Using Youtube for captioning

When it comes to captioning, you can absolutely do this yourself. You don’t have to use a third-party service. We suggest using Youtube for the most user-friendly experience.

Step 1 : Import your video

  • Click the Create Button to open the uploading video application.
  • Once a video is uploaded, YouTube’s auto-captioning service starts to transcribe the audio it hears in the video. This process can take a number of minutes to an hour, depending on the length of your video.

Step 2: Review for transcription errors

  • Once the auto-captioning has completed, you can review the captions for any transcription errors.
  • Things that factor into to bad auto-captions are poor sound quality and speakers that have heavy accents; if a video contains these elements, you’ll want to allot more time to the review process. 
  • You also want to make sure that you’re using punctuation and capitalization, just as you would when writing. The FCC does have official guidelines for captions for television, which you are not required to comply with, but it is helpful to read through these requirements to get a better understanding of how your captions should look.
  • Remember, there are never more than two lines of text are on the screen at a time. You’ll want to make sure the viewer is able to read everything on the screen before the frame changes.
  • If the video contains long period of silence, ambient noise, or music, use the captioning to identify this is occuring – a general rool of thumb would be to use brackets or parentheses to indicate this is background information.

How the Transcription Tool Works

Screenshot of the Video Subtitle screen

Once a video has been captioned, you’ll be able to see the captions using the Subtitles menu category. In the example above, we’ve started adding a second language option (indicated by video language).

Although this looks intuitive, it is not the correct procedure – you’d have to start a new transcription from scratch. Instead, click on the three dots next to the Published – Automatic option in the upper right corner, and select the option to edit those captions from the menu that opens.

Video caption editing tool

The editing window is split into several elements:

  • On the left, you’ll see the caption text shown in order, with a time stamp that shows when the text appears and disappears from the screen.
  • On the right, you can see the video, and below that, when the segments of text will appear on the screen and the sounds levels of the video. You can adjust the length of time the text appears by clicking and dragging the ends of the segments.

To edit the captions, click the Edit button in the upper right. This will allow you to edit the text in the boxes to the left of the editing tool. Once you are done editing, click the Publish button to overwrite the default automatic transcription.

Downloading an SRT file

After you publish the captions, you’ll be returned to the following screen. In addition to the Automatic captions, you’ll see a second English caption listed – these are your edited captions.

To download the .SRT file, click on the new caption file – this will take you back to the caption editing screen.

Captioning Edit Screen

In the left hand column, you’ll see a drop down menu labeled Actions. Click on this menu, and select .SRT to download the file.


If you questions about your social media content and whether it’s accessible, the social media team at UF Health is here to help! Send us an email at, or reach out to us directly.