Captioning Resources

There are a number of resources that will allow you to produce your own captions, or that will caption a video for you.

On this page:

Creating Your Own Captions

Transcription Software

Several programs can facilitate transcript generation for you. Express Scribe is a free program that works on both PCs and Macs. It lets you play audio with precise, easy-to-use controls to play, pause and rewind in short increments. It also can be minimized and ”pinned” so you have access to its controls while typing in another window. Additionally, it will play audio directly from video files, so you don’t need to worry about converting your files from one format to another.

Type transcripts in a plain-text editor such as Notepad and do not use special characters such as slanted quotes or em–dashes.

Web-Based Services

There are several websites that will allow you to produce your own captions for free.  These include Amara.org and Subtitle Horse.  To subtitle your video, follow these steps:

  1. Upload your video to the web.
  2. Provide the video's URL to the captioning service.
  3. Use the captioning tool to watch the video and transcribe audio to text.
  4. Review and edit the captions for accuracy.
  5. Download the caption file in the appropriate format.

You may wish to explore using speech recognition technology to caption your videos faster.  Programs such as Dragon Naturally Speaking will allow for automatic translation of your voice.  You will need to spend some time training the program to recognize your voice, and it will still be necessary to proofread the text to ensure that the translation is accurate.

YouTube Captioning

Subtitles and closed captions open up your content to a larger audience, including deaf or hard of hearing viewers or those who speak languages besides the one spoken in your video.  Within YouTube's help pages, you can create captions for your videos.

Outsourcing

Many services offer captioning for a reasonable fee.  These include:

Formatting and Style

The Described and Captioned Media Program has developed a detailed guide to captioning video, and it is well worth a look. We recommend you follow their standards for language mechanics (punctuation, capitalization, etc.) and handling sound effects, dialect, tone and other special considerations in preparing transcripts.

Resources