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4 Ways to Add Subtitles to a YouTube Video

Cedric Grantham updated on Nov 03, 2020 to Video Editing Tips | How-to Articles

Subtitles are text derived from a transcript or screenplay in films, television programs, videos, like YouTube videos. They are usually displayed at the bottom of the screen, but can also be at the top of the screen if there is already text at the bottom of the screen. There are many reasons to add subtitles to a YouTube video, including:

  • Make your video more attractive
  • Make your video ranks higher on YouTube
  • Make your video for YouTube users with hearing impairment
  • Make it easier to understand if it's an instructional video
  • Provide the opportunity to translate your YouTube video into any language

youtube video subtitles

Having known the benefits of adding subtitles to a YouTube video, you may wonder how to complete this task easily. In this article, we will give you several detailed guides to add captions to your YouTube videos to improve the effectiveness of your YouTube videos.

Part 1. Add Subtitles to YouTube Video with Subtitles & CC in YouTube

YouTube, the platform for sharing videos, also allows users to add and edit subtitles or captions with the function "Subtitles & CC". It uses Google's voice detection software to automatically create subtitles for your YouTube video. You can easily add subtitles or captions without any complex operations.

youtube- add subtitles to video

Here are the steps to add subtitles to a video on YouTube:

Step 1. Log in to your YouTube account.

Step 1. Upload your video to YouTube. Then, go to the "Subtitles" tab in the video manager section.

Step 2. Click "add new subtitles" and then choose the language for your subtitles.  

Step 3. Click "Transcribe and the auto-sync" tab. Add the text of the video in the blank space.

Step 4. Click "Set Timing". Set the timing for the best results based on the length of the video. Now, move the subtitles to the timeline and edit it as you need.

Part 2. Add Subtitles to YouTube Video for Free with Software

Though convenient using Subtitles & CC is, it also has its downside: it's usually not so exact when recognizing the subtitles automatically. And most of the time, its punctuation is improper. So, in this part, I will introduce some professional tools to help you add subtitles to YouTube videos in an efficient way.

Tool 1. EaseUS Video Editor (Windows 10/8.1/8/7)

To efficiently add subtitles to a YouTube video, you just need a handy and professional video editor. EaseUS Video Editor enables you to permanently embed subtitles in your YouTube video as well as set their display duration, the fonts, and colors used, and the size of the text. EaseUS Video Editor provides more than 40 static and animated caption styles; you can add an extra dimension to your video by calling attention to the most important elements in your video or movie. When it finishes, you can directly upload your video to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

EaseUS Video Editor - Add Subtitles to YouTube Video

Features

Adding permanent subtitles to your YouTube video is really easy. Just download EaseUS Video Editor and follow the step-by-step instructions below to create captions and subtitles for YouTube videos.

Step 1. Import video files

Launch EaseUS Video Editor. On the home screen, you can import the source video files by either clicking the "Import" option or simply dragging the videos to the appropriate area.

import video files

You need to add the imported files to the video track by choosing the "Add to Project" option, or you can drag and place the video to the track as you want.

add video to timeline

Step 2. Add and customize subtitles

Click the "Text" button and go to the "Subtitle" tab to preview the provided text style. Choose the one you like and add it to the text track. You can control subtitles' display duration, set the start of the subtitles, or add closed captions.

add subtitles to video - 1

Then double click the text box to enter your words or change the font, size, and color of your texts. After you complete, click the "OK" button.

add subtitles to video - 2

Step 3. Export video with subtitles 

After adding subtitles to video clips, you can click the "Export" on the toolbar to export video with texts. Under the "Video" tab, choose a file format for the edited video. You can also edit the file name, customize an output folder and settings, and then click "Export" to finish the process.

add subtitles to video - 3

Tool 2. VLC Media Player (Windows & Mac)

If you want to create a YouTube video with hard subtitles, namely permanently add subtitles to the video, you can encode them into your YouTube video. To do this, you can resort to the VLC media player for help. It's another free app that's packed with various video editing features for Windows and Mac, such as converting, merging, splitting, and more.

add subtitles to YouTube video vlc

To add captions to a YouTube video using VLC, you need to first create a subtitle file with ".srt" as its ending. After this, do as the following steps say.

