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Automatically captioning YouTube video

Captioning subtitles on YouTube video is automatically possible thanks to the platform's audio transcription technology. The algorithms are able to recognize what is spoken and transform it into text. Then, just review and edit the details, but most of the work is up to the service.

For those who prefer the traditional subtitling method, the site offers three other manual options. If you wish, you can download the subtitle later for use with conventional players and watch the movie offline.

To follow the next steps, it is necessary to have a YouTube account and, of course, post the video on the platform. If you don't want other people to see the publication, just mark it as not listed when uploading. Thus, only those who have the link have access.

How to put subtitles on YouTube video automatically

Mobile phone on white background with YouTube logo on the screen

If you want to take advantage of YouTube's automatic transcription feature, know that you need to make adjustments. Although the technology captures much of what is said, there are usually some misinterpretations. Especially if the video was recorded in a noisy or low quality environment.

The functionality is available in Portuguese, English and Spanish. The following languages ​​are also covered: German, Korean, French, Dutch, Italian, Japanese and Russian.

In order to maintain the quality standard, YouTube recommends using films with a maximum duration of one hour.

1. Access YouTube Studio and, if you are not logged in, log in to your account on the platform. So click Videos, in the menu located on the left side of the screen;

YouTube Studio Command Screen

2. Hover your mouse over the video in which you want to include a caption. When the pencil cone appears, click on it;

3. In Video details, access the tab More options;

YouTube Studio command screen for including automatic transcription

4. Scroll to the section Original language of the video, subtitles and CC. Comes Translation into Portuguese provided by YouTube (automatic);

5. In the menu that appears, choose Edit in the classic version of the Creative Studio;

6. On the next screen, go to To edit, in the upper right corner of the player;

7. Press play to check the automatic transcription made by Google and make any corrections that you deem necessary.

  • For edit the text, click on the corresponding content in the boxes on the left side of the screen. Just delete and fix it the way you prefer.
  • If you want change the minute, that is, the time when the subtitle starts and ends, click on the numbers to the left of the subtitle texts. Delete and enter the value you think is correct.
  • If you prefer, this time editing of the text can be done directly on the timeline, located below the player. In this way, just drag the caption to the correct position.

subtitle editing in YouTube Studio

8. If you want to split insert a new content (and not just edit a ready one), write in the text box where it reads Type the caption and press Enter.

9. After all the desired corrections and edits are made, finish the process in Save changes.

How to put subtitles on YouTube video manually

YouTube offers three other ways to insert captions in videos. It is possible to upload a subtitle file, write the lines manually with automatic synchronization and perform the transcription and synchronization manually.

To upload or write, follow the path below.

1. Still on YouTube Studio, go to Video, in the menu located on the left side of the screen;

2. Hover your mouse over the video and, when the pencil icon appears, click on it;

3. Again in the left side menu, now go to Subtitles;

4. click in Add, just below Subtitles;

screen for including subtitles in YouTube Studio

5. Now, see that there are three subtitling options. They are:

A) Send files: option for those who already have a file with the video subtitles ready and just want to insert it in the video. The material must already contain the time stamp and be in one of the following basic formats: .srt, .sbv or .sub, .mpsub, .lrc, .cap. The advanced extensions supported are: .smi or .sami, .rt, .vtt and .ttml or .dfxp.

  • In this case, the path to include the caption: Upload file Subtitle file Choose file Select the file on the PC Submit. Make any necessary adjustments and finish in Publish.

B) Transcribe and synchronize automatically: this option is aimed at those who wish to manually transcribe the video. The tool allows the user to compose everything that is being said and synchronizes the text with the speech automatically.

Transcription screen and automatic subtitles sync from YouTube

  • To do this, just write the words in the box next to the video and, at the end, go to Adjust time. On the next screen, click the language below My drafts to check synchronization and make adjustments if deemed necessary. It is essential that the selected language is the same as that spoken on the video.
  • In the settings screen, it is possible to edit the text, the start and end time of a caption and delete. Changes can be made either in the side menu or in the timeline below the player.
  • Concludes the review, go on Save changes. Soon after, the caption will be published.

Ç) Create new subtitles or closed captions: in this case, the user will also have to write the lines of the video. The difference is that, while typing, he himself adjusts the subtitle time: when each sentence starts and ends showing.

  • While the video is displayed, write the lines in the box on the left side of the screen. Press Enter when you’ve completed each leg. The time adjustment can be done by dragging the passage in the timeline below the player or by clicking on the value and entering the new minute manually.
  • After editing, go to Save changes.

How to enable subtitles on a video on YouTube

YouTube player in dark mode

Subtitles included, now it’s only fair that your channel viewers can read the content. To do this, just click on the cone indicated in the image above. However, if you want to edit the subtitles and change the language, if there is such an option, access the gear cone (), right beside it.

How to download video subtitles from YouTube

As we said at the beginning of this article, YouTube allows content creators to download subtitles created and edited through Studio. The platform makes files available in .sbv, .vtt and .srt formats.

1. Access YouTube Studio and, if you are not logged in, log in to your account on the platform. So click Videos, in the menu located on the left side of the screen;

2. Hover your mouse over the video in which you want to include a caption. When the pencil cone appears, click on it;

3. In Video details, access the tab More options;

4. Scroll to the section Original video language, subtitles and CC. If you have manually written the caption, there may be more than one option available. Click on the one you want to use (manual or automatic) and go to Edit in the classic version of the Creative Studio;

5. click in Aes and below Download, choose the format of the caption. Save the file in the folder of your choice.

Screen with options to download subtitles from YouTube

The feature is useful if you want to display the video offline, in a traditional player. In this case, it is enough that the video and subtitle file are in the same folder and have exactly the same name (only with different format).

You may have to activate the player's caption option if it is not automatically displayed.

But how do I publish the video on YouTube?

To insert the caption in a video on YouTube, of course, you need to have the video hosted on the platform. So, if you have never published a film there, don't worry. We explain below how to do it and choose not to leave it visible to strangers if you don't want to.

Once you have completed the process, simply choose one of the subtitling methods shown above.

1. Access YouTube Studio and, if you are not logged in, log into your account on the platform;

2. click in Create, at the top right of the page, and v in Send video;

add video to YouTube

3. click in Select file, choose on your computer the video you want to edit and confirm;

4. After uploading the video, the user will need to provide information and select some options on the display. The process is divided into three simple steps. They are:

  • Details: Enter the title, description and choose the image that appears in the movie's thumbnail. Also tell if the content is appropriate for children.
  • Elements of the video: The Video Elements screen is useful for those who want to publish content on the platform. The tool allows you to insert cards, subscribe button in the channel, as well as videos related to the one to be edited;
  • Visibility: indicate whether you want the video to be private, unlisted (does not appear in searches, access is only possible with the link) or public. Also define whether you want to publish it immediately or schedule publication.

5. click in To save to finalize the publication.

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