You can download subtitles for YouTube videos online and for free. The feature is available for both automatically generated transcripts and those added by content creators.
AppGeek explains how to download subtitles online and manually. Also check out how to download the file in .sbv, .vtt and .srt formats from your own videos hosted on the platform.
The functionality can be useful for taking educational video annotations or watching the movie on an offline player.
Attention: Stay tuned for YouTube copyright. Downloading and reproducing video files without authorization from the creator is considered a crime under Brazilian law.
How to download subtitles from YouTube online
There are a number of websites that offer the option to download video captions from YouTube. AppGeek chose the DVDVideoSoft solution, due to the customization tools that the service provides. It is possible to use it both on the PC and on the mobile phone, using the browser of your choice.
1. First, go to the YouTube website and copy the video link that has the caption you want to download;
- If you’re using the YouTube app on your phone, touch the arrow icon (To share) below the player and choose Copy link;
2. Now, go to the YouTube DVDVideoSoft Online Subtitles Downloader website. Paste the link in the box where it says Insert YouTube link here. Then press the button Download;
3. The site automatically generates a file to download. However, do not download it at this point and close the window;
4. Scroll down to see the editing features. Go in Interval if you do not want to download the complete subtitle, but only a part of it, indicate the start and end time;
5. The item Time stamp offers the following options:
- Remove time stamps: removes the time stamp. This option is useful for those who just want the text and do not use the caption in a player.
- Original timestamps (for each sentence): maintains the original time stamp. It is the most suitable for those who want to use the file as a caption in an offline video player.
- Custom timestamps every: offers the customization of the time stamp, inserting it every 1, 2, 5 or 10 minutes.
6. If you want, you can review the text on the website itself, before downloading. Just correct as you prefer in the section Preview;
7. After all edits have been made, choose the format in which you want to save the file. It is possible to download as .srt (subtitle format), .txt or copy. If you choose to remove the time stamp, in step 4, the .srt option will not be available.
How to download subtitles from YouTube manually
If you want, you can extract the caption text manually on YouTube, either automatically generated or by the video author. The process is quite simple and requires the use of a text editor. The following tip works only in the browser on the PC.
1. Open the browser of your choice, access YouTube and go to the video that contains the desired caption;
2. Click on the three dots icon below the player. Choose Open transcript;
3. The box with the content transcript will open on the right side of the player. By default, it is displayed with the time stamp. If you want to remove it, click on the three dots icon above the box and go to Show or hide date and time;
4. Now select all the text and copy (via the keyboard shortcut Crtl + C);
5. Paste the text in the editor of your choice and make any changes you deem necessary.
How to download YouTube subtitles from your own video
If you choose to use YouTube Studio to subtitle your own videos, the platform offers the option to download the file you created natively. That is, it is not necessary to use any third party app or website.
The files are available in .sbv, .vtt and .srt formats.
1. Open 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 captions. When a pencil icon 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 written the caption manually, it is possible that more than one option is available. Click on the one you want to use (manual or automatic) and go to Edit in the classic version of the Creator Studio;
5. click in Actions and below Download, choose the format of the caption. Save the file to the folder of your choice.
Automatically captioning YouTube video
Copyright of YouTube videos
Publishing third party content without your permission can be considered a crime. The YouTube Help Center reports that in several countries, “when a person creates an original work that is displayed on a physical medium, they automatically own the copyright to the work.”
However, there are cases that can be framed in what is called Acceptable Use. They are those that can be used without the author’s prior authorization. In the United States, for example, reproducing commentary, analysis, research, teaching or reporting works may be considered acceptable by the authorities.
They can also be used this way when the use is not for commercial purposes and if the reproduction has an educational purpose. Also according to YouTube, if the material is factual and not purely fictional, the chances of having its use considered justified increase. The platform also lists myths of acceptable use. Are they:
- “If I give credit to the copyright owner, my use will automatically be considered acceptable”;
- “Uses for ‘entertainment’ or ‘non-profit’ are automatically acceptable”;
- “If I add original materials I created to someone else’s copyrighted work, my use will be acceptable.”
Detailed explanations on the question of Acceptable Use of the work of third parties can be found on the page What is acceptable use ?, created by YouTube itself. It is worth remembering that each country has its own legislation, which must be respected.
Journalist graduated from UFRJ, she has been writing about technology for seven years. Carioca currently lives in Portugal, the country he adopted. In his free time, he enjoys going to the beach, reading, watching movies and doing series marathons. Instagram is your favorite social network, but it is WhatsApp that saves you from missing those who stayed in Brazil.