Published by Shao Chieh Lo, updated by Stella Tran and Shao Chieh Lo on August 25, 2020.

Adding captions to video content has a lot of benefits to both audiences and content creators in terms of accessibility and SEO, but, as video captioners, we all know the process of creating captions is not always easy.

By choosing the captioning tools that best fit your needs and working style, you can save a lot of effort and energy to complete your captions and subtitles in a shorter amount of time.

There is a fair number of free captioning and subtitling tools available online, but not many that stay free. This can be a frustrating experience and something to be aware of when choosing a captioning tool. It’s inconvenient to have to change captioning workflows and redo the process of learning the ins and outs of a different subtitle editor because a new subtitling tool went behind a paywall. So as part of our criteria, we’ve limited our list to dependable tools that have been around for free for at least a year. We know it may be tough to make time to to research the best free captioning tool options available for free users, so we’ve done the heavy lifting to help you make a good choice.

How to make closed captions and transcriptions efficiently

In this article, we have reviewed video captioning tools and machine transcription tools, which are organized in three categories: transcription tools, captioning platforms (browser-based), and captioning software (must be downloaded) to help you choose the one works best for you.

Included in each review is a benefits and shortcomings summary for each of them to help you quickly decide which captioning tool has the features you are looking for. And it may end up that you decide to use two of the subtitling tools listed below in your workflow.

Depending on which subtitle file format you need, you may use one tool to caption or subtitle, and then a second app to convert one file format to another. Whatever your video captioning needs are, we’ve provided the best free captioning tool options to help make your captioning process as efficient as possible.

One more point before we get started. You may have questions about closed captions vs. open captions since we are focused on closed captioning tools. Closed captions means you can turn them on or off while watching a video. Open captions are added to the actual video and cannot be hidden. Closed captions are generally more beneficial to both audiences and content creators in terms of SEO, but both open and closed captions are great for accessibility. Open captions are good for online video, particularly if you know most of your audience is watching your videos with the sound muted, but it can get complicated if you are subtitling for multiple languages. Check out our discussion at the end of the article for more information.

And now, without further ado…

11 Free Tools For Video Captioning and Subtitling

You can use the following links to jump to the topic or a specific tool review you are interested in!

How to make captions and transcriptions efficiently

There are two processes involved in closed captioning/subtitling that might consume a significant amount of time: turning voice into text and syncing text to match the video. Syncing text to a video timeline is what turns text into captions and subtitles. The first process is known as transcription and is something you may want to do if your video didn’t have a script to start out with. Transcribing from spoken word can be time-consuming depending on how many videos you have.

If you have just a short 1–3 minute video, it may be simpler to transcribe the audio into captions right inside a subtitle editor rather than transcribing separately first. For now, in case you do have a long video, let’s start with a review of some free transcription tools.

Free Machine Transcription Tools

There are a lot of free machine transcription tools online for video or audio, however, many of them are simple scripts written for the web rather than full software apps or programs; they can be inaccurate to the point that you will have to make corrections every three words. It won’t help make your captioning process easier.

After experimenting with some of the more basic free video transcription tools out there in addition to some recognizable names, we’ve boiled the options down to those that free and have at least an 85% accuracy so that you don’t spend too much time making corrections. (To meet ADA compliance, your captions need to be at 99% accuracy).

Google Docs Voice-typing (combined with Soundflower)

What? Google Docs has a built-in voice-typing tool? Yes, it does. And it’s pretty accurate compared to most of the free voice-typing tools online. There is a bit of DIY using this method, but the results are still superior to others we found online.

It’s easy to get started. Just go to Google Docs, create a doc file, and follow the directions here:

Select Tool -> Voice typing… -> select your language and accent using the drop-down menu on top of the microphone icon -> hit microphone icon before you play your video or audio.

However, it’s possible the accuracy of using microphone input to voice-type your video transcription might be affected by the surrounding noise. Even there is no obvious noise source around you, an extra process of sound input and output will still decrease the accuracy of your transcription.

