What is video captioning?


Video captioning is a real-time transcription of the video. The transcript is displayed as subtitles at the bottom of the video image. Each internal voice is transcribed, sometimes noises and sounds are also transcribed.


Video subtitling consists of 3 steps: transcription, sequencing and blocking.

During transcription the audio is transformed into text. Then the text is sequenced to transform it into a subtitle line and then the timing is taken care of, i.e. the time stamping of the subtitles (time codes are added to indicate the input and output time of the subtitle display). The timing step synchronizes the text to the video. Subtitles should not be displayed after the spoken words, they should start 50 to 200 ms before.


Nowadays subtitling is no longer confined to television or cinema. It is also possible to use it for internal communication, as part of a content strategy,

How to transcribe a video?

To make a video transcription, you have several possibilities: you can do it yourself by hand or with the help of a tool or software, or you can ask a professional to do it for you. The latter solution is the most expensive and the first one the most time-consuming. We present you with two solutions.

By hand

If you decide to do everything by hand, you must transcribe the text of the audio into a Word or Google doc type document by watching the video and writing down every word said.


With the help of a tool / software :

The previous solution is long and tedious, so you can find on the Internet a multitude of tools or software to assist you in this task, we will propose two of them.


If you decide to do it by hand with the help of software, we suggest you use Express Scribe. This software allows you to manage the speed of the video using the keys of your keyboard to allow you to write at your own pace. You can also use Google docs voice input by doing the parrot technique (i.e. repeat what is said in the video) to do your transcription.


If you decide to automate the process, we suggest you use the Captured online tool. You upload your video and then Captured takes care of transcribing the audio thanks to voice recognition. You can then copy and paste the rendering into a text file to edit it as you wish. Hop, your transcription is done in no time at all.

How do I add subtitles to a video?

You may be making a video transcription to create subtitles, in this case here are two possibilities to add subtitles to a video. 

By hand

If you want to do subtitling by hand, you can use this method :

  • Transcribe the audio from the video
  • Sequencing in a text file (such as notepad) the resulting sentences
  • Write over the subtitles the input and output times of the subtitles as "00:00:00,500 -> 00:00:02,999".
  • Number the subtitles (above the time codes) in the display order.
  • Save the file in .srt format (the extension must be .srt)


There you have a subtitle file! This one should look like this:

You can then use this subtitle file directly in a video player such as VLC or integrate it into the video using software such as PremierePro (simply import it into your project including the video).


With the help of a tool:

There are more and more tools and websites dedicated to subtitling.

If you decide to use a tool, the Captured online tool is for you! Capture is the free online tool you need, it simplifies the subtitling process by automating it and you can then edit the subtitles with an intuitive editor. 

To subtitle with Captured, follow these steps:

  1. Upload a video
  2. Let the voice recognition transcribe the audio
  3. Edit subtitles to correct any errors that may have been made.
  4. Stylize subtitles if you wish to render them to your image (font, background, color etc. and you have the possibility to save your preferences)
  5. Translate subtitles if needed (do not skip the editing step to get a good video translation)
  6. Export and download the video with embedded subtitles or the .srt file!
  7. The video is ready for publication thanks to fast subtitling.


Capté offers several subscription offers at different prices. Capté is a tool built to be intuitive and useful to the user. It is possible to use Capté in its free version but your video will include the Capté watermark. If you don't want to, you can subscribe to the standard offer which is the classic offer at 19€ / month or the premium offer at 49€ / month which allows you in addition to the automatic translation (5 languages are available: English, Spanish, German, Italian or simplified Chinese).


Add subtitles to your video from a .Srt file 


To add subtitles to your video from a text file. First you need to transform the text file into a subtitle file (i.e. a file consisting of the text and accompanying timelines) and then export it in a subtitle format. The best known subtitle format is the .srt format. A subtitle file is an advantage for the size of your final video. A subtitle file only weighs a few kb, adding it to your video will increase the size of the video very slightly, whereas if the subtitles are burnt in your video, the video will be much bigger.


To add subtitles to a video in a player like VLC, your video file and the subtitle file must be in the same folder and must be named the same. Then you need to open the video in your player and select your .srt file and drag and drop it into your player. That's it, your video is subtitled.


To add subtitles to your video by overlay, you can use editing software such as PremierePro or FinalCut. To do so, open your software, create a project and then import your video and subtitle file (file > import). Set both elements in your timeline, style your subtitles if you wish and then you can export your video. The subtitles will then be inlayed.


A last solution is to use Youtube. Start by hosting your video on the platform then go to the creator studio as if you were going to add subtitles and import your subtitle file. Your file will automatically integrate and your subtitled video will be available on Youtube.


Which subtitle file to choose?


There are several subtitle file formats: .idx, .srt, .vtt, .sub etc. The best known is the .srt format and the .sub is the one used in dvd. Sometimes you have a format but you need to change it for another type of format, in this case you can use an online converter that will do it automatically.


The .srt format, also called .subrib, is the most widely used. And for good reason, most readers accept this format, hence its popularity. The .srt format is the format seen above. It is composed of text sequences representing subtitles, their temporal data and their orders. The .SRT file offers very few styling options: italicized, bold or underlined text, no more. The .srt format is used for closed captions. If you want more style, you should either embed your subtitles in your video or choose another type of subtitle.




Feel free to use subtitles in your videos as a communication tool. Use translation to reach an international audience. Captured will allow you to subtitle your videos easily and quickly to reach a larger target audience.