How To Apply or Edit Closed Captioning To YouTube Video

One of the greatest benefits of hosting videos on YouTube is the ease closed captioning (cc) can be applied.  Once applied, the viewer can choose any one of 100+ languages, choose a font and background colour to their liking directly on the YouTube player and watch the video. In most cases the default settings are adequate.

Here are the steps to adjust the closed captioning.

If Editing YouTube’s Automatic CC or
Uploading a Transcript (see below)

A. Editing YouTube’s Automatic CC

  1. Go to your Video Manager in YouTube > Click on Edit of the video you wish to apply cc.

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2. At the top of the screen, click on ‘Subtitles and CC’ (above).

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3. The screen above will appear.  You can click on the ‘English (Automatic)’  and this will show the cc Google’s voice recognition has created.  There are bound to be errors especially in punctuation, name of persons or if the audio recording is not clear.

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5. By selecting the blue ‘Edit‘ box you can edit the punctuation and cc directly in this sidebar. Click ‘Publish‘ when completed.  If you play the video and select cc in the player your closed captioning sequence will appear.


B. Uploading a Transcript (rtf file)

1. If you would rather upload a transcript, prepare a rtf as you would like the cc to appear.

2. Go back to Step 2, click on ‘Add New Subtitles or CC’ and the screen below will appear. Click on ‘Transcribe and auto-sync‘.

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3. Copy and paste your rtf document into the empty text box so it appears like below:
Check your text, then click the blue ‘Set Timings‘.

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4. You will now have to wait while Google automatically matches your transcription with the automatic voice recognition.  This may take several minutes.

5. You may have to refresh your browser, click on your ‘My Drafts’ to see your new cc. The screen below will appear:

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6. You can edit your new cc or if you like what you see click the blue ‘Publish’ button.

7. Review your cc video and that’s it!  Well done!

About Ken

Ken Hook is a Partner with 45 Degrees Latitude Digital Filming & Production Co. He is a Videographer and an Apple Certified Professional Video Editor, FCPX. Versed in website development and SEO, Ken helps businesses combine video with the web.
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