One way to get around with the problem is to use Soundflower to create direct sound output and input. The following video demonstrates how to use Google Docs’ voice-typing alongside with Soundflower.

 

Another downside of using Google Docs’ voice-typing tool is that it sometimes stops transcribing between sentences, so you have to re-hit the recording icon to keep transcribing. However, when you are using the Soundflower output, you can’t hear the output sound by default, which makes it difficult to monitor the transcription progress. To get around with this, you can create a MIDI output to include both Soundflower and built-in sound output. Once you’ve done this, you will be able to hear the sound and have a Soundflower output at the same time.

Benefits Summary

  • Completely free
  • No download required (though you might want to download Soundflower to create direct sound out/input)
  • Decent accuracy rate (about 85% accurate results)
  • Supports multiple languages and accents

Shortcomings

  • You might need to re-hit the recording icon several times during the transcription
 

Otter.ai

Otter.ai is a sleek, modern app you can use in your browser and is incredibly generous for free users. Each free account gets 600 minutes of high quality, professional AI machine transcription every month. The output is very accurate compared to most of the machine-transcription tools available online.

One great thing about Otter.ai’s software is that it can identify voices and weed out unnecessary noise. After using Otter to generate a transcript from a video that had music playing in the background, all we needed to do afterward was fix peoples’ names, correct some technical terms, and that was it!

Another benefit of using Otter.ai is that you don’t need to monitor the transcribing process or download any software. Just upload your audio or video file and the audio processing starts for you. One of our favorite things about Otter.ai is just how accurate it is with nuanced speaking. It can pick up pauses, ends of sentences, and the difference between questions and statements.

We’ve also been very impressed by Otter.ai’s simple interface. It took less than a minute to sign up, upload a video, and get the transcription started. When it’s finished, you get an email telling you it’s ready for review.

 

Benefits Summary

  • 600 monthly minutes of professional AI machine transcription free
  • Very accurate (about 97% accuracy)
  • It includes timed text
  • Very easy to use

Shortcomings

  • Free version only allows TXT downloads so you would need a caption editor to edit and convert the file. Read on to choose an editor.
 

Free Online Closed Captioning Platforms and Subtitle Editors

For closed captioning tools, we start with online platforms, which means there are no downloads required or software updates to install. You can just go to a website, log in and start adding captions/subtitles to video online and publish/download your results directly from the app.

All of the tools below enable you to add closed captions/subtitles to video online as caption editors, while some of them have extra functions like directly syncing your captions to YouTube or other streaming services or options to collaborate with other people. In our review of each captioning tool, you’ll find summaries of the benefits and shortcomings of each one to help you choose the one that suits you.

 

Amara Subtitle Editor

Amara is one of the most powerful and intuitive subtitle editors online, and it’s one of the few cloud-based subtitle editors around with a free version still available. In fact, Amara has been around for more than ten years. Its mission is to help people make more video content accessible by adding subtitles and closed captions to videos.

With Amara, you can start subtitling immediately without having any subtitling experience and you don’t have to watch any kind of tutorial (unless you want to – we’ve included a short video that demonstrates how to use Amara platform below).

Amara also saves you a lot of time with many keyboard shortcuts, such as using the up and down arrow keys to sync subtitles to your video while it’s playing. There are also different playback modes for beginners and experts so that the video plays at a speed that’s comfortable for you.

During this syncing stage, Amara automatically adds time-codes to your subtitles for closed captioning. This is important if you need a file with properly formatted time-codes for playback.

For more advanced users, Amara is still great for cutting down manual steps and saving time. In the editor’s sync mode, you can enable subtitle editing and modify time-codes visually directly on the timeline.

Amara also has a built-in video player that plays your work as you go, so you can watch the video and have visual context while creating subtitles and then playing back the captions to make sure the subtitles are matched up to the video.

Another big plus of Amara is that once you’re done creating your captions or subtitles, you can directly upload your subtitles to your original videos from your account once you connect your YouTube and/or Vimeo accounts to Amara.

To start, go to Amara’s subtitle creation page, scroll to “subtitle a video” and paste the link of your video. Once you’ve hit “Begin,” all that’s left to do is click “Add a new language” on the screen and follow the prompts to start captioning. When you’re done, publish it!

