3 Ways To Caption Your Videos!
Articles,  Blog

3 Ways To Caption Your Videos!

[INTRO MUSIC] RIKKI: Around 38 to 48 million people in the United States alone are deaf and hard of hearing. And 642 million of them, worldwide are deaf and hard of hearing. One of those 642 million people include me. If you Google how many videos are on YouTube right now, you will see a result that says over 81 million videos are on YouTube right now. If you were to go through the filter, and click for the videos that have captions on them, you would find that a very small amount of them are actually captioned. That means that so many of these videos that are uploaded, don’t have them. So why is the lack of captioning such a big deal? Well, let me start off by saying that… Is this thing on? Ah. There we go. You see where I’m going with this? There are three ways to closed caption your videos. One, using the Creator Tools, two, using a third party resource, and three, crowdsourcing. In the Creator Tools, there are three ways to set up your captions, and get them ready to go. The first option is to upload a transcript file. You can create a document, or write out the transcript, save it as a text file, or an SRT file, and then upload. The second option, and the one I actually prefer, is to just write down the transcript, and then copy and paste into the transcribe and autosync box. The real difference between the two options is simply just having a backup file of your captions, and taking a little more time in the captioning process. So if you want to have more options for backing up your files, do the first one. I just like the second option more ’cause I’m apparently too incompetent to save a text file onto my Macbook. The third option, and the one that I actually think is the most tedious is to simply create new subtitles. It’s an option that I’ve never enjoyed using, and everybody else that I know has never liked it, either. No matter which of these three options you choose, I highly recommend that you write your transcripts out in Google Doc, and nowhere else. Why? Google Doc will autosave after every single edit that you make to your document. The last thing that you want when you’re spending an hour or so writing up your captions, is hitting the backspace on accident, going back to the previous page, and then coming back to your captions, and seeing that everything is gone. So once you get your captions uploaded onto your video, you need to give it a couple of minutes for it to sync. It can take anywhere from a few minutes to a little bit longer, simply based on how long your video is and how much text you have for your captions. And then once your captions are synced, you gotta take the time to sit down, and make sure that everything is lined up correctly. ‘Cause nobody wants captions that show up with a 5-10 second delay. We’re very tired of captions being delayed. Oftentimes, a YouTuber won’t have captions on their videos because of time constraints. The good news is that there are loads of companies that will actually do the work for you. One of my favorite companies is Rev, which only charges a dollar a minute and they will typically give you your transcript within 24 hours. If you can’t afford to have the fancy companies do the captions for you, and I understand because that is the situation with a lot of YouTubers, there’s a way to get that same stuff, although a little less professionally done for free. Last year, Google came out with this thing called crowdsourcing. And it’s really awesome. And basically, crowdsourcing lets your viewers, your subscribers, your friends, your family, whoever simply put the captions in for you. And again, it’s all for free. So if your videos don’t already have English captions on them, your viewers and subscribers can do that for you. And then when that’s done, if you have viewers that are multilingual, they can help you translate those captions into Spanish, into German, into Mandarin, whatever language… It’s more than likely gonna be on there. So all you have to do is go into your settings on YouTube, and turn on the fan contribution subtitles. But not only that, you need to make sure you go on Twitter, or make a video, a Facebook post, and let your viewers know about that because it is a new feature, and people don’t really know about it yet. But it’s a really, really good thing. So the more people know about it, the better. Plus, when you have your videos available in multiple languages, you have a much better chance of viewers around the world coming to you, and subscribing to you. Also, in case you’re worried about the possibility of trolls, you actually don’t have to worry about that. You’re always going to have to review the captions and subtitles before they actually go on there. Now, if they’re in different languages, I would suggest just putting it into Google Translate, which, obviously, it’s not going to be 100% perfect. But it will give you a general idea of what they are, and what it translates to so you know whether or not you can post it. Captions are a really great thing and a lot of people just don’t know about them. So when you have captions on your videos, you’re going to get so many people that know about you and want to watch your videos. Trust me when I say that there are so many of us, that would more than likely be subscribed to you, but the issue is that we don’t know what you’re saying, which can be a problem. You like to enjoy YouTube, and so do we. We want to know what you all are saying and we want to laugh with you, or learn whatever it is that you’re telling us. So if you get those captions on there one way or another, I’m very, very certain that you will start to see your view count and your subscriber count go up just a little bit. Maybe even more than a little bit. Probably a lot. So now that I’ve taught you about all the options, all you need to do is pick one that fits your abilities and your schedule. If you can’t do it yourself, there’s no need to feel bad about it. That’s why that there are many, many options out for you. If you can’t do the captions yourself, there’s no need to worry about it. No need to feel terrible about it. That’s why that there are so many options out there. So if there’s a YouTuber out there that doesn’t caption their videos, and you would like to see them caption their videos, just send them an email or a tweet with this video, and cross your fingers. Make sure to share this video with your friends, so everybody will know how important this is and learn a new thing. It’s really simple. You just gotta know about it. And a huge thank you to YouTube Space, New York for allowing me to be in their NextUp 2016 Program, and for allowing me to film in this room. And thank you, Jonathan, for helping me set up everything. Okay. I will see you later. Bye. [OUTRO MUSIC] Subtitles by the Amara.org community


