We see videos on the internet more and more, and essentially every social media platform supports video content in 2020. All of this video content has changed the way we view videos every day: 85% of people watching videos on Facebook, for example, watch with no sound. Plus, the broad, nearly universal reach of videos shared online has raised the stakes for accessibility for people with disabilities.

This means that the need for captions is greater than ever, if you’re sharing videos online. Luckily, it’s really simple to do so! There are a few tools that you can use, but I recommend using Kapwing, since it includes free cloud storage, uses an auto-transcription tool, and allows you to customize the way your subtitles look. To add captions to a video using Kapwing, you’ll need to know just 3 steps:

  1. Upload your video to the Kapwing subtitle maker
  2. Create your captions
  3. Process & download

Note: Closed captions or open captions? The term "Closed Caption" is much more familiar, but most of the time, you're looking for open captions. Closed captions can be turned on or off while viewing a video, whereas open captions stay on screen by default. Because of this, using closed captions depends on the video player you're using: YouTube, for example, supports closed captions, but the Facebook video player does not. If you want your video to be accessible on all platforms, it's a good idea to add open captions so they're always visible.

Step 1: Upload Your Video to the Kapwing Subtitle Maker

First, you'll need to find the video you want to subtitle. YouTube, for example, is the internet's most popular video sharing site (by far!), and it automatically generates its own subtitles, but it doesn't allow you to share its closed captions unless you embed it in a post. So if you want to share any accessible video you found online to Facebook, Twitter, and all other major social media platforms, you'll need to get the video yourself and add subtitles to it. To get started, just copy the URL to the video you want to use.

Or, you might want to use a video file that you already have saved on your device. If you have a video of you speaking directly to your viewers, it's a great idea to provide captions for your audience! To get started with a video you have saved, just make sure you know where it is in your file browser.

With either your URL or file location in hand, go to Kapwing.com, click on "Tools" in the top menu, and navigate to the "Subtitler" option in the Tools menu. Now, either paste the URL you copied, or click "Upload" and select the correct video in your file browser.

If you’re planning to make other edits to your video, go to the Studio to add your captions and make any other edits, all in the same place.  All you need to do is go to the Kapwing.com homepage, select “Start Editing,” then select “Start with Studio” – the Subtitle tool is located in the upper toolbar.

Step 2: Create Your Captions

Now, it's time for the important part. Once your video is in the Subtitler tool, you have 2 options. If your video has clear, audible speech, your best bet is to use the auto-transcription tool. It's still in beta testing, but its transcriptions are highly accurate, and will only require you to make a couple of small edits. Just select "Auto-Generate" from the bottom of the window and wait for Kapwing's AI to transcribe your video and set the subtitles' timing.

If your video has significant background noise, or the speech isn't very clear, you'll probably want to add your subtitles manually. Just click the purple "Add Subtitle" button and enter the text spoken in the video, one line at a time. Each new subtitle will be placed immediately after the one before it, and you can change the timing of your subtitles by clicking & dragging the buttons beneath the text.

Step 3: Process & Download

Once you’ve finished adding captions and editing your video, you’re ready to process it. Just click “Publish” in the top right corner of the window. Kapwing will automatically work its magic and your subtitled video will be ready to download in no time. Once Kapwing is done processing, simply click “Download." If you're using a mobile device, select "Download," then press and hold on the video to save it to your camera roll. Your video is now on your device and ready for you to share anywhere.

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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