Here’s a two-minute demo of Amara’s subtitle editor.

 

For anyone who wants to have more than one language for their video, you can continue working on the Amara platform. When the original-language captions are created, you just return to the video page and click add a new language. After you’ve chosen your language, you will have a new subtitles column to put your translations.

Want to reach more people with more languages? Amara also enables collaborative captioning and translation. Well-known organizations like TED and Udacity use Amara every day to caption their videos. If you’re using the free version of Amara, once you’ve published, volunteer subtitlers can help translate your video into more languages. Even if you used a different subtitle editor to create your captions, if you need help creating multiple subtitles to your captions in different languages, you can still add your videos and captions to Amara, where the volunteer community can see it.

Another cool thing about Amara’s free subtitling platform is that they offer tech support to all of their users and host user forums where people can provide suggestions, ask questions, and help each other out.

Sidebar: If you want to be able to manage collaborators or teams or have a private workspace, you can consider using the Amara Enterprise platform. Additionally, if you don’t really want to do the subtitling yourself, you can also use the affordable subtitling service on Amara on Demand and let the professional captioners and translators caption your video and translate it into your target languages. 

Benefits summary

  • Completely free
  • No download required
  • Supports many different languages
  • Directly sync your subtitles with YouTube and Vimeo without extra steps of download/upload (if you own the channel)
  • Visually move/trim/adjust your caption’s timestamp bars on the timeline
  • Built-in revision and activity history to compare and monitor progress
  • Intuitive interface and workflow with step-by-step prompts
  • Intuitive keyboard shortcut instructions showing on the screen while you are captioning
  • Easy to create subtitles with others collaboratively
  • Easy to share your captioning/translation result (You can embed your video on your blog/website or share the link)
  • Easy for collaborative translation after captioning

Shortcomings

  • You can’t directly upload your video (but be aware that platforms that do allow direct upload usually have a cap on video size/length)

Export

You can export the following subtitle formats. If you need something you don’t see here, just contact Amara’s help team.

  • .dfxp, .srt, .ssa, .sbv, .txt, or .vtt 
 

YouTube Automatic Subtitles

If your video was recorded in English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, or Spanish, YouTube automatic captioning subtitle generator might save you a lot of time. While the accuracy is not always great depending on the clarity of the audio, the automatic syncing is pretty good.

A drawback of YouTube’s machine-generated subtitles is that they don’t always give you the option. When you upload your video, YouTube will automatically detect if the video has background music or too much noise. If it finds it, it will not offer you the option to add automatic subtitles because they don’t want you to use the low-quality output for your captions (after all, who needs “craptions?”)

So your best bet with using YouTube’s machine generated captions feature is to stick with videos that have clear audio of the speaker, no background music, and no noise. If your video is in English, they will start the auto-captioning at the time you upload your video. But if your video is in other above-mentioned languages, you can just go to your video editing page -> Subtitles or CC -> Add new subtitles or CC and follow the prompts to create your subtitles on demand -> review and edit your captions before publish and download it.

The following video demonstrates how to edit and download your captions on YouTube:

 

Benefits summary

  • Completely free
  • Automatic syncing of captions on the corresponded position of the timeline
  • Easy to work collaboratively (You can enable the video for community contributions and let your viewers caption and translate your content )

Shortcomings

  • Only available in English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish at the time of writing
  •  Doesn’t work if your video has background noise or music
  • Not user friendly

Export

  • You can only download .sbv before published
  • After publishing you can also download .vtt, .srt
 

Subtitle Horse

It was difficult to find a smooth workflow to transcribe a video within the Subtitle Horse editor, but it seems like the developers work on making improvements pretty regularly. For the time being, we would recommend starting out with a transcribed text file that you upload if you choose Subtitle Horse for your captioning needs.

One thing that we liked about Subtitle Horse is that typeface options are available in the interface, so you can add bold or italics without having to know special key combos such as putting asterisks around the text.