  • jo melton

    Hey Rikki! I will admit that I am quite ignorant on the subject, but very much willing to learn. I mainly do music videos, so I was curious as to should I caption music, and how?
    Thank you for sharing your experience with us, I absolutely love your channel. <3

  • Honor Whiteside

    YES. PEOPLE NEED TO CAPTION THEIR VIDEOS. Tyler Oakley has and I love his videos especially the one with Nyle DiMarco (yum). More you tubers need to do this. I love watching YouTube and some caption some of their videos and most caption none of them. Sharing this on facebook and twitter. Lots of Love from Belfast!❤

  • Tax Tic

    OMG OMG OMG I LIVE in the SHIT state of nc. But really, Im feeling like I'm a small majority of a HoH gamer and its fucking hard as hell to find a gamer that uses caption. Any way as a viewer to get captions in a video? Because I'm no YouTuber/guy who knows bout this. But is there any way to counteract this bullshit?

  • Greg's Garage

    Some of my vids have no speech, but those that do will have captions from now on! Thanks for all the tips/advice Rikky!

  • Daniella Robins

    My videos are scripted which makes it so much easier. I can just copy and paste the script into the subtitles, check that the timings are right (they usually are, YouTube magic I guess) and voila. it also helps that my "in defense" videos are only 1 – 4 minutes long. My top tens are a bit longer and therefore require a bit more work. Also, don't forget to proofread!

  • ARTiculations

    Thanks for this Rikki! I started captioning my videos about four months ago and now I'm trying to go back through all my old videos and caption all of them. It's going to take some time but I think it's worth it. I also found a subreddit on Reddit called r/captionplease that has volunteers that helps people caption videos.

  • The Reading Ravenclaw

    I agree with the fact that people should put captions on their videos and I know that I should as well, but I just haven't done it yet! Hahaha. And I love your shirt, where did you get it?

  • Heather De Mian

    I've tried the crowdsourcing, but not working. My captioning volunteers say they can each see their own submissions, but not each others', & I can't see any of them to review them.

  • Soarinfan Videos

    more power to your videos Rikki…….it was Annie Segarras post on facebook that brought you to my attention

  • Xela D

    Thank you for this! I plan to start making videos soon, and the most important thing to me is that they are captioned.

  • Lida Hall

    Whilst neither deaf nor HoH, I personally appreciate an accurate subtitle when I watch TV – so I'm glad to hear that Google is making it easier for people on YT to do just that!
    Also, I think your t-shirt is really cute 🙂 It's a pity that it wouldn't work in Australia. "Kiss my Auslan" just doesn't really work, does it…

  • Nintendo Lifestyle

    Love your shirt my friend! I totally 100% agree with you! loads of times don't have captioning and I wouldn't even know where to start. Liked this my good friend

  • Rebelwheels NYC

    Thank you so much for making this video.

    On a side note, I am a PWD who is a content creator here on youtube who has videos that often lack captions. Not for lack of solidarity or desire to be inclusive, unfortunately, due to my disability, typing (or just moving my arms) is always an option. So while I do add them while I can, I am really really … really behind (which stinks because I don't like when things are inaccessible for me, and don't want to create a situation where things are inaccessible for others)

    That being said. if anyone seeing this comment has some extra time on their hands, please consider helping my show (and the community out). Here is a list of videos that are waiting to be captioned <3 I would greatly appreciate and will you sends you many many delicious virtual cookies via social media <3



  • RibbitHopX

    Great topic and teaching! I am subbed to a cooking channel by James Strange. I complimented him on his captions and he just let me know he gets them done professionally. If anyone is into Asian, some Mexican and down home American cooking, check him out.

  • Laura

    Thanks, Rikki!
    I convinced my friend to add captions to his videos: JayandShaunsMovies is the account. Check it out sometime!

  • Charlotte Deering

    I am literally going to spam all gaming sites with this. Civ 6 was released and I can't understand a word that this guy is saying. It makes me so upset. I had to have my boyfriend narrate it for me. 🙁

  • X37Adventures

    We have started captioning our videos this year. Thanks for the info about the all of the options for captioning. I will begin using Google docs as the backup, you made a very good point about saving it in a second location.

    I am pleasantly surprised to find that I am enjoying the captioning task much more than I expected.

    Thank you again for the great information! Keep up the good work!

  • Connie Wang

    Hey Rikki, thanks for all this great info. I need to go back to my older videos and recaption with all this greatness you just threw at me. Best, connie

  • Molly Burke

    I did rev.com for my video this Friday, and I had my video editor type it all out for my first closed captioned video.. I think I'll try the crowd sourcing next! 🙂

  • Kate's Adventures

    I've finally managed to update all my videos with CC! It's good to get rid of the backlog 🙂 Personally I like to type over the auto captions because there's something there to begin with.

