Adding captions to your video – especially of you’re hosting it online is an important step. Captions will ensure that your message is heard with the visual backup of text, that it is Accessibility friendly and will add an extra level of SEO to your video.

Captions, put simply are the audio dialogue or spoken parts in your video turned into text. Captions should follow the exact timing of the audio in your video – as to best assist the viewer and ensure your message is clear.


What are Open Captions and Closed Captions?

Yep, there are two types of captions. Open Captions are captions that are always displayed on the video, there is no option to turn these off. The text graphic is effectively burnt into your video – making it permanent.

Closed Captions are clever in that they can be optional and the player uses software decoders to bring the captions onto your video. If you’ve watched YouTube videos or viewed your favourite ep on Netflix – then you’ve seen the CC button. The CC option displays Closed Captions. When the content (video or commercial) is produced a caption file can also be produced. This data file accompanies your video and is added to your upload.

Can I get free Captions?

For sure. There are a lot of free apps and plugins to add social style captions – you can easily add these to your videos after the fact. You can also add captions in YouTube when uploading. YouTube even has the AI smarts to ‘auto caption’.

There is however a trade-off in doing this. You are limited to caption design and positioning. And the AI caption generator is very hit ‘n miss with loads of typo’s and mis-spelt names.

What are professional Captions?

Proper Captioning is a production speciality. This is an extra level of production where the captions are produced in the edit. There is more opportunity for caption design, layout and style – it’s more bespoke. But most importantly; your videos can be output in either (or both) Open Captions or Closed Captions. You’d end up with a compliant Caption file that is suitable for upload or broadcast.