If you use Subtitle Horse and don’t have time to complete your project, you have the option to download it as a project file so that you don’t lose your work. All you have to do is add the video URL and upload your project file in the editor to continue working. 

Benefits summary

  • Completely free
  • No login required
  • Has a built-in video player and visual context 

Shortcomings

  • Not user friendly
  • You can’t directly upload a video (but be aware that platforms that do allow direct upload usually have a cap on video size/length)
  • Cannot start editing a caption currently playing on the timeline

Export

  • .vtt, .srt, .xml, .json, .csv, SttXML, or .txt
 

Subly

 

If you want to edit subtitles on a cloud-based platform but don’t want to upload your video to Youtube, Vimeo, or other third-party video hosting sites, Subly may be a good fit for you. Subly lets you upload videos directly to their platform using an intuitive and user-friendly drag-and-drop function, as well as edit subtitles directly on their online platform.

Like Youtube, they also provide AI-generated automatic captions and subtitles which automatically transcribes your video and matches those captions to the corresponding timeline of your video. You can also use their style editor to style and reposition your subtitles and captions.

What is cool about this tool is that it supports automatic transcriptions for more languages than Youtube, at the time of writing, they provide 31 languages for automatic transcription including English, Japanese, Mandarin, Hebrew and more. I have tried English and Mandarin and they are both decently accurate.

It is very easy to use, and the interface and workflow are very intuitive, just follow the prompts, upload any video you want to caption or add subtitles, then edit the timeline and captions/subtitles in the interface.

After you finish editing, you can either download the video with subtitles/captions or download the SRT or TXT file.

Take note, if you choose the first option, the subtitles will be open captions that are directly hardcoded into the video, and there will be a Subly watermark in your video.

Subly is very cool and can save you a lot of time to get you started on the same language subtitling. However, it does not allow you to collaborate with other captioners and translators to work on team projects or with subtitling and captioning in multiple languages. 

As a result, we recommend you upload your video to Amara and utilize our community for multilingual translation and collaborative captioning even if you started your captioning process using this tool. You can also utilize Amara on Demand’s service to help you translate and caption your videos in multiple languages too to make your video accessible for everyone!

Benefits summary

  • Free version available
  • Provides Al-generated same language subtitling
  • Automatic syncing of captions on the corresponded position of the timeline
  • Intuitive and user-friendly interface
  • Allows for direct video uploading

Shortcomings

  • Automatically put a watermark in the resulting videos
  • Not able to collaborate with the online community
  • Doesn’t work if your video has background noise or music
  • Exporting options are limited

Export

  • SRT, TXT, Download video (with open captions and watermark).

Free Closed Captioning Software and Subtitle Maker (download required)

The following closed captioning/subtitling software requires you to download the software before you start working on your captions. This may be what you need if you prefer to work on captions without having to upload your video. Keep reading to find the best closed captioning software and subtitle maker that fits your needs.

Aegisubs

Aegisubs is free and open source. It gives you a lot of flexibility to design your captions’ font family, size, and color. We did not find that many of the free cloud-based subtitle editors let you do that. With Aegisubs, it’s almost too much flexibility since you can also outline and rotate your captions (not sure if that is very readable?) You can even decide where they should appear in which part of the screen through the interface.

One great feature of Aegisubs as a closed caption maker is the inclusion of visual audio waveforms to help you replay parts of a video. You can zoom in and out of the audio wave to better target your captions’ timestamps. However, this function is purely for replaying. You can’t create a caption with selected timestamps directly through this function, which would have been a big timesaver.

Check out the video to see how Aegisubs works.

