All types of media can exclude potential audience members, and some accessibility features are extremely commonplace: subtitle options for movies, Braille signage, text-to-speech software. As video & multimedia creation are becoming more and more widespread and accessible, their accessibility features often lag far behind.
Did you know, more than 35,000,000 people (13%) report some degree of hearing trouble in the US? (Source) Online videos are often inaccessible to audiences with hearing disabilities. If you spend time on Twitter, for example, you've surely seen the common comments under posts: "Could you add subtitles to this please?" And with YouTube, the most popular video sharing site in the world, removing its Community Captions feature, truly universal video accessibility options are still limited.
But you can be part of the solution: here's a quick and simple method to add subtitles to a full episode of a TV show online:
- Upload the entire clip to the Kapwing Studio
- Add your subtitles
- Export, download, and share
Step 1: Upload the entire clip to the Kapwing Studio
Here, you have a few options to upload your video file. If you have it saved on your device or external drive, you can click the Upload button and find it in your file browser. Or, if it’s been uploaded to YouTube or stored online in DropBox or Google Drive, you can simply paste the link to its online location.
You'll probably need to upgrade your workspace to Kapwing Pro in order to add subtitles to the entire episode, since your free upload limit is 7 minutes in length. With a Pro workspace, you get full access to all of Kapwing's professional-level features, including unlimited online project storage for anyone in your Pro workspace, real-time collaboration with every member of your workspace, fully private content, and a 40-minute, 1GB upload limit for videos.
Step 2: Add and edit your subtitles
With most captioning tools, adding your subtitles can be a long and difficult process. But with Kapwing, it can take you just a couple minutes to create & edit your subtitles, even for long clips like TV episodes. And with customization options for font, color, style, outline, size, and position, you can make your captions look exactly the way you want.
Click the button in the upper toolbar that says "Subtitles." Here you have two choices – either enter each caption as it comes, adjusting the timing with the buttons below, or scroll down and click "Auto-Generate." Adding your captions manually is actually a lot quicker than it sounds, but the auto-generate option can save a lot of time, especially for longer videos.
If you used the auto-generate feature, your captions will probably have a few errors in them, especially if there's any music in the background. So before you hit "Export," go through the added captions and make sure the text matches the words in the video.
You'll notice a little check box in the auto-generate pop up window for translation. You can use this tool to translate and generate subtitles in other languages too. Here's a tutorial if you're curious.
Step 3: Export, download, and share the subtitled video
Once your subtitles are accurate and formatted the way you want, click the red Export button in the upper right corner. Kapwing will begin processing your captioned video – for TV episodes, this will likely take several minutes.
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