Some of the most important media we consume every day is presented in videos. We rely on videos for our news briefs, updates from friends, livestreams, and viral social content. But videos present several difficulties: what if you only want to share a quote from a video, perform a quick text analysis on an entire speech, or provide a transcription that can help make a video more accessible for both video-impaired and audio-impaired individuals?

In this article, I’m going to walk you through the steps you’ll need to follow in order to transcribe a YouTube video. I’m going to use a free online tool called Kapwing to transcribe my audio. Kapwing is especially useful because it works on your computer, phone, or tablet, and it allows you transcribe videos online, without needing to download any editing software. And if you’re a Kapwing Pro subscriber, you can streamline your transcription process by downloading an SRT file from your video! To transcribe a YouTube video, you’ll need to go through just four simple steps:

  1. Find Your YouTube Video
  2. Upload Your Video to the Kapwing Subtitler
  3. Auto-Transcribe Your Video
  4. Copy or Download Your Transcription

Step 1: Find Your YouTube Video

This step couldn’t be simpler. You probably already know what video you want to transcribe, but if you’re struggling to find it, just go to YouTube.com! From here, search for the title of the video you’re looking for, a description of it, or some related terms. Once you’ve found your video, right-click on its URL at the top of the window and select “Copy.” If you’re working on your phone, select the “Share” arrow, then “Copy URL.”

Just copy the link to upload your video to Kapwing!

Step 2: Upload Your Video to the Kapwing Subtitler

Now you’re ready to import your video to Kapwing! With your URL copied, go to Kapwing.com. From the homepage, select “Products” from the top of the window and find “Subtitler.” Now, just right-click in the URL field and select “Paste.” Kapwing will automatically upload your video to the subtitler tool!

A look at Kapwing's subtitling tool.

Step 3: Auto-Transcribe Your Video

Your video is now ready for transcription. Click the green “Auto-Generate” button, select your output language, and begin the auto-transcription process! For longer videos, this could take a couple minutes, but the video’s text will be transcribed automatically.

Just click "Auto-generate" and Kapwing will transcribe your video!

When the video has finished auto-subtitling, you can go through to fix its punctuation and any other errors that may have resulted from unclear speech. The suto-subtitler is still in Beta, but the transcriptions are almost fully accurate, and any transcription errors occur due to unclear speech or heavy background noise.

Step 4: Copy or Download Your Transcription

Once your text appears the way you want, copy the subtitles into your own document! Triple-clicking on a subtitle will automatically highlight the whole line, so copying and pasting your transcription is smooth and easy.

A Pro subscription allows you do download SRT files from your transcribed videos!

And if you’re a Kapwing Pro subscriber, there’s a shortcut! With a Pro subscription, you can download your subtitles’ SRT file, which contains the entire text transcription of the video’s audio. With your SRT file in hand, you can simply rename the file with a TXT ending (change ".srt" to ".txt"), and your subtitles will appear in a plaintext file!

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 blog – we’re constantly writing new tutorial and features to help you make the most out of Kapwing.