 

Benefits summary

  • Completely free
  • You can set up font family, size, color, outline and even rotate your captions in the interface
  • Lots of flexibility to decide where the captions appear in the video
  • Has visual audio waveforms to help you target specific parts of the audio to replay while you are captioning

Shortcomings

  • Download required
  • You can’t edit while playing, sometimes you need to check which audiowave should link to which subtitle by replaying it several times
  • Adding timestamps for captions is very tedious
  • Keyboard shortcuts are not readily available, you have to find it from the menu
  • Hard to collaborate with others

Export

 
  • .ass, .stl, .encore, .sub, .srt, .ssa, .ttxt, .txt

VisualSubSync

VisualSubSync is another closed caption maker software featuring visualized audio waveforms, and works well for those who prefer to use waveforms. It also includes the video for visual context, so you can still add descriptive text to your captions. Unlike Aegisubs, VisualSubSync does have the time-saving option of allowing you to select a waveform and create a caption directly with that certain timestamp. All you have to do is right click -> create subtitle. This is a much more convenient workflow, in our opinion. You can also zoom in and out of the audio wave to better target a caption’s timestamp.

Watch the video to see VisualSubSync in action.

 

Benefits summary

  • Completely free
  • Intuitive
  • Visual audio waveforms help you target a certain part of an audio
  • Add captions directly to the timestamp of a selected waveform

Some shortcomings

  • Download required
  • No OS version for Mac
  • Hard to collaborate with others

Export

  • .srt, .cue, .csv, .txt, .ass, .ssa

Jubler

The interface and features of Jubler are similar to Aegisubs, with the added benefit that you can also select their visual audio waveforms to create a caption directly with that certain timestamp.

Compared to VisualSubSync, the main difference is that Jubler has an OS version for Mac, and it gives you more flexibility to choose a font family, size, color, and outline for captions. Jubler also presents visual caption bars on the video timeline, but it’s purely for presentation; you can’t move/trim/adjust caption time codes using these caption bars.

Watch below for a tutorial:

 

Benefits summary

  • Completely free
  • Has OS version for Mac
  • Shows video for visual context
  • Flexibility to set up font family, size, color, and outline
  • Features visual audio waveforms to help you target a certain part of the video
  • Add captions directly to the video timestamp of a selected waveform

Shortcomings

  • Download required
  • Hard to collaborate with others

Export

  • .srt, .csv, .txt, .ass, .ssa, .stl, .sub, .xml, .dfxp

DivXLand Media Subtitler

If you like to do your transcription and video syncing in two separate working sessions, DivXLand Media Subtitler can be very helpful.

Before you start, you should prepare two files: A complete transcription saved as .txt and a video file. Then you simply start syncing them by hitting the apply button while playing the video. You also get to see what your captions will look like on the video.

The following video demonstrates how to do it.

 

Benefits summary

  • Completely free
  • You can insert subtitles on the timeline while the video is playing, and sync the subtitle to that specific time code
  • You can see what your captions will look like

Shortcomings

  • Download required
  • No OS version for Mac
  • Hard to adjust the positions of captions on the timeline after you’ve inserted them into the timeline since it doesn’t have visual caption bars on the timeline

Export

  • .srt, .csv, .txt, .ass, .ssa, .stl, .sub, .xml, .dfxp…and more

AHD Subtitles Maker

AHD Subtitles Maker is another captioning software that allows you to move/trim/adjust your captions (visualized as timestamp bars) directly on the video timeline. It also gives you relatively more flexibility to style your captions and supports a variety of export formats.

Benefits summary

  • Completely free
  • Flexibility to set up font family, size, color, and outline.
  • Move/trim/adjust your captions visually with timestamp bars on the video timeline

Shortcomings

  • Download required
  • No OS version for Mac
  • Hard to collaborate with others

Export

  • .srt, .csv, .txt, .ass, .ssa, .stl, .sub, .xml, .dfxp…and more
 

Closed Captioning vs Open Captioning

In this article, we focused on closed captioning tools. There is an important distinction between closed and open captions since they are powered by very different technologies and provide different benefits respectively. Open captions (captions that cannot be hidden from the screen) can be great when you are only using one language, but imagine if your video was distributed internationally. How do you fit 10 languages on the screen and still have a video to watch?

The following short video gives an entertaining explanation of the differences between closed captions and open captions.

 

We’re also providing a table below to summarize the relative benefits of closed captions compared to open captions.

