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Who Types Subtitles on TV: The Ultimate Guide for Content Creators

If you’ve ever watched a TV show or movie with captions, you might have wondered who types those subtitles. Maybe you’ve even considered adding captions to your own videos. In this article, we’ll explore the world of subtitling and answer the question: who types subtitles on TV?

First, let’s define what we mean by subtitles. Subtitles are text that appears on screen, usually at the bottom, to provide an interpretation or translation of the dialogue. They are essential for people who are deaf or hard of hearing, as well as for viewers who don’t speak the language of the original audio.

Subtitles can also be used as a tool for content creators to improve accessibility, reach a wider audience, and enhance the viewing experience. But who does the actual work of creating these subtitles?

The Role of Transcribers and Captioners

Subtitling is a specialized skill that requires a combination of language proficiency, technical expertise, and attention to detail. The people who create subtitles are called transcribers or captioners, depending on the type of content they work with.

Transcribers are responsible for transcribing audio or video content into a written format, usually using a program called a transcription software. They listen to the audio and type out the dialogue, including sound effects, music, and any other relevant information.

Captioners, on the other hand, take the transcribed text and synchronize it with the video. They use specialized software to time the captions so that they appear on screen at the right moment, and format the text to make it easy to read.

Both transcribers and captioners need to have excellent typing skills and be able to work quickly and accurately under pressure. They also need to have a good understanding of the language and subject matter of the content they are working with.

In some cases, transcribers and captioners work as part of a team, with one person doing the transcription and another doing the captioning. This is often the case for live events, such as news broadcasts or sports games.

Tools and Technologies

Transcribing and captioning can be a time-consuming and labor-intensive process, especially for longer content or complex topics. To help speed up the process and ensure accuracy, many transcribers and captioners use specialized tools and technologies.

One of the most popular tools for transcribing and captioning is Dragon NaturallySpeaking, a speech recognition software that transcribes spoken words into text. Some users even write whole articles on it.

Another commonly used technology is Aegisub, a free and open-source subtitling software that allows users to create, edit, and time subtitles. It provides a range of features such as text formatting, spell checking, and waveform display.

There are also several online platforms and services that offer transcription and captioning services, such as Rev, TranscribeMe, and AI Media. These services use a combination of human and machine transcription to provide quick and accurate results.

Choosing the Right Subtitling Method

If you’re a content creator thinking about adding subtitles to your videos, it’s important to choose the right method for your needs. There are several options to choose from, each with its own pros and cons.

One approach is to do the transcription and captioning yourself. This can be a cost-effective option, especially if you already have good typing skills and access to the necessary software. However, it can also be time-consuming and may not produce the highest quality results.

Another option is to hire a professional transcription or captioning service. This can be a good choice if you have a larger budget or need the highest level of accuracy and quality. However, it can also be more expensive and may require more coordination with the service provider.

Finally, there are also automated captioning options, such as YouTube’s automatic captions or Facebook’s auto-caption tool. These tools use machine learning to generate captions automatically, but the results may not always be accurate or suitable for all types of content.


Subtitles are an essential part of the TV and video viewing experience, providing accessibility, translation, and enhanced engagement. Whether you’re a professional transcriber or captioner, or a content creator looking to add captions to your videos, it’s important to understand who types subtitles on TV and the tools and methods they use.

By choosing the right approach and using the right tools, you can ensure that your subtitles are accurate, high-quality, and add value to your content. Whether you’re reaching a new audience or making your content more accessible, subtitles can help you improve your engagement and impact in a meaningful way.

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