Did you know that a survey of U.S. consumers found that 92% view videos with the sound off on mobile? Captions are starting to become a necessary part of the video creation process for content creators everywhere. When people watch videos, they're much more likely to absorb and remember the message if they can read the words that they're hearing in the video.
Sometimes you want your captions to be bright yellow or a specific brand hex code to match other visual elements on social media. Or, you might want to alternate colors of the subtitles for different speakers. Perhaps changing the color of the subtitles will make it higher contrast and better for accessibility.
However, for most video platforms that support closed captions, it's not possible to change the color of the subtitles. The video website - like YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter - will show the subtitles in whatever default color they use (often white). If you want to specify the color of the subtitles, you'll need to burn the captions directly into the MP4 so that you can control the appearance of the text.
In this tutorial, I'll show you how add colored captions to your video or change the color of the subtitles if you have them already. You can make your captions whatever color you like by styling the text and adding it permanently to your video. I recommend a free online video editor called Kapwing that makes it quick and easy to add subtitles, even in other languages. You can style the text's font, size, color, position, and other elements of the caption text's appearance.
- Upload video
- Add & edit subtitles
- Change color of the captions
Step 1: Upload video to Kapwing
Enter the Studio, Kapwing's all-in-one home for editing videos and creating captions. If your video is saved on your computer, upload it directly to Kapwing. If the video has a URL (like a YouTube or Google Drive clip), paste it in to import directly to Kapwing.
For this example I'm using a video from YouTube of Amazon's Jeff Bezos answering a question in front of an audience in 2017. I'm doing what the social media manager should've done and add Amazon-orange subtitles!
Step 2: Add & edit subtitles
Click the subtitles tab in the top menu to enter the specialized subtitle editor.
You can manually enter your subtitles by clicking the purple "+ Add subtitles" button and typing the caption text. Or, you can automatically generate the subtitles with the green Auto-Generate button. If you already have the subtitles in an SRT file, you can upload the SRT file to Kapwing to import the existing subtitles.
Note: The "Auto-generate" pop-up window has a multilingual feature. Here's a full tutorial on how to add foreign subtitles.
STEP 3: Change the Color of the Subtitles
While you're in the subtitle editor, after your text has been confirmed to be correct, you'll find you can edit color and font options in the left sidebar. Under "Text options," click the white dot to change the text color to orange.
Here, you can select any text color that you want. Choose from the preset options or enter a custom hex code in the input box.
In the "Text Options" area, you can also change the font size, font family, and alignment. For my video, I tried to match Amazon's brand kit by using their specific hex code for the font color and uploading a custom look-alike Amazon font. I also bolded the text and change the size to 16.
If you only want the subtitles to be a different color for part of the video, you can also change the color of one individual subtitle. Click on that subtitle line that you want to be a different color and change the color of that particular subtitle. Use the popover menu when the text is selected to change the caption's settings.
When you've changed the color of the subtitles and are happy with the way they look, click "Done" to go back to the Studio.
For my video, I wanted to go a step further... I edited the canvas size to be square with titles on the top and bottom. I also changed the speed of the video and changed the brightness and contrast. The final piece looked great!
Step 4: Publish
When your video preview looks right, click the red "Publish" button to add captions to your video. Kapwing will add the subtitle text directly into the video so that the captions will appear in their specified color whenever someone watches the MP4. After a few moments, you can download the subtitled video, publish it on social media, or share the URL with your friends.
Thanks for reading! We hope that this article helps creators make their videos more accessible and compelling while matching brand standards and bringing their colorful vision to life.