In the age of remote learning, lecture videos are Internet gold (I’m currently averaging two a day). Watching them is a treat, but subtitling them is, well, basically awful. The average person says between 250 and 500 words per minute - that's more than 5,000 words in a 40-minute lecture!

But before you throw in the towel on subtitles, you may be interested to know that adding them instantly makes your videos more shareable, likable, and engaging. More importantly, videos with subtitles are more inclusive of deaf and hard of hearing viewers.

At Kapwing, we make it easy for you to edit all of your favorite videos using the Kapwing Studio, and with a Pro subscription, adding subtitles to lecture videos is a breeze. It may seem like a tricky business, but we’ve made it foolproof. Here’s how to do it:

1. Upload and Edit your lecture video

2. Type, Time, and Design your subtitles

3. Export and Share your lecture video online

1. Upload and Edit your lecture video

Once you’ve upgraded your account to Pro, head over to your Kapwing Workspace and click on the "Video Maker" tab under Tools. Here, you can edit your lecture video, insert screenshots from your lecture slides, and fine-tune the audio. Kapwing Pro processes videos up to 40 minutes long, so make sure your lecture video clocks in under 40 before adding subtitles.

Upload your video or paste its URL and click "Trim."

Slide the selection tool to shave off time from the start and/or end of the video. If you want to take out bits from the middle, click "Add Cut" and select the sections you’d like to remove.

When you're done, click "Done" and then Export and Download your video. Feel free to skip this step if your lecture video is ready to go.

2. Type, Time, and Design your Subtitles

Head back to your Kapwing Workspace, click on the "Subtitler" tab under Tools, and upload your newly-edited lecture video or paste its URL.

Click the Play button to start your lecture video. Got the first line of your lecture down? Under the play bar, type it into the subtitle placeholder ("Write your subtitle here..."), and your subtitle will appear over your video.

Tip: For easy reading, keep each subtitle to 2 lines max.

Next, use the timestamps below your subtitle to adjust its in and out points (aka the times your subtitle appears and disappears). Play your lecture video from the beginning and hit pause when the first line of your lecture is spoken. In this example, it hits at 02:16.

Click "Set to current time" under the in point (left) and the timestamp will automatically be added to the subtitle. Repeat this step for the out point (right). You can also click on the timestamp itself and use your keyboard's Up and Down arrows to set the time manually or slide the selection tool below.

Under Text Options, you can change the subtitles' font style, size, color, background color, and position on the video (we’ve got more tips and tricks for subtitle texts on our Resources page). Under Video Options, you can change the video from its original format to fit Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc.

Click "+ Add subtitle" to add your next subtitle and repeat Step 2. You can also try our "Auto-generate" feature, which uses AI technology to automatically transcribe and time the subtitles for you! It may not get every word right, but it's an excellent time-saver when editing on a deadline. Whichever method you prefer, we recommend watching your entire video with the subtitles before publishing.

If you want to publish subtitles in a different language, you can also automatically translate captions in a different language.

Need some clarification on the difference between closed and open captions? Check out this article and video we recently published on the topic.

3. Export and Share your Lecture Video

When you’re done subtitling your lecture video, click the "Export" button, and your finished lecture video will be processed and ready for you to download, share, and embed. You can share the URL with students, post it on Schoology or your class website, or embed it on your class page. If you notice a typo, you can go back using the "Edit" button and make changes.  

Don't forget to tag us @kapwing and #kapwing on social media and YouTube. We want in on the learning, too!

With a Pro subscription to Kapwing, you have access to all of our premium features. Enjoy uploading custom fonts, priority access to customer support, infinite storage, and more. Got questions? Drop us a line or hit up our Help Center.

add subtitles to a lecture video

Related Articles: