adding captions to YouTube videos

Consider this, like, a gentle hack to create accurate closed captioning for video blogs or video lectures. The first step is to upload a video to your YouTube account (I prefer to leave them unlisted if I’m posting to a class space and don’t need the video to be searchable).

Once uploaded, select “edit video.” Select “transcriptions,” and you’ll be prompted to set your language. Canadian English is an option, which is nice, but I’m not sure it has any impact on the captioning. It’s worth noting that automatic captioning is only an option for videos in the following languages: English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.

Under “transcriptions,” find the one labeled “automatic” and click the arrow next to “published.” Then hit the “edit” button on the top right of the page. This allows you to edit the machine-generated captions, add punctuation, edit out your filler words, etc. Make sure you save your changes before you exit the video editor.

Video with sample captions. The first five screens of captions have been edited, while the final two screens show the machine captions as they are autogenerated.