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Caption Time-Based Media

Captions are not only a requirement for accessible videos, they are also the only way some people can access video content. This includes people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, who are watching the video in a noisy room, or who prefer to read along as they listen.

The sound in a video is not always accessible, but the captions are.

On this page learn more about captions and learn how to add captions to your own videos using YouTube, Camtasia Studio, or Panapto.

Captions in a Couple Minutes

In this video from Rooted in Rights, learn more about captions and how to generate a caption track from YouTube, and edit for accuracy. Your captions should:

  1. Identify important sounds, inflections, and music
  2. Be formatted to easily distinguish sounds from speakers and speakers from one another

For more information refer to the Captioning Key. Video has closed captions available and a transcript is provided on this page.

Video Transcript

[NARRATOR] Captions in a couple minutes.

Captions provide a real-time on-screen text version of everything spoken within a video as well as any relevant sounds, music, or intonation.

They help all sorts of viewers understand video content whether you’re Deaf, hard-of-hearing, forgot your headphones or just like to read along…

To create captions for YouTube, Facebook and Twitter videos, first upload your video to YouTube. Using the classic version of Creator Studio, locate the video you want to caption within the dashboard. Click the drop-down next to the video’s “Edit” button and select “Subtitles/CC”.

While you can create your captions from scratch by clicking on the “Add new subtitles” button, YouTube will usually publish a draft of your captions for you a short time after your video is uploaded. You can also get captions from a third party uploaded directly to your account for as little as $1 a minute.

But while both options can be a great start they usually need to be edited for accuracy. To make sure your captions are just right, click on a published version to pull up YouTube’s caption editor.

Click the “Edit” button in the top right of the page and use the caption blocks on the left to edit text and to add or remove captions. To change timing drag the caption’s start and end points on the timeline.

Remember, in addition to what is spoken captions need to include important sounds [rooster crows], [unhappy] inflections, and music [saxophone playing “happy birthday song”].

[record scratch]

[Narrator] Also, it’s best that captions are formatted correctly in order to easily distinguish sounds from speakers and speakers from one another.

For an amazing guide on how to format your captions correctly visit Once you’ve finished editing your YouTube captions, save changes.

You can use your captions on Facebook and Twitter by simply downloading them as an SRT file in the actions drop-down menu. You can upload that SRT file to your video in either platform.

Accessibility is cool.

How to Create and Add Captions at Boise State

Here’s how to create and add captions using Boise State-supported video tools. Our recommendation: If you intend to upload your video to YouTube, we recommend recording from a script or transcribing the video when it’s edited, and uploading this as a text file to YouTube. YouTube will set the timings for you. Alternatively, Camtasia Studio on Windows provides a simple-to-use caption editor.

YouTube or 3rd Party

Here’s how to “Add your own closed captions” on YouTube.

Additional options for working with a 3rd party vendor include:

Camtasia Studio

Camtasia Studio for Windows has an easy-to-use caption editor.


This FAQ on Captions in Panopto provides a lot of great information about captioning and transcripts as well as how-to instructions.

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