How to Caption Videos

Check out FIT's Video Services Matrix to choose the right platform for your video

Requirements for Captioning

  • Captions must be accurate as to what has been said. (No bleeping expletives, no changing words or speech patterns, etc.)
  • Captions must have proper capitalization and punctuation.
  • Captions must be synced to the video.
  • Captions must identify those who are speaking.
  • Captions must describe other noises that happen during the video.
  • Captions must indicate whether or not there is sound.

Creating a Caption File

1) Edit a YouTube Auto Caption File

In most cases, the easiest and most direct way to caption a video is to upload the video to YouTube, give YouTube a day or so to generate an auto caption file, and then edit the auto caption file. Auto captions are NOT compliant; however, they are relatively easy to edit for capitalization, punctuation, spelling, etc.

Instructions for Editing YouTube captions files: Edit or Remove Captions

If you have uploaded a video and a caption file isn't generated (it was uploaded before auto captions were implemented or your video is longer than 60 minutes), you can add captions inside the YouTube interface.

Instructions for Adding Captions: Add your own subtitles & closed captions

2) Request a Video with Caption File from Media Services

If you are hiring Media Services to create a new video, you will receive a caption file for a nominal fee. This caption file can be uploaded with your video to YouTube or other video hosting sites.

3) Transcribe Your Video and Create Your Own Caption File

Captions files come in several formats, but the most common are .srt files. You can transcribe your video yourself using TextEdit (Mac) or Notepad (PC). This caption file can be uploaded with your video to YouTube or other video hosting sites.

Instructions for Creating a Caption File: How to Create a SRT File


If you link to a video inside a Google Drive folder, it must be captioned. The above methods for generating a caption file should be used, then the caption file should be uploaded to the video inside Google Drive.

Instructions for Adding Captions to Videos in Google Drive: Add caption tracks to your video files


1) Upload videos to YouTube in order to get an auto-caption file that you can then edit. 

2) Upload videos to an FIT-managed generic account, not individual accounts. For example, a video for Counseling Services should be uploaded to the Counseling Services YouTube channel, not the channel of a Counseling Services employee.