Adding Closed Captions/Subtitles To Youtube Videos Easily

This week’s blog post is a quick guide to adding Closed Captions to Youtube videos. This is easiest when the video is scripted, as you can simply upload the text and have Youtube automatically set the timings. This is not the same as auto-generated captions which accompany every video and are notorious for being wildly inaccurate. You could go through and edit the auto-generated captions to fix the inaccurate parts, or you could simply write them from scratch. You can also upload Subtitle files if you have them, though that would probably be more effort than just adding them on Youtube. At the very least, all scripted videos on Youtube should be captioned. It literally takes a few minutes to upload the transcript and have the timing set, and that vastly increases accessibility, which is a serious issue on Youtube and other video sharing sites.

(Note from Youtube when it comes to uploaded transcripts: “Note: Since the transcript 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 that’s spoken in the video. Transcripts are not recommended for videos that are over an hour long or have poor audio quality.”) From 

I’m posting this to hopefully make it easier for others, but I don’t want anyone to feel guilty if they don’t have the time or energy to caption their videos. I don’t add them to all my videos, as I do all of the work for my channel and associated social media myself, and I am already struggling to get everything done as it is. I do make sure that all of my scripted videos have accurate CC though, and I hope others will do so as well with the help of this guide. Keep in mind that if you have money to spend, which I personally don’t, you can also pay to have captions added to your videos.

Step One:
Go to your video list, select the video you want to add closed captions to by clicking edit and then clicking ‘Subtitles and CC’.

Step Two:
Click ‘Add New Subtitles or CC’ and then select your language, or if your language is not present, search for it and then add it.

Step Three:
This step depends on how you want to add captions, so it will be in three parts:

Option A: Upload A File
Part One: Click ‘Upload A File’.

Part Two: Select either a transcript (text file), or Subtitles file ( .srt , .sbv , .sub , .mpsub , .lrc , .cap , .smi , .sami , .rt , .vtt , .ttml , .dfxp ) from your computer to upload, at which point the timings will be set if that is available.


Option B: Transcribe And Auto-Sync
With this you can either type or paste in the script in text form rather than uploading a file. The timings will then be set if your video meets the criteria I stated previously regarding the language being supported by their speech recognition and other things. Click ‘Transcribe and Auto-Sync’, and then insert the text into the box.

Option C: Create New Subtitles or CC
This allows you to start from scratch and write the captions. Again, the timing will be set after you’re finished. Click ‘Create New Subtitles or CC’, which will bring up the text box.


That’s it. The auto timings take a few minutes usually and work perfectly from what I’ve seen. If you can’t utilize it for whatever reason then you’ll have to time the captions individually. By taking these few extra steps you can increase the accessibility of your videos tremendously for a variety of people. If anyone has any questions or if I missed any details please let me know in the comments. Thanks for reading, and have a great day!


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