Skip to 0 minutes and 2 secondsGOTTFRIED ZIMMERMANN: Captioning a video is easy on YouTube. Here is how it works, step-by-step. After having watched this video, you should be able to produce your own video with captions.

Skip to 0 minutes and 15 secondsStart with drafting the text of the video in a text editor. Make sure you split up the text in meaningful sections by adding blank lines between phrases. If phrases are too long, like this one, split them up in multiple parts. YouTube will show text in one or two short rows in the video, each about 50 characters at most. If a section is too long, YouTube will split it up into sections without respecting semantics. Once you have your text drafted up and split up in sections, go to the YouTube website. You need to have an account on YouTube or Google, make sure you're logged in. Press the Upload button on the top right.

Skip to 1 minute and 3 secondsThere are multiple ways to upload a video on YouTube. I'm going to show you the simplest way, that is recording directly from the browser. You just need a webcam and a microphone. For best audio quality, use a headset. Press the Record button to capture a video via web camera. Then press Start Recording.

Skip to 1 minute and 27 secondsTalk your video statement now, then press Stop Recording. You may start over as many times as you want by pressing the Start Over button. However, don't be too picky. For our purposes, the video doesn't need to be perfect. Once you have finished your recording, press Continue. Now you can edit a title, a description, and text for your video. Make sure you choose public for public listing then press Publish.

Skip to 2 minutes and 4 secondsGo back to the video manager and choose Edit for editing your video. Now we've already seen the info in Settings tab and we'll go to the subtitles and CC tab now.

Skip to 2 minutes and 24 secondsUntil we can add an English track of subtitles, we upload our transcript file.

Skip to 2 minutes and 35 secondsChoose it.

Skip to 2 minutes and 40 secondsPress the Upload button. YouTube will automatically synchronise the text with the video if we press the Set Timings button.

Skip to 2 minutes and 51 secondsAnd now we see that a new track of subtitles has been added called English. And it's processing the synchronisation. It may take a while while YouTube is synchronising your text with the video. From time to time, you can press this button, Setting Timings, to see if it's already done. And here we go. Now you can edit your caption sections by pressing on them. You'll also see the time stamps. You can manually edit them. It is more helpful though to use the time line here to select individual sections. And now, you can play parts of your video and make your sections longer or shorter or move them around by dragging on the handles here.

Skip to 3 minutes and 41 secondsAfter you're satisfied with your captions, press Publish. And you're done. We notice that in the meanwhile, automatic English captions have been added by YouTube. You may have a look at them. This is done by automatic speech recognition by YouTube. A final note is if you want to see your video as others see it, go to the YouTube menu, choose My Channel. Click on your video. And it will play. The subtitles should appear here. If you don't see them, make sure you enable the closed captions by pressing the CC icon. Now you should be able to do your own video. And good luck.

Exercise: caption it!

Have you ever turned captions on when watching TV, a DVD, or a YouTube video? were the captions helpful or annoying?

Have you ever tried to add captions to a video?

If you haven’t tried to add captions before, now is your chance as we will guide you through the exercise, step by step in this video.

To make things more challenging, but to really understand the process, can you create a short video about your caption experience and caption it on YouTube?

If you do not want to make a video, download Professor Gottfried Zimmerman’s video talking about his experience, upload it to YouTube and caption it – feel free to post it as “public”.

Note: On YouTube, you can choose to make your video “public” or “not listed”. If “not listed”, only people who have its link will be able to watch it.

Please make your video available to other participants by posting its link into the comments on this step. Tell us about your experiences - did you find it easy to do? was it difficult?


© This text is a derivative of a work by Stuttgart Media University and licensed under CC-BY 4.0 International Licence adapted and used by the University of Southampton. Erasmus + MOOCs for Accessibility Partnership.

© This video is created by Stuttgart Media University and licensed under CC-BY 4.0 International Licence. Erasmus + MOOCs for Accessibility Partnership.

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This video is from the free online course:

Digital Accessibility: Enabling Participation in the Information Society

University of Southampton