How to Add Subtitles (or Captions) to a Video

How to Add Subtitles (or Captions) to a Video

Are you trying to increase more viewer engagement on your YouTube, Instagram, or TikTok videos?

Viewer retention is a vital part of growing on any social media platform. Subtitles or captions? They’re the secret sauce to making your videos more engaging. 

Today’s viewers are impatient and picky. They need to know what the video is about before they decide to watch the whole clip. Simply adding subtitles to your videos can increase views by up to 40 percent.

There’s a misconception that adding subtitles is complicated, time-consuming, and expensive to automate. However, VEED automatically adds subtitles to your videos just with a click of a button. 

This is both better for your budget since it’s free and excellent for your business! Now, to be honest, adding subtitles will still take a couple minutes of your time. But making content that grows your audience and your business is ultra-competitive. If you want to make great content that drives results, that extra investment of a few minutes for editing can go a long way.

Here’s how you can easily add subtitles or captions to your video.


5 Easy Steps to Add Subtitles to Your Videos with VEED

VEED is an online video editor built to be simple yet powerful. There’s almost no learning curve to using it, making it perfect for beginners or even advanced content creators who need to work faster to produce content for themselves and their clients. 

Go to VEED.IO and upload your video

First off, you’ll have to go to VEED and upload your video. You can easily upload your video from your computer or phone, through Dropbox, local files, or upload a video via a YouTube URL.

Alternatively, you can even directly record your video through VEED’s screen recorder!


Click on the subtitles button to reveal options to add subtitles

Now that you’ve uploaded your video to the VEED editor, all you have to do is open the Subtitles tab. Here, you can choose to let VEED automatically add captions to your video, upload your own SRT subtitle file, or manually input subtitles yourself.


Click on Auto Transcribe to automatically add captions to your video

For this method, we’ll be using the auto transcribe feature. This generates subtitles automatically for your video. We’ll talk about how you can edit your subtitles in the next step. For now, click on Auto Transcribe.


When you’re there, first choose the language to detect. This should be the language that’s being spoken in the video. Yes, that’s right! VEED can detect and add captions for multiple languages. 


When you’re happy with that, just click on Start to begin captioning your video. This can take a few seconds or minutes, depending on your video’s length and if you’re downloading in high-definition or not. 

So, grab a cup of coffee or drink a glass of water while waiting! Or, if you want to be even more productive, get a head start on writing killer captions for your videos and designing thumbnails.

Edit and customize your subtitles

VEED’s subtitle feature is 95% accurate, but it’s always good practice to double-check regardless of whether AI or an actual human being captioned your video. I suggest going through the video first to check for spelling and making sure each word was captured correctly.

Your video editor should look something like this, except—well—with a different video. 


If you want to customize your subtitles, here are some things you can do easily within the subtitle editing panel:

  • Change the font to a free font included with VEED or pick a custom brand font you have uploaded to your brand kit (Pro Plan Only)
  • Change the text color of your subtitles (aim for high contrast for better readability)
  • Change the style of your subtitles to have a drop shadow, outline, rounded background and more (this also helps with the readability of your subtitles)
  • Translate your subtitles 

You can also split subtitles by right-clicking on a subtitle in the video timeline and either pressing S or clicking on Split. Usually people do this because a line is too long so they split it.


Here’s how that should look like.


You can directly edit the subtitles yourself at the left-side corner of your screen. You can also customize when and how long a subtitle is shown through the time stamps. The subtitle editor even recommends the best length of characters per subtitle based on the best video practices. 

And if you need to position your subtitles so they don’t get awkwardly cropped out on whatever platform you post to, you can move and rotate them easily.

With platforms like Instagram, it’s especially important to know the best video dimensions.

Placement of subtitles is just as crucial with formats like IGTV. Although an IGTV is vertical (9:16 aspect ratio) you will only see it in full size when viewed within the native IGTV feed. However, if you open an IGTV on your feed along with other content you follow (or it’s viewed on your profile feed) it will appear in portrait (4:5 ratio).

With that in mind, you want to avoid placing subtitles at the extremities of a video where they can get cut off from the sides, top, or bottom. Aim to have the text a bit more close to the center. You can always reposition the video before posting.


Aside from just subtitles, VEED is powerful enough for video editing. So, you can do way more than just adding subtitles. VEED lets you:

When you’re satisfied with your video, it’s now time to download it.

Download your video

To download your video, simply click on the Export button at the top-right corner of your screen. 


That will open the Export Options tab, where you can edit the presets of your video. Remember to enable the Burn Subtitles option before exporting your video. If everything looks good, click on Export Video.


Once your video is rendering, you can easily share it with your friends with the public video link. You can also mark your video as private if you don’t want to use any of the content collaboration or sharing capabilities within VEED. 

Alternatively, there’s also the option to download it as an MP4 or convert your video into a GIF.


Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best subtitle fonts to use for your videos?

The best subtitle fonts to use for your videos are ones that are easy to read. Legible fonts like Calibri, Arial, and Robot are great choices. YouTube uses a Sans Serif font for its subtitles, so that’s a great choice too.


5 Best Subtitle Fonts (Included with VEED)

  1.  Calibri
  2.  Arial
  3.  Roboto
  4. Work Sans
  5. Archivo

How can I export a .srt file to upload subtitles to YouTube?

You can easily export a .srt file using VEED to caption your YouTube video. Simply follow steps 1 to 4 above and then go to the Options tab to download your .srt files. After that, you can simply upload the .srt files to your YouTube video. 

What’s the difference between captions and subtitles?

Although captions and subtitles are interchanged a lot, they actually mean different things. Captions show what’s happening in the video, usually by typing out what people are saying for viewers watching the video without audio. On the other hand, subtitles are specifically meant to either translate a foreign video or simply show the dialogue in the video.

Why are subtitles important for educators?

Subtitles are an amazing tool for comprehension, especially for students who can’t afford great speakers or a fluid internet connection. This is especially useful for videos in foreign languages too, that need to be translated. All in all, it’s just an extra feature that makes sure everyone can see and have access to your videos. Sound or no sound.

Why are subtitles important in the workspace?

Roughly 30% of working professionals have a disability, so subtitles in workspace videos are a necessity. Simply adding subtitles can make up for lousy speakers, training sessions with faint audio, or work in favor for those who prefer reading than listening. It’s a handy tool for sales professionals too, since reading and hearing makes topics easier to understand.

Conclusion

Adding subtitles to your videos isn’t as complicated as it was several years ago. With video editors like VEED, you can easily add automatically-generated subtitles to your video! With just one button, your video will have captions and subtitles. 

Going the extra mile and adding subtitles can mean the difference between losing or gaining another viewer. Help your audience and improve the engagement of your videos by adding subtitles! 

How to Add Subtitles (or Captions) to a Video

Diana

I work on all things content at VEED (currently focused on our blog). Based in Florida. I love helping people learn about social media.