How To Add Captions to Videos

Adding captions to videos is one of the most important video editing processes you can learn. Captions are invaluable to many viewers and almost always make the video more accessible. They allow people with hearing issues or those who use silent mode to watch your video without losing any of the effect.

How To Add Captions to Videos

The good news is that you can add captions to your video in a multitude of editing software or social media platforms. Read below to see the many options for adding captions to your videos.

How to Add Captions to Videos on Instagram

Captions on your Instagram Stories or Reels are a fabulous way to keep viewers engaged. Instagram has a straightforward process for adding them and making the content more accessible without sound. See below for how to add captions to your Instagram videos:

  1. Open your Instagram and head to the Instagram Stories or Reels camera.
  2. Record or upload a previously recorded video from the camera roll on your phone.
  3. Select the text icon.
  4. Type in the caption you would like to use.
  5. At the bottom are four text options for you to choose from. Select the one you like best.
  6. Click on the color wheel at the top of the screen this to change the caption color.

These color options should allow you to have enough design input, so that you can keep the theme of your video even with the limited text fonts. The ease of this captioning feature is a major benefit to the user.

How to Add Captions to Videos on TikTok

While TikTok does let you add captions, this is also the platform with the least customizability for those captions. However, for captions that do well with being generated quickly, TikTok’s automatic captions option does a great job.

Keep going to learn how to add both automatic and manual captions to your TikTok videos.

Automatic TikTok Captions

Automatic TikTok captions are by far the fastest way to insert captions on this platform. However, you should note that this option also leads to more textual errors in the process. Sometimes the automatic transcription just doesn’t catch all the words correctly.

To insert automatic TikTok captions:

  1. Go to your TikTok app.
  2. Create your video.
  3. Tap the “Captions” icon on the right side of your screen.
  4. Captions will auto-generate.

You will not be able to edit these captions once generated. To use editable captions on your TikTok videos, insert manual captions instead.

Manual TikTok Captions

The manual TikTok captions are also straightforward to enter, even though they will take you more time to create. However, with this method, you’ll be able to increase the accuracy in the text content of the video.

To create manual TikTok captions:

  1. Open your TikTok app and create your video.
  2. On the right side of your screen, tap the “Text” icon.
  3. Type in your captions.
  4. Click Done.

This is also the best option to use if you want to create captions in your video but you have no spoken words that the automatic captions can draw from. You can enter manual captions instead and they would create the same effect as captions translating speech to text.

How to Add Captions to Videos on YouTube

YouTube is the prime medium for watching online videos, which makes adding captions to your YouTube videos incredibly important for creators. YouTube actually also uses the video captions during a video’s preview. There’s no sound in these previews, so your captions are a powerful tool to draw in viewers.

There are four ways in which to caption your YouTube video. See below to find which caption type may be best for you.

Automatic YouTube Captions

Sometimes called auto-translate, these captions are currently limited to just thirteen languages. To automatically insert captions via the YouTube platform, follow these steps:

  1. Sign in to your YouTube Studio account.
  2. On the left side of your screen, select the button that says “Subtitles.”
  3. Select the video you want to edit.
  4. Go to the button titled “Set language.”
  5. Pick your preferred language.
  6. Click “Confirm.”
  7. Click the add button.

For longer videos, the ease of inserting these automatic captions can be extremely helpful.

Uploaded YouTube Captions

You can upload a SubRip (.srt) file to use as captions for your YouTube video. To add captions from a file, read below:

  1. Log in to your YouTube Studio account.
  2. On the left sidebar, select “Subtitles.”
  3. Select the video you would like to edit.
  4. Click on “Add Language” and then choose a preferred language.
  5. Go to “Subtitles and click “Add.”
  6. Press on “Upload File.”
  7. Choose “With Timing” or “Without Timing,” and press “Continue.”
  8. Select your file.
  9. Use “Save Draft” or hit “Publish.”

This will upload your formatted captions in the SubRip file to your YouTube video.

Auto-Sync YouTube Captions

The third type of YouTube caption process is through Auto-Sync. This is where you type your transcript which is then synced to the video. To complete auto-sync YouTube captions, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your YouTube Studio account.
  2. Navigate to the “Subtitles” on the left.
  3. Select the video you want to caption.
  4. Click “Add,” located under the subtitles.
  5. Choose the “Auto-Sync” option.
  6. Type the transcript in the text box on the left.
  7. Select “Edit Timings.”
  8. Click “Save and Close.”

Once your transcript is uploaded to the video, your captions will begin to work.

Manual YouTube Captions

The final type of YouTube caption is to manually type them into the video. To enter manual captions in your YouTube video, read below:

  1. Log in to your YouTube Studio account.
  2. Go to “Subtitles” in the left sidebar.
  3. Select the video you want to caption.
  4. Click “Add.”
  5. Choose the “Type manually” option.
  6. Play your video and type your captions.
  7. Adjust timestamps as needed.
  8. Click “Publish.”

This is the slowest caption process that YouTube offers but it gives the most control. If your audio is difficult auto-captioning, manual YouTube captions might be your best option. However, all four caption processes can be useful with different kinds of videos.

How to Add Captions to Videos in Canva

As a social media editor, Canva is a great option for adding customized captions to a video and then uploading it to another platform. To add captions to your video in Canva, see the following steps.