 

Summary of the Pros and Cons of Open/Closed Caption

Difference between Open/Closed CaptionsOpen CaptionsClosed Captions
Pros
  • You can push captions to your audiences without their request
  • Depending on the software, you typically have more flexibility in the style and look of your captions
  • You are able to display your captions in online environments that don’t support closed captions or start your videos with the audio muted
  • The viewer can decide whether or not the captions are displayed
  • Easier to include multiple languages
  • Easier to sync or upload to different video platforms
  • Easier to make derivative content out of captions
  • Easier to modify or correct your captions after they are published or exported
  • Beneficial for SEO purposes
Cons
  • Harder to include multiple languages
  • Can’t be read by a search engine so it does not directly benefit SEO
  • Less flexibility in the style and look of your captions
  • Some online platforms don’t support closed caption (but that could change)

Now you know the difference between a closed caption and open caption, but what’s the difference between caption and subtitle? Or are they just different words for the same thing?  Amara’s Product Specialist Allison explained this concept in the article “Subtitles vs. Captions: What’s the Difference?

Of course, there are inevitably times when you know for certain that you need open captions and will only be using them for one language. One free captioning tool that allows you to create open captions is Kapwing. It’s easy to use and allows you to add open captions to any video URL which you then download. We mentioned before that we don’t like to recommend captioning apps that haven’t been around for a long time, but Kapwing is the only web-based app we know of that allows you to create open captions, so we want to make sure you do have the option available. Kapwing is free at the time of this writing, but we’re not sure if it will remain free in the long run.

No article about making your captioning process easier is complete without going over file formats for closed captions. Check out our blog post “What Subtitle Format Should I Use?” to find out which format is the one you’ll need. As a quick reference, we’ve listed the most common ones below. 

 

Common Caption Formats

  • PGS (BluRay)
  • VOB (DVD)
  • SubRip (.srt) (the most common subtitle format supported by most video players)
  • WebVTT (.vtt) (Web Video Text Track format, which is similar to SRT, but does not number subtitles)
  • Substation Alpha (.ssa) (SSA ,SubStation Alpha subtitle format)
  • YouTube Subtitles (.sbv)
  • JSON Subtitles (.json)
  • TTML (.dfxp)((Timed Text Markup Language, subtitles in an XML file))(DFXP (Distribution Format Exchange Profile format))
  • SCC (Scenarist Closed Captions, for western languages)
  • CAP (Videotron Lambda captions)
  • MicroDVD (.sub)
 

Are There Any Fantastic Free Caption Tools We Missed?

There you have it! We brought our team together to compile the best captioning and subtitling tools available. But we would like to hear your opinion!
 
If you’ve read this far and have tried other free captioning/subtitling tool you found useful, let us know! Otherwise, share with us your experiences on using these tools we’ve listed and how you make the most out of them!
 
This article was originally written and published by Shao Chieh Lo, last updated on on August 25, 2020, by Shao Chieh Lo.
 

23 thoughts on “11 Free Tools to Make Your Video Captioning Process Easier!

  1. Recently I experienced YOUTUBE sound recognition for transacription but in dispair. Not as I expected. So I am eagerly seeking any application or something like that. And I found out this morning soundflower in your sent e-mail. However I am novice to handle rb file and I don’t have MacOS. So I want you to provide explaining tutorials of installing your provided recent soundflower or provide window version of it. Would you do this? Please…

    1. Hi, Ksmtesoler,

      Thank you for reading my article.

      Unfortunately, Soundflower don’t have Window version at this moment, but at 4:09 in the video I shared do demonstrate the equivalent solution for window https://youtu.be/erx9czQsY2Q?t=4m8s

      You can also try Temi, which is a paid service but providing a one-time free trial. https://www.temi.com/?gclid=Cj0KCQjwttbWBRDyARIsAN8zhbIm0JKbuacUwZ5DrJL_6T9JT3YLjvda6DCCoF-PtXAmll9Ts4M_OLkaAl2nEALw_wcB

      I hope this information helps!

