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Learn how to enable and customize the appearance of subtitles on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Apple TV

Did you know that, whether iPhone / iPad / iPod touch or on Apple TV, it is possible to activate subtitles or closed captions / optional to read the dialogue of a video? And that you can still customize their appearance? To understand how to activate and adjust them on iOS and tvOS, follow the step-by-step below!

Enable captions and optional captions on iOS

Subtitles on iOS

By default, subtitles are already enabled on iOS. However, you must access the resource for it to be displayed. That way, if the video you want to watch has optional subtitles or subtitles, you need to select it from the ?audio and subtitles? menu. To do this, follow these instructions while playing a video on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch:

  1. Touch the screen to display the playback controls;
  2. Touch the dialogue balloon icon in the lower right corner of the screen;
  3. Select the caption option you want to use and tap "OK".

Sometimes, automatic subtitles do not usually indicate, with fidelity, the real content of what is spoken in the video, when they make no sense at all. In this case, if you understand the original language of that video, in the menu ?audio and Subtitles?, tap on the option that indicates the subtitle for the described text of that video.

To enable optional subtitles and set videos to be displayed by default with optional subtitles or subtitles for people who are deaf or have audio problems, follow these steps:

Subtitles on iOS

  1. Access the Settings;
  2. Touch ?General? and then ?Accessibility?;
  3. Swipe down to the ?Media? section and tap ?Subtitles and Optional Subtitles?;
  4. Activate the option ?Optional Subtitles + SDH?.

Customize subtitles and optional subtitles

Among the customization options, it is possible to change the font size of the text, activate or deactivate a background for the captions or even create a new style. Learn how to change or create a new caption pattern in the following steps:

Subtitles on iOS

  1. Access Settings General Accessibility Subtitles and Optional Subtitles;
  2. Touch ?Style? and change the settings between the predefined styles (?Standard?, ?Large Text? or ?Classic?). If you want to create a caption option, tap on ?Create New Style? and select the font, size and color options. At the bottom of the screen, disable the option "Use Video Settings" and then tap "Save";
  3. To view the new style on the device's screen, tap the full screen icon in the legend preview frame.

In the second step, it is important to disable the ?Use Video Settings? option, otherwise the custom style you just created can be replaced by the default video setting.

Enable subtitles and closed captions on tvOS

As with iOS, it is possible to enable subtitles to watch a video's dialogue on Apple TV. Enable the feature in tvOS very simple; first, check which Apple TV model you have and follow the instructions below:

Subtitles on tvOS

  • Fourth generation Apple TV and 4K Apple TV: with the remote control in hand and already playing the video in question, slide your finger down on the touch sensitive surface to see the ?Information? panel. Then, slide your finger to the right to see the ?Captions? panel. Then, slide your finger down and select the caption option you want. On these devices, it is possible to activate and deactivate the subtitle settings by tapping the touch surface of the remote control three times or by asking Siri to activate them.
  • Apple TV (second or third generation): press and hold the ?Select? button on the remote control for three seconds to display the ?Subtitles? tab. Then select the caption option you want to use.

To set by default that closed captions are displayed on Apple TV, you need to change the settings. Here's how to update your preferences:

  1. Access the General Settings Accessibility;
  2. In the Media section, select the option ?Prefer Closed Captions and SDH?.

Customize subtitles and closed captions

Subtitles on tvOS

  1. Access General Settings Accessibility;
  2. Select the ?Style? option and change the settings between the predefined styles (?Standard?, ?Large Text? or ?Classic?). If you want to create a caption option, select "Edit Styles" and then "New Style or Create New Style"; choose between font, size, color and press "Menu" on the remote control to save the style.

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Not all third party apps have optional / closed caption tracks or captions. So make sure there are no caption controls available for the content of a specific app if you do not find caption options as described in this tutorial.

We hope that this tutorial will help you to use and learn more about the features of your devices! ?


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