Introduction to YouTube Automatic Captioning

YouTube Captioning – a multiple-step process


ITCS is committed to providing accessible technology and educational resources. ECU requires authors of both official and unofficial faculty and staff web sites at “” to comply with accessibility requirements mandated by federal and state law. Accordingly, the university has adopted Web Accessibility Standards based on the Section 508 and W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. By adhering to these guidelines, ECU web resources will be accessible to persons with disabilities, where feasible, or a reasonable accommodation will be offered to qualified persons such as providing alternative formats or auxiliary aids and/or making adjustments.  Visit the Web Publishing and Educational Technologies websites for guidelines and resources to help you create accessible content based on Section 508 guidelines and W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.

We recommend maintaining high quality captions according to DCMP standards. Captions may need to include notes for who is speaking, sound effects, and other audio items like music.  If you create YouTube videos and use them for a class, then to create multimodal learning experience you should caption them or if you specifically know that you have a hard of hearing or deaf person in your class.

If you are using a clip from YouTube, that isn’t yours, you may want to contact Michael Thompson, Assistive Technology Consultant for the Division of Student Affairs, for assistance at 737-1020 or via email at


Introduction to YouTube Automatic Captioning


When you upload a video to YouTube, you can let YouTube to automatically create captions for your video, but these captions are subpar and inaccurate. You can also create your own transcript which YouTube can make into proper captions.  Or you can upload a caption file (srt format).  The instructions below are specifically designed to help you understand the process of uploading the steps of uploading a transcript of your own making.  If you prefer to watch a video, look at the following: Adding Accurate Captions to a YouTube Video.

Creating and Uploading a Transcript


You may listen to your video and type into a Word the text of the lecture audio content. Experience suggests that you listen to short 4-7 second chunks, before you move on. This transcription can be then be uploaded to replace the automatically generated YouTube Captions.

Here is how to do that in a series of steps.


Steps for Uploading a Transcript


(1) Open you YouTube account and Click Creator Studio

Shows creator studio button

Click Drop down arrow next to the video you want to add the transcript;

(2) Then click the Subtitled & CC selection

Drop down edit showing subtitled & CC selection

Click Select Language, chose English, then click Set Language button

(3) Next you will want to replace the automatically placed captions by click the Add new Subtitles of CC (blue) button.

Add new subtitles button

Click English when offered a choice.

(4) Next you need to choose a Selection Method; Click Upload a File.

Shows upload transcript button

(5) After you go through the navigation to your file and click Upload, you will then see your transcript placed to the right of your video.

set timings

Then you click Set timings

Congratulations, after that, your video should be accessible to all.  The video will also be Universally Designed Learning (UDL), which will improve the ability of students to understand the content.