Step 1. Open VLC Player. Select "Media" > "Open File" from the top menu bar, choose the video file you want to add subtitles and select "Open."

Step 2. Let the video play. Then, select "Subtitle" > "Add Subtitle File..." Choose the SubRip file you created before (ending in .srt) and select "Open."

Step 3. VLC Player will now display your subtitles.

Tool 3. iMovie (Mac and iOS devices)

Speaking of video editors for Mac and iOS devices, iMovie should be well-known. With this tool, you can enjoy your videos like never before. You can add studio-quality titles, add extra-special effects and high-fidelity filters to your YouTube videos.  iMovie does not currently provide a feature dedicated specifically to adding subtitles to YouTube videos, but it still enables you to add captions using different styles of titles. And you can adjust the font size, font color, and caption positioning, transitions, and timings for a YouTube video or movie.

use imovie to add subtitles to youtube video

Now, follow the steps below to use the Title Overlay feature to add captions to YouTube videos using iMovie.

Step 1. Open iMovie and choose "New project". Import your YouTube video and drag it to the filmstrip area.

Step 2. Click on "Titles", select a title style, and apply it. Then, choose the style called "Lower".

add subtitles to YouTube video imovie-1

Step 3. Enter text for your titles. To change the font style of the subtitles, you can go to "Show Fonts" > "Change Fonts" to change the font color, style, size, face, etc.

Step 4. If you want to change the duration of your iMovie subtitles, you can double-click on the title clip and change the duration in the Inspector or just drag the slider in the project to change its position and duration.

add subtitles to YouTube video imovie-2

Step 5. After adding all the captions, you can share the video and send it to the iMovie Theatre, iTunes, Facebook, YouTube, or Vimeo.

add subtitles to YouTube video imovie-3

Part 3. How to Add Subtitles to Video with Free Online Tools

If your video doesn't have privacy issues, or if you do not want to download software on your computer, you may add subtitles to YouTube videos using an online tool. Two online tools will be covered in this part to help your complete this task.

Tool 1.  VEED

VEED is one of the best subtitle video apps online. You can add your subtitles automatically with an auto-generated subtitle tool, add them manually, and also via uploading a subtitle file.

veed subtitle video

You can subtitle any popular video file such as MOV, MP4 AVI, and more with designed subtitle styles in three steps.

Step 1. Upload the YouTube video you would like to add subtitles. And the editor will open.

Step 2. Click "Subtitles" on the left side panel, and choose from the following options: Auto Subtitles, Manual Subtitles, or Upload Subtitle File.

Step 3. Once you have now added and styled your video, just hit download, and your video will start rendering.

Tool 2. Clideo

Clideo is another online video editing software that allows you to add subtitles to YouTube videos without downloading any third-party applications. When choosing files that are going to be edited, you can import from Google Drive and Dropbox or paste the URL in Clideo. It is very convenient since it offers two ways to add subtitles to your YouTube video: add manually or upload .srt files. 

clideo-add subtitles to youtube video

Here is how to add subtitles to YouTube videos with Clideo:

Step 1. Open Clideo and click "Choose file" in the middle of the page.

Step 2. Upload the video you want to add subtitles to and select "add manually" or "upload .SRT" files.

clideo-add subtitles to youtube video

Step 3. If you choose "Add manually", a new window will appear, which enables you to handily add subtitles to your YouTube video.

edit subtiltles in clideo

Step 4. After adding subtitles and captions to your YouTube video, click "Create" at the right-bottom of the window to save your video.

You can choose  "upload .SRT" in Step 3 as well, and you need to prepare a subtitle file in a ".srt" format.

Wrapping Up

After reading this tutorial, you can learn a few different ways to add subtitles or captions to YouTube videos for free, including a YouTube built-in function, software on Windows and Mac and online tools. To add subtitles to a YouTube video on Windows, EaseUS Video Editor is a highly-recommended option.

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