Add Captions

Add Captions

Captions are text descriptions of audio content in multimedia, like videos. Adding captions to your instructional material can enhance the delivery and reception of the course content.

There are a few ways to create captions for multimedia:

  • Video editing programs or screencast software
  • Video hosting platforms
  • Auto-generating captions

Create Captions with Video Editing Programs

The process for creating and adding captions to your videos varies depending on the video editing program you use. However, there are a few general steps to develop captions with these programs:

  • Create a transcript of the audio.
  • Divide the transcript into captions.
  • Add the captions to the video timeline.

Create a Transcript

When you start creating captions for your video, begin with a transcript. A transcript is a complete and verbatim representation of all the audio in a video contained in a single text file. The transcript provides a holistic account of all the sentences, music, or other audio components in the video, all documented in a single location. When developing a transcript, take note of any breaths or pauses.

Divide the Transcript into Captions

After creating the transcript, divide the text into captions. Captions are the chunks of content spoken together, according to the rhythm and flow of the speaker or audio. These could be complete sentences or even brief phrases. During this step, it's vital to retain an accurate account of the dialogue, music, or other auditory components from the video. Captions must remain equivalent to the audio.

Add Captions to the Video

After creating the captions, add them to the video timeline in the video editing program or screencast software. Adjust and align the captions to be synchronized with the visual and audio components of the video.

Add Captions on Video Hosting Platforms

Several video hosting platforms also provide the ability to add captions to videos directly on their websites. As YouTube and Vimeo are a couple of the more common video hosting platforms, refer to these resources for more information:


Add subtitles and captions


Captions and subtitles

Auto-generate Captions

The final method for adding captions to your videos is by using tools to auto-generate the captions. Although this may be a fast method for quickly developing captions for videos, the quality of the captions is not ideal. Using auto-generating tools is not recommended, as you risk the equivalent and synchronized aspects of well-captioned videos. If you do decide to pursue this option, be sure to check the captions and make changes as necessary to ensure they are equivalent, synchronized, and accessible.


Captions, Transcripts, and Audio Descriptions. WebAIM. (2020, July 1). https://webaim.org/techniques/captions/.

Dooley, K. (2011, May 19). Video Captioning: How-To & Other Resources. SlideShare. https://www.slideshare.net/keirabytes/video-captioning-howto-other-resources.

Author: Katherine Baeckeroot

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