    2. Thank you for this post. My University is using Collaborate Ultra For live streaming my lectures during this current COVID-19 lock down. Extracted from their website : “Collaborate Ultra, also known as Blackboard Collaborate, is a browser-based web conferencing tool. Participants have the ability to easily share content and engage with other participants using a variety of optional tools.”
      How do I use your list of closed and/or open captionIng tools in a livestream class. The Collaborate Ultra platform requires me to appoint someone to physically type the captions during my lecture. Can the captioning tool do it for me?

  2. To Shao Chieh Lo
    Sorry for late reply to your long kind letter.
    You are distisfied but it is because of traffic I think and I tested and satisfied.
    The STT need learning process so as long as I use Google voicetyping tool it’s going to be developed as long as I use it. And late at night the traffic is so heavy then it get slow. But in day time it’s satisfying me. I will keep an eye on your sent URL. Thank you!

  3. Very appreciated blog! Really well explained useful tools for video captioning, these are in a way easy to understand, reason is explanation in step by step. Provide a list of free tools also define to users in the blog is really appreciated. All remaining need of user video can fulfill. I will share the blog on social sites.

  4. Here is what I did:
    – used the google docs to transcribe my video in seconds
    -Proofed read it
    -Uploaded Into youtube
    – on the CC options copied and pasted the Google Docs
    – Let youtube sync the video with the transcript I provided
    -downloaded the srs file to upload into facebook.

    Now I must also say i wanted in Spanish so
    – once I had the google doc i Google Translated
    – once the English is set on youtube you can upload the spanish onto the sections
    – saved
    – went back to the CC section and clicked on the spanish copy and downloaded the srs file in spanish
    -uploaded it to facebook but attached this “filename.es_LA.srt” for Spanish

  5. hi, these are all for subtitles. – i want too add captions too a video, permanently. – can you please advise on software too overlay and reencode the video permenantly with text.

  6. Great article. I have read open captions are considered better for accessibility as the caption toggle can be difficult on some mobile devices and the learner might not even be aware captions are an option.

    Microsoft Stream that comes as part of Office365 has a good stab at transcribing and captioning any video you upload. It gets it a bit wrong but all the timing information is there and you can download and edit the vtt file as well as converting the vtt file to another format that you can use in your video editor. If you have Office365 I would definitely check it out.

    1. Thanks for reading! Open captions are definitely an important and growing option for video. Thanks for sharing about Microsoft Stream, we will definitely have to check it out.

      1. Any idea on how to get from a big vtt file to clean text (without timestamps and other tags, just the text transcript?

        Thanks

  7. Hello Braun!

    If you are using Amara, the TXT format on the Download menu within the subtitles page does exactly that.

    If not, here’s two options you can try:

    1. With SubtitleEdit (https://www.nikse.dk/subtitleedit/), load the VTT file and use the File | Export | Plain text menu.

    2. With a programming text editor (for example, Notepad++ or gedit), open the Search and Replace menu, check the option for Regular Expressions, and search and replace this string with nothing:

    (WEBVTT)\r?\n\r?\n|[0-9]{2}:[0-9]{2}:[0-9]{2}\.[0-9]{3} –> [0-9]{2}:[0-9]{2}:[0-9]{2}\.[0-9]{3}\r?\n

    The arrow between the timestamps is two hyphen dashes and the greater than sign.

    That will stripe out the header and timestamps. You may still need to search and replace with nothing the HTML italic tags. Make sure you have a backup copy of your subtitles before trying this.

  8. Looking for a free way to use closed captioning for Sunday Church Services. Can you recommend. Church service is being done in Zoon.

    Thank you.

    1. We’re in the same position as you Barbara – currently relying on one of the congregation to type captions in Zoom manually, which is better than nothing.
      Google Meet has free automatic captioning I’ve discovered, so you could switch platforms – but I’m reluctant to do that because my congregation has only just got used to Zoom, and some will struggle to switch over.

  9. Just tried otter twice and failed both times, file was 1hr 30min. large, but meetings are longer.
    would not recommend this product.

  10. Does anyone know how to type captions into YouTube live interface? We currently hire a service to do this and there is a Captions ingestion URL we give them to connect into the live stream. But I’m wondering what software or platform they are using to ingest to that URL.

    just curious…

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