How Do I Add Captions to My Videos?
Updated: February 23, 2021
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 Premiere Pro||SCC|
|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
|Articulate Storyline||Stamped Doc|
|Avid Media Composer||Avid DS
|Blackboard Collaborate||Encoded Captions|
|DVD Studio Pro||SCC|
|Echo360 Active Learning Platform||WebVTT
|Final Cut Pro 7 and X||SCC|
|GoToMeeting & GoToWebinar Recordings||Encoded Captions|
|Knovio by KnowledgeVision||JSON
|Lync (Skype for Business)||Encoded Captions|
|Windows Media and Silverlight||SRT|
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