DIY Video Subtitles: How to add video subtitles

One of the biggest recent changes in the video industry is how important it is to ensure that your videos are understood without sound.

A whopping 85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound!

We produce a variety of promo and broadcast videos that also require social edit formats too, to support the main campaign online. Quite often we are asked to add subtitles to an edit and we are more than happy to help out but did you know that you can actually do it yourself? So, here is a little guide on how you can do just that.

Adding Facebook subtitles

Add Captions to Videos Previously Posted

  • Select the video you intend to add subtitles to.
  • Head to the top right-hand corner to the 3 dots icon and select edit video.
  • Select Subtitles and then captions highlighted below on the right-hand side.
  • Then select English Auto-generated. To check the wording select the pencil icon. From here an editing box will appear where you can replace words and re-time the subtitles. See below.
  • Save draft. See the results here: https://www.facebook.com/soupcreative/videos/1576341989098303/
  • On a desk top simply select the settings icon and turn on captions.
  • On your phone, a cc icon will appear in the top right-hand corner. If you select default the captions will automatically appear when your audio is off and appear when your audio is turned on. If you select English captions will remain on regardless of whether your audio is switch on or off.

Adding subtitles to Facebook Paid Video Ads

  • Go to Power Editor.
  • Click Ads.
  • Choose the campaign and ad set you want your ad to go in. Give your ad a name and click Create.
  • A workspace should appear. In the Create Ad section, fill in the details of your ad. Below Video click Select Video.
  • In the window that appears, click Upload Video. Once your video has finished uploading, click Select.
  • Below Video Captions, you’ll see a drop-down that says Generate Automatically. If you don’t want to choose Generate Automatically, click the drop-down. In the drop-down menu, you’ll be able to choose Upload SRT File to add captions using an SRT file or No Captions if you don’t want to include captions on your video.
  • If you’ve selected Generate Automatically, you’ll see two options: ‘Review manually before they are added’ or ‘Let Facebook review for accuracy and add automatically’. If you don’t make a selection, ‘Review manually before they are added’ will be chosen by default.
      • If you select Review manually before they are added, you’ll have a few options:
      • Option 1: Once your captions are ready to be reviewed, you can click Review in the grey box next to Video Captions Ready for Review. A window will appear. You’ll be able to edit the text in your captions, edit the length of time each caption appears on screen or add an additional line of captions if time permits. Once you’re done, you can either click Save Draft or Apply Caption. If you click Save Draft, your work will be saved and you can come back later to make additional changes. If you click Apply Caption, your captions will be added to your video.
      • Option 2: In the Video Captions Ready for Review section, you’ll also see an option to Share your captions. When you click Share, a window will appear. In that window, copy the URL to send your video’s captions to anyone who needs to review them and make sure the is blue. When your reviewer opens the URL, they’ll see the video caption editor and will be able to click Save Draft or Apply Caption. Keep in mind that the link will expire after 72 hours. If the link expires before the other person is able to review the captions, you can share your captions again.
      • If you shared the URL for your captions with someone but would like to take away their access, click Share in the Video Captions Ready for Review section. In the window that appears, click.
      • Blue = Sharing On
      • Gray = Sharing Off
      • If you select ‘Let Facebook review for accuracy and add automatically’, your captions will be reviewed by Facebook and applied to your video after review. Keep in mind that it may take up to 24 hours for your captions to be reviewed and applied to your video.
  • Note: If you selected ‘Review manually before they are added’, you’ll receive a notification on Facebook once your video’s captions are generated. If you selected Let Facebook review for accuracy and add automatically, you’ll receive a notification on Facebook once your captions have been reviewed and applied to your video.
  • Once you’ve completed your ad, click the green ‘Review Changes’ button to publish your changes.

Things to Remember:

  • Currently, automated captions are only available for the English language.
  • Automated captions are not yet available for video carousel ads, video ads on Instagram, 360 videos or Canvas.
  • When creating video ads in Power Editor, your video captions will be generated after uploading your video. Keep in mind that it may take several minutes for your captions to generate.

Adding subtitles to YouTube

Here’s how you can review automatic captions and make changes if needed:

  • Go to your Video Manager by clicking your account in the top right > Creator Studio > Video Manager > Videos.
  • Next to the video you want to add captions or subtitles to, click the drop-down menu next to the Edit button.
  • Select Subtitles/CC.
  • If automatic captions are available, you’ll see Language (Automatic) in the ‘Published’ section to the right of the video.

Things to Remember:

  • Automatic captions are available in English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.
  • If automatic captions are available, they’ll automatically be published on the video. Automatic captions may not be ready at the time that you upload a video. Processing time depends on the complexity of the video’s audio.
  • YouTube is constantly improving its speech-recognition technology. However, automatic captions might misrepresent the spoken content due to mispronunciations, accents, dialects or background noise. You should always review automatic captions and edit any parts that haven’t been properly transcribed.

Adding subtitles to Instagram

Unfortunately, Instagram does not yet support automatic closed captioning but we are sure they aren’t far behind. Here are some alternatives:

  • You can ask us to add the subtitles to the edit before you upload it to Instagram but note that open captions cannot be turned off.
  • Place the closed caption video on YouTube, Facebook or Vimeo, and post a link to the captioned video in the Instagram caption. Example of a caption of an Instagram video:

Top Tip

Just remember that if you choose to add the subtitles yourself this does not mean your viewers will see the subtitles but instead they will have to choose to show the captions. This may not have the desired effect as not all viewers know about this setting.

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