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How Do I Add Captions to My Videos?

  • A man who is confused

    So you have a video – but how do you add captions?

    There are three main ways to associate a caption file with a video:

    Upload Captions as “Side Car” Files

    The most common way to add captions to your videos is as a “side car” file. Most web video players and platforms allow you to upload a caption file in their specified format along with your video file. Captions will sync with your video. Users can turn captions on and off by clicking a “CC” button and can often change the visual formatting of the captions directly on the video player.

    Use Open Captions

    If you want to play your video offline or never want captions turned off, you can burn the captions directly onto the video file to create open captions. In this case, users can’t turn captions off – they are a part of the video file.

    Encode Your Captions

    The third way to associate a caption file with your video is to encode the captions. This is often necessary for offline viewing, for kiosks, or if you don’t have a video platform. You can also distribute caption-encoded videos as a single asset. Users will still be able to turn the captions on or off, and the captions should work across mobile devices.

    What Caption Format Do I Need?

    It is critical that you use the correct caption format for your video player, video platform, or lecture capture system. While some caption formats are easier to create from scratch (for example, SRT and WebVTT), many formats use hex codes and are extremely difficult to create from scratch. We recommend using a professional captioning service or a caption format converter for these.

    Below, you’ll find a list of major video players, video platforms, and lecture capture systems and the caption format required. For most popular platforms, integrations are available to automate the caption post-back process so this step becomes trivial. How-to guides are available for most systems below.

    Video Player/Platform/Lecture Capture System Caption Format Integration Available
    Adobe Captivate Stamped Doc
    Adobe Connect Recordings Encoded Captions
    Adobe Encore SCC
    Adobe Flash DFXP
    Adobe Premiere Pro SCC
    Adobe Presenter TXT
    DOC
    Amazon Direct SMPTE-TT (RP-2052) with an .xml file extension
    STL (Spruce Subtitle File) with a .stl file extension
    EBU-TT with a .xml file extension
    DFXP Full/TTML (Timed Text Markup Language) with a .dfxp file extension
    iTT (iTunes Timed Text) files with a .iTT file extension
    SCC (Scenarist Closed Caption) with a .scc file extension
    SRT (SubRip text file format) with a .srt file extension
    Apple Compressor SCC
    Articulate Storyline Stamped Doc
    Avid Media Composer Avid DS
    EBU STL
    Blackboard Collaborate Encoded Captions
    Brightcove Custom DFXP Yes
    Camtasia SRT
    Canvas SRT
    WebVTT
    Cattura SRT Yes
    Desire2Learn SRT
    DVD Studio Pro SCC
    Echo360 XML Yes
    Echo360 Active Learning Platform WebVTT
    SRT
    Yes
    Ensemble Video DFXP Yes
    Facebook SRT
    Final Cut Pro 7 and X SCC
    Flowplayer SRT
    GoToMeeting & GoToWebinar Recordings Encoded Captions
    HTML5 WebVTT
    Hulu Custom SMPTE-TT
    iTunes SCC
    JW Player WebVTT
    Kaltura SRT Yes
    Kaltura MediaSpace SRT
    DFXP
    Yes
    Knovio by KnowledgeVision JSON
    WebVTT
    Yes
    Lectora PPT XML
    Limelight DFXP Yes
    Lync (Skype for Business) Encoded Captions
    MediaPlatform WebVTT Yes
    Mediasite SRT
    DFXP
    SMI
    Yes
    Microsoft Stream WebVTT
    Netflix Custom SMPTE-TT
    Ooyala DFXP Yes
    Panopto DFXP Yes
    PowerPoint TTML
    QuickTime QT
    Slideshare SRT
    Tegrity SRT Yes
    thePlatform SCC
    SRT
    WebVTT
    Yes
    Video.js WebVTT
    VidYard SRT
    WebVTT
    Yes
    Vimeo WebVTT Yes
    Viostream SRT
    WebVTT
    SCC
    Yes
    VLC Player SRT
    VoiceThread DFXP
    SRT
    SAMI
    SCC
    SBV
    Yes
    WebEx Encoded Captions
    Windows Media and Silverlight SRT
    Wistia SRT Yes
    YouTube SRT
    SBV
    WebVTT
    TTML
    DFXP
    SCC
    EBU-STL
    Yes
    Yuja Yes
    Zoom Encoded Captions


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