Video Captions

Captions are essential for accessibility and make videos more usable for everyone; they are also required by USU. Adding captions to videos helps users that are deaf or hard of hearing, learners for whom English may be a second language, and students to learn content. It also provides the ability to watch videos in noisy environments or when sound isn't an option. YouTube's auto-generated captions do not meet University standards as they are often inaccurate. Any videos embedded in a USU site must be properly captioned before publishing your web page. A number of resources are available to help you caption your videos, and you can review the USU Video and Audio Accessibility Standard.

Campus Resources

The Campus Accessibility Coordinator is happy to help you set up a captioning account or to answer any questions about captioning videos. Pricing is free for many academic videos in Canvas and low cost for public videos. Contact or reach them by phone at 435-797-5535 to set up an account. Once an account is set up, training is available or you can follow these instructions to submit your videos for professional captioning.

Do It Yourself

It is recommended that the original video content is housed on a USU-managed, departmental YouTube channel. Contact your department about accessing a University channel. The following instructions are tailored to YouTube videos; for other circumstances, please contact

There are two options for creating captions. YouTube has an interactive captions editor, or you can upload a file to the YouTube video. If you have login access to the YouTube channel, the former is easier. The latter can be used in instances when captions need to be submitted for review to a channel admin.

YouTube's Captions Editor

  1. Sign in to YouTube Studio.
  2. From the left menu, select Subtitles.
  3. Click the video you’d like to edit.
  4. Click ADD LANGUAGE and select your language.
  5. Under subtitles, click ADD. Play the video and enter your captions. Don't forget to add text describing other sounds happening in the video, like [applause] or [thunder] so viewers know what's going on in the video.
  6. Repeat step 5 for additional captions, then click PUBLISH.
  7. Additional instructions to edit your own captions.
  8. When editing your own videos, be sure to follow the USU Caption Quality Standards

Creating a Caption File

A caption file is essentially a transcription with time stamps so the words synchronize with the speech in the video. To create a caption file, you can use a free web service like or Subtitle Horse, or you can create the file from scratch.

Using a Web Service

  1. Sign up for or login to the service.
  2. Paste the video’s YouTube URL in the correct field.
  3. Watch the video and transcribe it in real time.
  4. Review and edit the captions to assure accuracy.
  5. Download the captions as a caption file. YouTube supports a variety of file types.

Creating a File On Your Own

Follow this tutorial on 3playmedia to create a .srt file on Windows or Mac.

Upload a File to YouTube

  1. Sign in to YouTube Studio.
  2. From the left, select Videos.
  3. Click on the title or thumbnail of a video.
  4. Select More options.
  5. Select Upload subtitles/cc.
  6. Choose between With timing or Without timing then select Continue.
  7. Choose a file to upload.
  8. Select Save.