How to Add Captions or Subtitles to a Video

For many content makers today, adding captions may seem a useless waste of their time. Nevertheless, recent studies have proved that video captions can greatly improve the engagement rates, make your content more accessible and increase view time: 69% of people view videos with the sound off in public places, and 25% watch with the sound off in private places.

So, whether you do it yourself before exporting, pay service, or use an auto-transcription tool, it’s super simple to make sure your audience has easy access to your great content!

Add Captions or Subtitles to a Video
Taken from: https://unsplash.com/photos/Da0pdCekeUs

Captions vs Subtitles: What’s the Difference?

Overall, captions convey dialogue and/or narration plus any other audio effects that may be present in a video. The presence of various background sounds is required to meet the accessibility standards: in some cases, those can be integral for understanding what’s happening on the screen. For instance, that’s important for people who are deaf or hard of hearing to be able to access and understand the audio portions of a video.

On the contrary, subtitles exclusively convey the dialogue or narration happening in a video.  

That is why they are usually used for translations of any foreign language text shown on the screen.

3 Methods for Adding Captions & Subtitles

There are many different ways on how subtitles or captions can be added to video content. To help you choose the most convenient option, below we’ll cover the popular methods you can make use of right away. 

Option #1 Video Editing Software

On the Internet, you’ll find hundreds of different guides explaining how to add subtitles to video with the use of specific editing software. Here, we’ll review this on the example of Movavi video editor – a professional video editor that enables adding captions (or any other supporting content) within just a few clicks. 

So, to add captions through editing, you should complete these steps:

  • Install Movavi video editor and start the app
  • Click the “Edit” button next to the video you want to add subtitles to
  • In the editing window, switch to the “Subtitles” tab
  • Choose the type of subtitles you want to add: hardsubs (those that are permanently drawn on top of the video and cannot be turned off), or softsubs (stored as a separate track, can be removed or substituted with an alternative option)
  • Adjust the position, subtitle encoding (if required) and character set the subtitles should be in
  • Ensure the subtitles are synchronized with the video and audio tracks
  • Apply the changes and upload the finalized video.

Voila, your video is now ready to go!

Option #2 YouTube Studio Editor

YouTube features an extremely convenient and simple editing toolset that allows you to create and apply captions and annotations (in the form of notes, words, or speech bubbles) to any video content uploaded. 

To generate video captions on YouTube, follow the next steps:

  • Register or sign in to your Google account
  • Upload your video and open it
  • Click the “CC” button on the player panel
  • For annotations – set its type, insert the quotation and alter it to your taste under the coherent time. As for the captions or add-on material, you’ll also need to select its language
  • Upload a premade captions file, copy of the text, or choose transcribe and auto-sync your video or create a new file right on the way
  • Save the changes

This method doesn’t require installing any tools or 

Option #3 Google Drive

Google Drive is one of the most popular cloud service solutions that can enable secure storage and allow access to any data from any device across the world. However, only a few users know that Google Drive can also help with adding captions to a video. 

To do so, you need to complete the following steps:

  • Sign in or sign up to drive.google.com;
  • Go to “New” >File Upload and choose a video that you want to add captions to;
  • Once it’s on your cloud, click “More” and choose “Manage caption tracks”;
  • Hit on the Add new caption tracks option
  • Pick up your caption file in SRT format
  • Set the language and type of title for the captions track
  • Press “Upload” to complete captions adding

We’re now done!

Wrapping Up

These are only a bunch of methods that can help you effortlessly add subtitles to any video content in different ways. So, if you’ve already found the best fit – let’s start practicing!

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