How to add Subtitles to a Video

Subtitles play a crucial part in video content. Learn how to add subtitles & captions to videos with Trint's online transcription tool in this easy guide.
August 1, 2018


Over the past decade, web traffic has increasingly been dominated by video content. An online study states that in 2022, 82% of web traffic will consist of it. This means it is now more important than ever to optimize your website by adding subtitles and captions to video content. This will, in turn, open it up to a wider audience. 

First of all, what is the difference between subtitles and captions? Although similar in appearance, subtitles are designed for those who do not understand the language of the video such as foreign films. Whereas captions describe what is said in the native language as well as helping viewers understand the non-speech parts of the audio such as background music or a laughter track. 

Why are subtitles and captions important?

1. Accessibility

First and foremost, using subtitling and caption software will increase the accessibility of your site and social media content. Now those who are hard of hearing can enjoy your video content, along with non-native English speakers. Plus in an ever-expanding mobile world, the majority of video content is accessed on mobile and without headphones. Platforms such as Facebook and TikTok auto-play videos as you scroll through, so the use of eye-catching subtitles is of vital importance.

2. Search Engine Optimization

Along with helping viewers understand your content, adding subtitling and caption software to your workflow can be invaluable for the SEO of video content. Transcribing audio to text allows the content to be read a lot easier by search engines like Google, therefore increasing your site's SERP ranking (search engine results page). 

3. Save Time

Much like transcription software, using AI to help with captioning takes out the man-hours of manually typing and aligning subtitles.

Using speech-to-text algorithms, these services identify and decipher spoken content in videos in a fraction of the time it takes a human. These services allow you to add a timestamp to the transcribed subtitles making your video easy to search.

Add subtitles to video content to increase accessibility

Types of Video Files Compatible with Subtitling

SRT (SubRip Text Format)

SRT,  which stands for SubRip Text Format, is the most well-known and popular file format for captions and subtitles. It's widely used by YouTube and Facebook for their captions and subtitles. An SRT file contains the start and end time of the subtitle, along with the text it should display. It's used by a lot of video players, so its popularity is unrivaled. It's the queen of the subtitle formats.

VTT (Video Text Tracking)

Modeled on SRT, VTT (Video Text Tracking) uses more text formatting options such as pop-ups and other subtitling effects. It's a great choice for anyone who wants to customize their on-screen text. While it provides wider options for subtitling, it's only compatible with videos on HTML5 media players and cloud-based video management systems.

EDL (Edit Decision List)

EDL is the most complex type of file in this list, whilst not technically a subtitle format in the same way that VTTs and SRTs: EDLs construct the framework for your subtitles and captions, saving you time by cutting your video for you.

EDL file format isn't right for every video project, but it saves time by letting you choose the best parts of your video content from the transcript. 

Utilize online transcription tools to add subtitles to video files

The How-To

1. Transcribe your video

First, convert the audio file into text. With an automated transcription software like Trint, which turns video files to text in less time than the original file.

2. Save your transcript as a caption file

We recommend VTT (WebVTT) or SRT (SubRip).

3. Import the caption file into your preferred video editing software:

__A. Adobe Premiere Pro

Select File > Import to import embedded caption files, then Import through the Media Browser using the file's context menu. 

B. Final Cut Pro

Select File > Import > Captions to locate the caption file, choose a caption role, select the insertion time, and click Import

C. Corel VideoStudio Ultimate

Select Import Subtitle File to locate the subtitle file and click OK

D. CyberLink PowerDirector

Open the Subtitle Room, select the start point and click Add subtitle, click the stop button to mark the endpoint for the subtitles, click Import a Text File to locate the caption file and click Open.

Subtitles and beyond

Once you add online subtitles to your video content both on your site and social media, you will see the results in your analytics and engagement. So create your Trint account today - you'll be adding subtitles to your videos in no time.



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