You probably are familiar with video captions. You might be watching a Spanish video on YouTube but don't know Spanish. To understand what is being said, you turn on captions. 

So, it goes without saying that captions are necessary in this globalized world. While making videos, be it an explainer video, product video, etc., captions can give you an upper hand and make you stand out. It has become an unavoidable part of Video Editing

In this blog, I will tell you about captions and how to add captions to YouTube videos in detail. After reading this blog, you will understand the purpose of captions, why you need to add captions, and how to add captions to your videos

What are captions?

Captions translate the audio content of webcasts, videos, television broadcasts, live events, or any media productions into text. Captions help those who find it hard to hear, or it becomes an accessible learning tool for students with or without hearing loss. 

Open and closed captions are two typical types of captions you may have heard of. Closed captions can be “closed” or removed from view, whereas open captions are fixed and often burned into the video.

How to add captions to your videos?

Let's make this a 3 step process to keep things simple. 

Step 1: Create a new caption file

  • You need to import your video to which you will add captions. For that, open Adobe Premiere Pro and import your video. 
  • Now click the new item button at the bottom of the Project Panel and select the captions option. 
  • A new caption task is added in the Project Panel, and on the screen, a new dialogue box will appear on the setting of the video screen to match the caption to the video size. 
  • Before creating your new caption file, you can manually adjust the width, height, frame rate, and pixel aspect ratio.
  • You have four options for captions: three for closed captions, and one is an open caption. Ensure you enable the closed captions display in the program monitor and select the correct caption type. 
  • You must add captions by dragging the captions file from the project panel into the timeline.

Step 2: Adding, timing, and formatting your captions

  • Select the caption file from the timeline and use the caption panel to add the text. You can also add the format of your text. 
  • If you are unable to find the caption panel, go to the windows menu and select the captions option. Click the plus button to add a new text box in the caption panel. Ensure that the In and Out points match the spoken word.
  • You can view the captions in the timeline by expanding the video track. You can use the formatting options, including a few types of captions. These include pop-on, paint-on, and 2-4 roll-up lines. 
  • You may also find simple positioning options. With the open caption, there are a few extra features or options that you can use, such as additional fonts and size adjustments.

Step 3: Export

  • Use the caption tab in the export settings dialogue box to export the caption as a Burn-in or a Sidecar file. A burn-in will come naturally into the video file, and the viewers cannot turn off the text in the video. 
  • You will be given an additional .scc file when you export the video as a Sidecar file, which you can use to upload or deliver your video files.

Adding and editing auto-captions to videos

The easiest way to caption a video is to upload it on YouTube, use the auto-captions option, and then modify it manually. It uses a speech recognition application to generate captions from the videos you have uploaded in over 12 different languages. Yet, due to the feature's inaccuracy, it is essential to edit auto-captions after they have been created.

Benefits of adding captions in videos

1. Deaf or hard-of-hearing viewers

Since closed captions were created to give an equal entertainment experience for the deaf and hard of hearing, content accessibility is undoubtedly an essential advantage of transcription. Transcripts are the whole plain text form of all captions created.

Transcription and captioning provide a vital option for the 48 million Americans with hearing loss and the 360 million globally. Closed captions allow these users to watch your video material, boosting your audience.

2. Sound-sensitive viewing

Captions enable users to see your videos without audio. If someone is on a noisy train or on a crowded street, subtitles will express their conversation.

Captions also allow viewers to watch videos on silent in a library, workplace, or train. These days, most social media networks autoplay videos on quiet.

3. SEO indexing

To achieve this, Google utilizes web crawlers, commonly called spiders or Google bots. These web crawlers regularly analyze and index web pages on Google. Thus, Google knows what to show you.

But web crawlers can't see videos. As a result, plenty of video content is missed. Web crawlers can use closed captions to index videos if uploaded with closed captions, helping you rank better than your competitors on Google's first page.

Google can only index closed captions. Closed captions are text files incorporated in video files. Open captions included in the video can't be indexed.

4. Content that can be easily repurposed

It's difficult to sort through hours and hours of recorded video and audio to choose the best bits to utilize in clips, reels, and montages. However, this is a common practice among market researchers and content producers.

To use the transcripts as testimonials, direct quotes may be grabbed with a simple copy and paste. It is possible to create report outlines or study aids using transcripts.

5. Translation into foreign languages that is convenient

Finding a way to get your video footage translated is the first step in creating subtitles in other languages. The Internet is at the heart of today's global society, where everything begins and ends.

Translations of transcripts and captions can help your content reach a larger audience while also improving its search engine optimization (SEO)

All set to add captions to your videos?

I hope this blog helped you understand how to add captions to videos and their benefits. You can now make sure that your videos are uploaded with captions so that they can be accessible by all, and you can get more viewers, thereby enhancing your video's SEO rankings. 

If you are looking to create videos or are in need of video editing services, contact us! Know more by visiting

Editor: Divya Verma

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, you can add subtitles or closed captions to most YouTube videos. If you own the video, you can easily upload your own subtitles or use YouTube's automatic captioning feature. For videos you don't own, you can request the uploader to add subtitles if they haven't already.

Certainly, you can add captions to a YouTube video after it's been uploaded. YouTube provides a user-friendly captioning tool that allows you to manually create and synchronize captions with your video. Additionally, if you have a transcript, you can upload it to generate captions automatically.

Adding captions to videos typically involves using a captioning tool or software. On YouTube, you can add captions by going to your video's settings, selecting “Subtitles,” and then choosing to add subtitles manually or through automatic transcription. You can type the captions as you watch the video or upload a transcript.

If subtitles are not available for a YouTube video, you have a few options. First, you can check if automatic captions are available, though their accuracy may vary. If not, you can request the video owner to add captions or provide a transcript. Some users in the YouTube community might also create and upload captions for videos, so you can look for community-contributed subtitles if available.