Add subtitles and closed captions

Subtitles and closed 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

How to add new subtitles or closed captions

  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 Subtitles and CC
  3. Select the original language of the video from the drop-down menu (160 languages)
  4. Click the Add subtitles or CC button
  5. Choose the language of the subtitles or CC you would like to create
  6. If you have already started working on that language, you will be brought directly to your draft
  7. Otherwise, choose one of the following options: “Create new subtitles or CC”, “Transribe and set timings”, or “Upload a file”. Details below.

If you change the setting for the original language of your video, your published and draft subtitles and closed captions will not be affected. However, all future translated subtitles will use the new language as the source for translations.

Create new subtitles or CC

This feature allows you to create new subtitles or closed captions from scratch. Check out this video for more help.

  1. Play the video. When you get to the part where you want to add a subtitle, click pause.
  2. Type your subtitle into the box that says “Type subtitles here” and click the blue button to create it. You’ll see it show up in the transcript, and on the timeline below the video.
  3. Adjust when the subtitle starts and ends by dragging its handles.

Repeat the process for all spoken words in the video.

For closed captions: Also add text describing sounds like [applause] or [thunder].

Transcribe and set timings

This feature allows you to automatically align the timings of a transcript of your video. Transcripts contain 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.

  1. Click Transcribe and set timings
  2. Type all of the spoken audio in the text field. If you are creating closed captions, incorporate sound cues like [music] or [applause] to identify background sounds
  3. Click Set timings to sync your transcript with the video. You will be brought back to the video tracklist
  4. Setting the timings will take a few minutes. Once they’re ready, your new subtitle or closed caption will automatically be published on your video
Upload a file

Subtitle and closed caption files contain both the text and time codes for when each line of text should be displayed. Files may also include position and style information which is especially useful for deaf or hard of hearing viewers.

  1. Click Upload a file
  2. Choose the type of file to upload
  3. Click Choose file
  4. Click Upload
  5. Use the editor to make any needed adjustments to the text and timing of your new subtitle or closed caption
  6. Press Publish
Find out more about how to reach a global audience through closed captions and subtitles.

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