  • Michel Cantigneaux

    I re-use the automatic captions and I move the time limits of the blocks in order to make a well organised, well cut subtitles files as basic for translation of the episodes of LGBT-focused Webseries "Out With Dad". They are reviewed by creator Jason Leaver and then sent to a bunch of trusted translators, due to the sensitive subject.

    We have up to 11 languages for a few episodes, with a core of 5 languages and regular 4 more languages. And 2 very uncomplete last languages.

    I also make the subtitles of the other videos into English and I translate into French, my native language. (I'm Belgian)

    Check it … Great story and role model for coming-out teenagers…

  • Daniel Nava

    I put subtitles by way of the third option for my candy videos lol
    It is tedious, but it keeps my attention better listening to myself while I add the captions and sometimes a little commentary on my laugh or gasp.

  • The Sex Reporter

    Thanks for making this! I've wanted to caption my videos in at least two languages for a while, but only had time to do a few. I'm going to look into those services and the crowd sourced option.

  • Kyra Gaunt Ph.D.

    applause hands!! Well done! I am thinking of having my hip-hop class and my anthro class to focus on captions when we make YouTube videos this call with a focus on Sep 25. In this age when Trump has us thinking that answers are only about the dominant groups, we need to ethically practice embracing inclusivity of marginalized groups who we often forget are listening/watching/seeing/feeling whatever we post.

  • Kyra Gaunt Ph.D.

    You might also mention that close-captioning is SO useful for ESOL students in college classrooms. They are translating while watching and need the boost of info in text.

  • Lossless_Anime

    I will have to explore the newer captioning options and see if it's easier. I did start out captioning my vids, but it was taking 6+ hours to do each one, and I just eventually didn't have time to do that anymore (I have a variety of channels I post to). I'd love to always make videos accessible. But it really does take a lot of time, and you don't know if someone who needs subs will ever wander onto your tiny channel.

  • Awildr

    So, I have a question. I would like to write the subtitles and then put it on other people's videos. How can I do it? Do I need to send it to the owners of the videos or is there an option in the video? I am a little lose about this thing xD

  • slowfire2

    Thank you for this about captions! There are so many videos that I would like to see and learn from, but I have no idea what they're saying or I miss more than half of it because I'm hard of hearing and a foreigner.

  • cavingincolorado

    That was an amazing point made about up load caption and how important it is. Are you running the #nomorecraptions campaign for 2017?

  • Tim Malone

    Thanks so much for taking the time to do this video. It helped me to realize the importance of captions. I work for a large medical organization and we have hundreds of provider videos and most like a few hundred more that are specialty videos. I have been charged with getting the captions done and I found your video that way. I wanted to share a unique video that used Google Docs (with voice to text) to do the captioning. I have a link, but I don't think I can leave it here. Let me know how I can get it to you and I will send it. I confirmed it can be done on both the Mac and PC very well on the fly. It takes a little correction afterwords, but way faster than any other method. I would love to share it with you and your audience. Let me know. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=erx9czQsY2Q

  • Deaf Advantage

    Hello, thank you for making this video. I am curious if you have done a video in ASL and then uploaded a transcript – how did that go? Was it synced well with the signs? I'm wondering if I will be able to do it this way or if I will have to do it frame by frame. Thanks!

  • Kal-El

    I just posted your link telling Paramount Pictures to closed caption their Youtube movie preview films for the rest of deaf and hard of hearing around the world. I felt so frustrated that it's from Paramount Pictures company. Don't they ever think they can get extra subscribers from us? Anyhow here is the link.. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wb49-oV0F78 Read below comments and see if they add captioning in the meantime. However funny thing i should mention. I saw a channel that had no closed captioning and made a complaint and somehow like 2 days later or something they added caption cuz i linked them your link how to add closed captioning. I guess i made a difference. Such a shame we can't do this globally enough. You have sponsors?

  • Andrew Parsons

    Do you know YouTube/Google supports 76 languages for localization and almost 200 for captions and subtitles?

    So far this video has German, Hindi and French. Can we caption the other 73 plus 125 other languages?

    Here's the URL to help: https://www.youtube.com/timedtext_video?ref=player&v=7t-1kFDPceo

    Caption and subtitle users everywhere appreciate it!

  • sol phoyu

    Thanks!! I wanted to start my own channel soon, but since it will be almost 100% animation with a voiceover, I was getting really worried that I wouldn’t be able to be accessible. This was super helpful!!

  • Professor of Perseverance

    AWESOME! Great video. I'm a quad from playing football. I've subscribed to your channel. Please subscribe to mine so we can support each other and send positive messages. Thanks and have a blessed night.

  • Bert Visscher

    1:49 If you're still having this problem, then I'd be more than willing to help.
    5:46 Is it just me, or did you get a little repetitive just now?

  • Megan K

    little tip: instead of using google translate to check if other language's captions are correct, you can actually do this automatically. while watching the video, in the settings panel, select the language in question, click "auto translate" and click on your native language. now watch through the video and try to notice any weirdness.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *