Add captions

Captions open up your content to a larger audience, including deaf or hard of hearing viewers or those who speak other languages. Learn more about the benefits of captions in this YouTube video

Caption file vs. transcript

In order to add captions to your video, you have the option to create either a caption file or transcript:

Caption file: this file contains both the text and time codes for when each line of text should be displayed. Caption files may also include position and style information which is especially useful for deaf or hard of hearing viewers.

Transcript: this only contains 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.

Note that both caption files and transcripts may incorporate sound cues like [music] or [applause] to identify background sounds.

How to add caption files or transcripts

  1. Visit your Video Manager and click the drop-down menu next to the “Edit” button for the video you’d like to add captions to
  2. Select Captions
  3. If you haven’t added captions before, click the Add captions button. Or, if you’ve already added a caption, click the Add a new track button
Upload caption files or transcripts to your videos
  1. After following the steps above, select Upload a file
  2. Set your track language. If you'd like you can also add a track name
  3. Click Upload
  4. Select your caption or transcript file and click open
Transcribe and sync
  1. After following the steps above, select Transcribe and sync
  2. Set your track language. If you'd like you can also add a track name
  3. Type or copy and paste your transcript into the text box
  4. Once you're finished, click Sync