YouTube’s new DIY captioning tool

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Thursday, 5 June 2014 11:03am

YouTube has introduced a new feature which makes it easier to create closed captions and add them to your videos.

To create captions:

  1. Log in to your YouTube account, go to ‘Video Manager’ and click the ‘Edit’ button next to the video you want to caption.
  2. Select ‘Subtitles and CC’ at the top right of the screen. In the drop-down menu, select the language. You can select English, or choose from 160 other languages.
  3. A box will now appear to the right of the media player which says ‘Type subtitles here’. Play the video, pausing it as necessary, and type your first caption into the box, then click on the ‘+’ sign to lock the caption in. It will then appear in a box below. Once you have created a caption, you can edit it by clicking on its box.
  4. As you create captions, they will appear on the screen as the video plays, while they will also appear in smaller boxes beneath the video player. When you click on one of these boxes, blue ‘handles’ will appear on either side of it. To time your captions so that they are synchronised with the dialogue, click on the handles and drag them to the left or right to adjust when each caption starts and finishes. You can do this as you create each caption, but it is probably easier to create the text for all the captions first, then play the video again and adjust the timing for all of them.
  5. Once you have completed your captions and are happy with them, click on the ‘Publish’ button. Everyone who watches your video will now be able to turn the captions on and off.

YouTube has also created a video to take you through the process.

Note that you can only use this feature if you own the video. However, if you don’t own a YouTube video but would still like to see it captioned, you can use a site like Amara. For more information, see How to caption a YouTube video.

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