Transcribing video is a powerful way to ensure your audience (whether it's on YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, etc) sees and understands your message, even if they don’t have sound on. However, transcribing video by hand is a painful and time consuming process.

So, how do you unlock the power of transcription without wasting precious time and energy? Luckily, Kapwing’s free subtitler tool can help you unlock this super power with an AI powered transcriber that writes and times words for you. Whether you need to add subtitles or make a transcript, start right now by following these steps:

  1. Upload your video file
  2. Add the transcription
  3. Edit the text in the editor
  4. Create and download

1. Upload your audio or video file

First, open Kapwing’s subtitler tool and click ‘Upload’ and open your video file or paste a URL in the box to the right. If you need to edit the video first, we published another tutorial on that topic, here.

Once the subtitler page opens, look to the bottom right where it says ‘Uploading … XX%’ to check whether your file is ready to be transcribed.

2. Add the transcription

To add the transcription, you have a few options. You can click ‘Add subtitle’ to start entering text manually, click ‘Auto-generate’ to add subtitles automatically or click ‘Upload .SRT’ to add an existing text file to the video.

For this tutorial, I’d highly recommend the ‘Auto-generate’ feature to save time and add a baseline of text which you can edit later. This feature is powered by AI so the timing is determined automatically; however, the text might not be 100% accurate.

3. Edit text in the editor

Once the subtitles are created, it’s time to match the text with your creative preferences and correct any mistakes. To change style and positioning, look to the left side and experiment with different fonts, colors, position and backgrounds. If you want, add borders to your video under the ‘Video Options’ on the bottom left (borders help your audience read the text!).

To correct any mistakes, watch the video back and look for errors in your grammar or the timing of the subtitles.

For grammar errors, simply click the subtitle and manually correct the text. For timing errors, click each timestamp to use the ↑ ↓ or ← → arrow keys or adjust the handles on each subtitle’s respective timeline to make finer adjustments.

Quick note: if you want to make a transcript, simply copy and paste the text to a separate document.

4. Create and download

When you’ve finished transcribing, watch your video back to make sure everything looks and reads exactly how you want. Once you’re done, just click ‘Create’ at the bottom left and Kapwing will start processing the final project.

After processing, you’ll be able to review the finished product and hit ‘Download’ on the right side to save your video and prepare for upload. Now that you’ve transcribed your video, you can share this with the world and be sure your audience sees and understands your unique message!

Remember to tag us @KapwingApp whenever you share your content on social media– we love to see what our creators are passionate about! And be sure to subscribe to the Kapwing Resources page – we’re constantly writing new tutorial and features to help you make the most out of Kapwing.


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