How to Add Closed Captions in Your Video Talk

Tutorial for creating closed captions automatically

YouTube Studio can be used to generate closed captions for your talk by following these simple steps:

  1. First, record the video of the talk. The video should have a clear voice recording.

  2. Sign in to YouTube Studio.

  3. Click on CREATE > Upload videos. Then upload the recorded talk and fill the standard options (title, description, etc.). Finish the upload and publish it. It will take some time to upload and process the video.

To be able to auto-generate the captions, select the Video language (e.g., English), and Caption certification (e.g., This content has never aired on television in the U.S.).
Steps for generating captions in YouTube Studio
Steps for generating captions in YouTube Studio
  1. After the video is published, select Videos from the left menu and click on the video. It will open the video editing options.
Video editing options
Video editing options
  1. Click Subtitles from the left menu. You should see English(Automatic) subtitle option there. Click DUPLICATE AND EDIT.
This option might not be available immediately after uploading a video. For me, YouTube Studio took around half an hour to make the subtitle available for a 15-min video.
Generate subtitles
Generate subtitles
  1. You should see the automatically generated text from the speech. You have two options to finalize the captions:
  • You can edit the text to make corrections: adding punctuations, capitalization, misspelled words, etc. The text will be automatically synced with the timing. However, you can modify the timings too. Note that, in one timeframe, you should not put a lot of characters which will cover much space on the screen.
  • Alternatively, you can delete the automatically generated text and add your text manually by clicking on +CAPTION. Then write the text, start time, and end time.
Edit subtitles
Edit subtitles
  1. Save the draft and click PUBLISH.

  2. Finally, click on Options beside the EDIT button and click Download. Then select .srt format. Thus, you get your closed caption for your talk in a .srt file.

The .srt file is editable with a text editor as well. Be careful with the formatting and finally check whether the captions are working on a video player on your computer.

Here is an example talk with closed captions. Click on the CC button on the video if the closed captions are not enabled on YouTube. You can get other details about YouTube Studio captioning here.

Other Options

Apart from YouTube Studio, there are other tools too for generating captions (.srt).

  1. Maestra is an online service to generate and export subtitles. You can sign in, upload your video talk, transcribe, edit the auto-generated subtitles, and then export .srt.

  2. can be used to do the task. You can find the instructions here. Although its a paid service, there could be some free trials.

  3. Rev is another paid service to generate captions manually by human experts.

Other tools can be also used. Depending on the backend transcribe engine, the correctness can vary. However, you should edit the auto-generated text to finalize the closed captions.