  1. Navigate to Canva.
  2. On the homepage, click the video camera button in the middle.
  3. Select the video template you would like to use.
  4. You will be moved to Canva’s project space. On the left, find the “Uploads” button and click it.
  5. Press the purple “Upload Media” button and the video should load quickly.
  6. On the left side of the page, press the “Text” button.
  7. Click on the text you want to insert into your video.
  8. The desired text should have appeared on the video. Double click it to edit the text.
  9. You can change the color setting by locating the “Text color” symbol.
  10. Above the video you’ll have text options for font, size, and other effects.

Canva offers quite a few customization options for text color, size, font, and even special effects. The service has a free plan with limited settings and a subscription model to unlock all features.

How to Add Captions to Videos on iMovie

Many YouTube videos are first edited in iMovie because of its user-friendly system. Adding captions within iMovie rather than in a secondary posting platform is the best way to customize and edit your captions. To quickly add captions to your iMovie project:

  1. Open iMovie and select the option for “New Project.”
  2. Import your video.
  3. Click and drag the video into the filmstrip area.
  4. Find “T” and select a style.
  5. Type in the text you need.
  6. Adjust the time duration to a 5-second period or whichever time length you prefer.
  7. Right-click the text box and select “Copy.”
  8. Paste the text box every five seconds along the filmstrip until you’ve reached your desired length.
  9. Continue until your video is fully captioned.

This option also allows you to caption only parts of the video if you chose to do so.

How to Add Captions to Videos in Premiere Pro

Premiere Pro is similar to iMovie in how it handles captions. The software is also a great option for adding fully customized captions that match the video’s visual design. To insert captions into a Premiere Pro video:

  1. Open your Premiere Pro project.
  2. Go to the main menu and select “Window.”
  3. Select the “Workspaces” button.
  4. Locate the “Captions” button and press it.
  5. The captions workspace will appear on your screen. Find the “Text” panel and edit your text caption here.
  6. Next locate the “Essential Graphics” panel to make sure that the look of the captions is how you want it.

The graphic options for your captions are displayed pretty prominently and the options are fairly robust that you’ll find what color scheme you need.

How to Add Captions to Videos on Facebook

Facebook is one of the biggest social media platforms in the world and has made video posting a fairly integral part to its community. To improve usability and user-friendliness, Facebook provides three separate options for adding captions to videos. All three processes are generally straightforward and depend entirely on how much editing needs to be done to the captions.

Below are the three ways in which captions can be added to Facebook videos.

Automatic Captions on Facebook

As with other automatic captioning, Facebook provides a speedy, on-off captioning option for its videos. This is a perfect solution for adding captions to shorter or simpler videos. To add automatic Facebook captions:

  1. Select the video you want to work with.
  2. At the top right, click the dot menu.
  3. Click “Edit video.”
  4. From the menu, click on “Captions.”
  5. Find the box titled “Add Auto-Generated Captions” and toggle the on button.
  6. If you want to review all captions before they go live, check the box titled “Don’t Add Captions Until I Review.”
  7. At the bottom, click “Review.”

Unlike other platforms, Facebook does offer an option to view the generated captions before you post. Ideally, this will keep you from discovering that the captions should have been completed manually after the video has already been posted.

Write Manual Captions on Facebook

While they require more user input, manual captions allow for greater editing power and accuracy. You may find yourself choosing this option if the automatic captions weren’t quite what you needed them to be. For example, the error rate may have been too high for your liking, or the automatic captions option was having difficulties with special words or accents. To add manual captions to your Facebook video:

  1. Find the videos you want to caption and click on it.
  2. Click on the dot menu in the top right corner.
  3. Press “Edit video.”
  4. Find the “Edit” option.
  5. In the new menu, find the “Caption” text box.
  6. You can now write or paste your captions into the text box.
  7. Click “Done.”

These manual captions should provide you with what you need in your video. If you find that you still aren’t getting the kinds of captions most appropriate for your video, Facebook offers a third, more advanced captioning option.

Upload Manual Captions on Facebook

You can upload a SubRip (.srt) captions file to Facebook in order to have very precise captions on your video. If your video uses very specific language or advanced terminology you may want to consider creating a .srt file in your video editing software and then uploading it to Facebook. To upload a SubRip captions file:

  1. Find the video you want to edit and click it.
  2. Locate the dot menu on the right.
  3. Select “Edit Video.”
  4. Find the “Edit” option.
  5. A menu will appear and you can pick “Add captions.”
  6. Scroll down to the “Upload” button and press it.
  7. A file browser will open on your computer. Find the .srt file you want to use for this video and select it.
  8. Click “Save.”
  9. Save the upload.

Whether you use automatic captioning, write your own, or upload the .srt caption file, Facebook offers a robust set of options to make sure that your captions are accurate and useable to you.

Captioning Success

When creating a video, it’s important to remember that captions aid the viewer in receiving the video’s message. By adding captions to your videos, you encourage viewers who utilize captioning for any reason to watch your video.

Video editors and social media platforms are adding to their captioning options and trying to make it a useable process for their users. This is to meet the growing demand for easy-to-use and accurate captions.

Have you ever used one of these editors or platforms to add captions to any of your videos? Let us know your experience in the comments below!

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