video from start to finish and may be time-consuming, but this is an excellent choice if you want complete control over the accuracy and style of your subtitles.

When you use a simple text editor, you’ll want to review the transcript for accuracy. You also want to note where pauses or scene changes take place. This gives you some wiggle room to adjust the timing, without having to completely start over.

Using a Human Voice Recognition System

If you’re looking for a faster and less labor intensive solution, you may want to consider a human voice recognition system.

There are a range of voice recognition systems available, from desktop programs to web-based services. These solutions can recognize spoken words and several languages, and with some systems you can create subtitles in multiple languages.

Creating subtitles using a human voice recognition system will usually cost more than using a text editor. But it can greatly reduce the time and effort required to create subtitles for your videos.

Time to Get Subtitling

By now you have a better understanding of why subtitles are so important and you know the two main methods you can use to create subtitles for your videos.

If you’re ready to start adding subtitles to your videos, let’s take a real world example in this section and go through the specific steps in detail.

Step 1: Choose a Tool

The first step is to pick a tool. As mentioned, you can either use a simple text editor or a human voice recognition system.

If you’re creating subtitles for YouTube, you may want to consider YouTube’s automatic subtitle generator. While its accuracy isn’t perfect, it’s free and can get the job done. If you’re looking for something more comprehensive and accurate, however, you’ll probably want to use a paid human voice recognition system.

Step 2: Upload Your Video

Once you’ve chosen a tool, you’ll upload your video. Make sure the video and audio are up to standard, as this will ensure the best results.

If you’re using a voice recognition system, you’ll need to select the language of your video. This will enable the system to identify and transcribe the words correctly.

Step 3: Generate a Transcript

Once your video has been uploaded, the tool will generate a transcript for you. If you’re using a simple text editor, this is where you’ll have to manually type out the transcript.

With a voice recognition system however, the transcript will already be created for you. You’ll then need to review the transcript to ensure accuracy.

Step 4: Create the Subtitles

Once the transcript has been generated, you’ll be able to set the timing of the subtitles and create the actual subtitles.

If you’re using a simple text editor, you’ll need to manually adjust the timing and set the subtitles. This may take a few tries, as setting timings can be tricky.

If you’re using a human voice recognition system, the timings will be already set. You’ll just need to make any necessary edits to the text.

Step 5: Export the Subtitles

Once you’re finished creating and editing the subtitles, you’ll export them into a subtitle file. Most tools will provide several different file types, including SRT and VTT files, which are the two main industry standards.

When exporting, you have the option to download just the subtitle file or the video and the subtitle file combined. This is beneficial if you’re posting your video to YouTube or another streaming platform that requires a subtitle and video file.

Time to Upload

Once you have the subtitle file, you’re ready to upload your video to your preferred streaming platform or social media site. If you’re uploading to YouTube, for example, you can go to the video manager section to upload the subtitle file.

The platform will then sync the subtitles to the video and you’re good to go!

Things to Remember

Before you jump in and start creating subtitles for your videos, there are a few things you should remember:

• Check the accuracy of the transcript. If you’re using a human voice recognition system, double-check the transcript for accuracy as some words may have been misinterpreted.
• Adjust the timing. Don’t forget to adjust the timing of the subtitles if you’re using a text editor. This is important for making the subtitles more natural and less jarring.
• Export the correct file type. Check the requirements of the platform you’re uploading your video to and make sure you export the correct file type. Most tools will provide several file types, so if you’re unsure, check with the platform first.


Subtitles are becoming increasingly important for content creators. Adding subtitles to videos allows you to make your content more accessible to all viewers, no matter their language or speaking preferences.

In this article, we’ve gone through all the steps you need to take to add subtitles to your videos. We’ve discussed the two main methods – a simple text editor or a human voice recognition system – and we’ve discussed the tools and platforms available, such as YouTube, Android, and Vimeo.

Now it’s time to get out there and start creating subtitles for your videos. Good luck!

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