Video Closed Captioning

Video Closed captioning is useful for those that are hard or void of hearing, along with those that may need written words to understand fully the context of the video. 

If showing a video in class, it is always good practice to turn on the closed captioning for the benefit of all students. 

Find Accessible Videos for Your Class

Whether you are using videos from the textbook manufacturer or on the web, videos should be able to have closed captioning available.

YouTube Search

Videos with captions available will have “CC” underneath the video summary in search results. If you’d like search results to only show videos with captions available, turn on this search filter:

Option 1:

  1. Enter your keywords in the YouTube search bar and add in ", cc" after your query.
  2. Click Search  .

Option 2:

  1. Enter your keywords in the YouTube search bar and click Search  .
  2. Click Filter filter results .
  3. Click Subtitles/CC.

Caption Videos Yourself

You can caption your own videos using one of several free online tools, including:

The process for creating captions using each tool is approximately the same:

  1. Upload the video to the web (most services can caption any video as long as it has a public URL, including videos on YouTube). To keep the video private during the captioning process, don’t publish its URL (YouTube offers this as one of its privacy options).
  2. Provide the video’s URL to the captioning service. Some services also support uploading a video directly to their site.
  3. Use the service’s captioning tool to watch the video and transcribe it. Caption text is displayed in real time on the video as you type.
  4. Review and edit the captions to be sure they’re accurate and easy to follow. The Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP) provides a Captioning Key with guidelines for effective captioning.
  5. Download the captions as a caption file in the appropriate format for your needs.

The end product generated by this process is a caption file. Most caption files are plain text files with time codes indicating start and stop times for each caption. However, there are various types of caption files with slight variations in their syntax. The type of file you need depends on how your video is ultimately being provided. See the following section for links to pages that include this information.

Adding Captions to the Video

For specific instructions, select one of the following options:

Note: It is important to host videos in a format and location that supports captions. Some media players and video hosting providers do not support captions at all. Ask whether captions are supported before choosing a media player or video hosting solution for your videos.