Instructor Support for Educational Systems

6. Make Captions

Updated

This article explains what captions are, how to create and edit them.

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Captions are written versions of what is spoken in a video. They should not be confused with subtitles which are intended to be translations of what is spoken. Creating captions has a few benefits:

  • Captions contribute to the searchability of the content. 
  • Captions ensure that your videos are accessible for everyone. 

This feature is only available for videos that you own.

Create Captions

  • In the user menu, select My Media
  • Then choose a video you want to add captions to.


  • In the Actions menu of the video, choose Captions Requests.
  • The section for Captions Request looks like this:
  • At Source Media Language you choose the language that is spoken in the video. Currently Dutch and English are available as languages.
  • After choosing the spoken language, click Submit to submit the request.
  • in a new section you can see that the request has been received and is in the queue (pending), is in the process (processing) or is finished (completed).
  • The blue bar indicates that the captions are automatically added to your video when ready.
    • The processing time is on average twice the duration of the video.
    • It is possible to close this screen during processing.

When the system has finished processing, the status will change to completed.

  • You can now choose to check the video by playing it and clicking on the Closed Caption (CC) button at the bottom right of the video player.

Although the automatically generated captions are reasonably accurate, they will not be perfect. Always run the captions manually and correct any errors. If the language of the video you want to caption is not available, you can contact the ISSC.

View Captions

Once your caption request is completed and the status has changed to Completed it is possible to view it by clicking on the pencil icon. The following screen will appear:

This screen consists of:

  • Search and replace: Words that are often processed incorrectly can be searched and replaced with this.
    • Type in what you want to search for and in the second field also type in what it should be replaced with. When you're done you can press the Replace button
  • Add Speaker input field: Add a speaker by entering the name or description in this field.
  • List with captions:
    • The check box for each detected sentence/caption.
    • Start and end times for the caption.
    • The detected text.
  • To the right of the list of captions is a preview screen that automatically goes to the corresponding part of the video when you click on a caption.

Edit Captions

Through editing, you can correct errors, change the timestamp and add speakers.

  • Automatic detection of spoken words can result in errors. This may be due to mispronunciation by the speaker, accents or otherwise. Checking and adjusting for errors is therefore an important step in caption creation.
  • timestamps are created automatically and are responsible for when a caption appears and disappears. Sometimes the timing differs due to noises in the background, music or otherwise. Checking and adjusting the timestamps, therefore, ensures that the captions appear at the correct time.
  • Adding speakers when there is more than one speaker ensures that a conversation is clearer to the reader making the context come across better.

It is useful to watch the video you want to change the captions of first, this has two advantages:

  • First, you see how the system works.
  • In addition, it becomes clear where corrections are needed.
  • Click the start button in the thumbnail view to the right of the captions list.
  • To edit a caption, click on the text area where you want to adjust. This pauses the video (if it was playing) and sets the video to the start time of the caption.
    • Adjust the text to match the spoken word in the video.
    • Click anywhere outside the text area of the caption you were editing to get out of the caption editor.
    • Check the timing of the caption.
      • If the timing does not match click on one of the timestamps to the left of the caption to change the start (left field) or end time (right field) of the caption.
        • The format for the time is '00:01:54,840′. Or: Hours, Minutes, Seconds, Milliseconds. This is also sometimes represented as: HH:MM:SS,fff.
        • Adding milliseconds is not mandatory.
  • Whenever you have an overlap with another timestamp while adjusting the timing this will be made visible by the overlapping timestamps being displayed in yellow.

If a video contains multiple speakers then you can mark the parts in which a speaker is speaking as such by clicking the checkbox for the corresponding captions.

  • You can press as many checkboxes as necessary to highlight everything this speaker said at the same time.
  • If one or more captions are selected you can add the speaker by writing his/her name, title or description in the text area with the description Add Speakerto selected items. 
    • Then click on Add.
  • The speaker's name will now be added (in brackets) to all selected fields (see below).
    • You can also manually add a speaker by typing it before the text of a caption as follows: [name].
  • When you have finished all the necessary edits click Save or click Revert if you want to start over from the last saved moment.


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