Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Accessibility: Best Practice Guide for Library Staff

Captioning in YouTube

*Any of these methods can be used when you have a video file available for upload. 

Use the Automatically Generated Captions from YouTube

  • Available in ten languages including English.
  • Captions are generated by machine learning algorithms and often contain errors.
  • Captions are not immediately available upon upload. Lag time depends on length and complexity of video.
  • Review and editing is necessary with this method.

Watch a Video: Automatic Captions


Create Transcript File and Upload It

  • Best for videos less than one hour long.
  • The transcript file is text only and does not need to be synced for time. YouTube uses speech recognition technology to match the transcript file to the video.
  • View YouTube's Tips for Creating a Transcript File.

Watch a Video: Captioning with Transcript


Transcribe and Auto-sync

  1. Listen to the video and type what you hear in the box provided.
  2. Choose set timings after you are done typing to have the timing of the captions automatically synced by YouTube.

Watch a Video: Transcribe and Autosync


Create Your Own Captions 

  1. Type what you hear in your video, making sure each caption is not to long (Amara recommends a max of 42 characters per line)

  2. Use the timing ruler provided to set the timing for each caption.

Watch a Video: New Subtitles


Resources for Captioning in YouTube

Captioning in Amara

* This is the method you must use for videos created in Canvas or in other cases where you only have a URL link for your video.

Getting Started:

  1. Create an account in Amara or log into an existing account.
  2. Paste the link for your video into Amara.
  3. Select Add a New Language to create a new captions.
  4. Begin creating your captions by listening to your video and typing what you hear.
  5. Each line of text cannot exceed 42 characters.
  6. Proceed until you have typed text for your entire video.

Watch a Video- Closed Captions: Getting Started in Amara


Two Methods of Syncing

  1. Use keyboard controls to set timing for your captions OR

  2. Use the timing ruler to move the caption boxes to match the appropriate timing.

Watch a Video- Syncing in Amara


Completing the Process 

  1. Review video to make sure captions are complete and correct.

  2. Publish the captions.

  3. Upload your captions to your video.

Watch a Video - Publishing your Captions


Additional Resources for Amara

  • Home page for - Amara allows you to create captions for many YouTube and Vimeo videos even if the videos are not in your own account.
  • Amara Support Center – FAQs, instructions, and tutorials
  • From The National Center on Disability and Access to Education (NCDAE) - Cheatsheets (One-page "how-tos" on everything from Word docs and web sites  to videos designed for the less technically-minded)
Creative Commons License
Royal Holloway Library LibGuide by Royal Holloway Library is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.