Want to reach more people and make your videos more accessible, but too tired to do the work of manually typing out subtitles? Creators need an automated solution to save them the time and energy of tediously transcribing videos to generate an SRT file, add closed captions, or embed subtitles directly into the video file before sharing on social media.

Kapwing launched an AI-powered auto-subtitling tool to solve this problem and speed up the process of adding captions to videos. In this article, I describe why we built the Auto-Subtitle Maker and how to use to to enhance your videos.

Free subtitle maker online

How to Automatically Generate Subtitles on a Video

Get started by uploading your video to the Kapwing Studio. Video creators can upload an MP4 file or import their video from YouTube then click the green “Auto-generate” button. After a couple of minutes, their generated subtitles will appear in the editor. Then, they can tweak and perfect the subtitles before burning them directly into their video.

Auto-subtitle box and language selector

Using a voice recognition technology, Kapwing listens to the audio track of your video and automatically transcribes the words. After the text is generated, use Kapwing's Subtitle Editor to review, correct any misspellings, punctuation, or missing text, and adjust the timings before exporting the video.

After you've generated your subtitles, use Kapwing to resize and tweak the styling of the text on the video before burning the captions into your MP4. Alternatively, you an upgrade to Kapwing Pro to download an .SRT file for use across social media platforms.

How Do Auto Subtitles Work?

Kapwing leverages Google's "smart" voice recognition API to listen to the audio in your video and transfer it into words for the bottom of your video. It can generate subtitles in any language. Our language drop-down menu allows users to select their dialect to make the transcription more accurate. For example, if you're from the UK and speak with a British accent, you can select English (UK) for a more accurate transcription.

Video tutorial on auto subtitles on Kapwing

In our experience, the auto-transcription is about 90% accurate.

At Kapwing, we believe that machine learning should be a tool to complement rather than replace creative skills. That’s why the Kapwing subtitler imports the AI-generated transcription into a full editor that you can adjust and change. Creators add their subtitles only once they’ve reviewed, tweaked, and perfected the text that will appear on their video.

Automated subtitling is Kapwing’s first technology that uses AI to supplement human creativity. Auto-Subtitling will save social media creators time without sacrificing the clarity and engagement that captions add for video viewers.

Screenshot of Kapwing's Subtitle Maker

Using the most cutting edge technologies developed by Google and IBM, automated transcripts are still only 70-95% accurate. However, Kapwing’s Subtitle Maker allows creators to go through and correct the words and timing that the Auto-Subtiler gets wrong. For example, computers might misspell the name “Kathryn” as “Catherine” or might hear the name “Catherine” when the character actually says “Cat — I’m in!” But Kapwing creators and style, enhance, and correct the captions before adding them to their video. They can also add in additional annotations, labels, and punctuation to emphasize the meaning.

Why Add Subtitles Automatically?

Captions make videos more accessible to people with hearing disabilities. They also enhance viewer’s engagement with video clips on social media, making them more clear and memorable. Since Kapwing burns the videos directly into the video file (known as "open captions"), they will appear with the same style for every person who views the video.

We hope that auto-subtitling will encourage more creators to subtitle their videos on Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms. People have even started adding subtitles on TikToks.


Please reach out to Team Kapwing on Twitter or over email if you run into issues or have ideas for improvement. Kapwing engineers are tweaking the AI to be faster and more accurate across languages. We're happy to offer Kapwing's free video transcribing service for free for shorter videos. We’re excited about the potential that internet-connected tech unlocks for video editors and looking forward to seeing this tool in the hands of creators.

Kapwing's editor is fully collaborative, meaning that a team, group, or community of people can subtitle videos together. Create a shared workspace with your team to work together in real time on videos for social media (and don't forget the captions).

Please 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.

Related Articles:
How to Edit Videos with Kapwing
How to Add a Voiceover with Subtitles
7 Web Accessibility Lessons You Might not Know
How to Add Bilingual Subtitles