Subtitles are a must in 2021: 85% of people watching videos on Facebook, for example, watch with no sound.

An infographic detailing different ways to ensure subtitles are accessible to all audiences.

Get Started Now – Use Kapwing to create subtitles using any font for your video content.

You'll often see the debate online – subtitles or dub? Many people simply don’t enjoy the visual disturbance of subtitles. And this makes sense: most subtitles you see are small, plain gray & white in a boring, plain font. The subtitles you are used to seeing don’t often add much visual character to the video they transcribe.

That’s why it’s a great idea to customize your subtitles with the exact font, color, size, position, and style you want! Your captions shouldn’t distract from your video, but enhance it – here’s how to make sure they do.

  1. Use an accessible font
  2. Choose your position carefully
  3. Format your videos for different locations

1. Use an accessible font

Common fonts for subtitles include Arial, Calibri, Cambria, Times New Roman – all of the standard, document-style fonts that you’re used to seeing everywhere else. Most places where you can make subtitles let you use any of these standard font types and select the one that works best for your video.

A screenshot showing various fonts being used to add subtitles in Kapwing.

But if you want your video project to have a bit more character, you can choose a less traditional font. Kapwing has hundreds of font types to choose from, so your captions can have exactly the type of flair they need. Just upload a video or paste a link in the Kapwing subtitle maker and customize every aspect of your caption text using the tools on the left-hand side of the screen. You can even save time by using the auto-transcription feature and let AI generate your subtitles.

2. Choose your position carefully

We’re used to seeing subtitles appear at the bottom of the screen while a video is playing, but that isn’t always the best option. Sometimes the bottom edge of a video has scrolling headlines, names, locations, and other valuable information.

A screenshot showing different subtitle positions in Kapwing.

In cases where the bottom portion of the screen contains important information, you don’t need to cover it with subtitles! Instead, you can move your subtitle layer to the top of the video, or even entirely below or above the video frame by adding blank padding to the edges.

3. Format your videos for the places you’ll share them

Sometimes, you can ensure that your subtitles don’t interfere with your video whatsoever. Most social media platforms, for example, give a bit of flexibility in presenting video content. Facebook, Twitter (desktop), LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest, to name a few, all show videos at least as tall as a square in users’ feeds. Even YouTube now supports a broad range of aspect ratios in its viewer.

Screenshots showing different video formats on different social platforms.
Different platforms can make your subtitles easier or harder to see, depending on their formatting.

This means that your captions don’t have to cover any part of your video – instead, you can add padding to the bottom of the frame. It’s likely that your video is in a 16:9 or 5:4 aspect ratio, depending on how you recorded and edited it. Some platforms like Twitter, as you can see, show video information in the actual frame, so you should make sure your subtitles not only don't interfere with your video, but aren't blocked by any other information, as well.

I hope this article helps you customize your subtitle font whenever you need to add captions to your video content! For more tips and tutorials on creating high-quality, accessible digital content in 2021, check out Kapwing's YouTube channel. And while you're here, look through some other articles on adding custom captions to videos online:

How to Add Open or Closed Captions to Any Video Online
How to Make a Video Essay Online
Meme Fonts: Which Ones to Use and How
How to Add Bilingual Subtitles to a Video