Closed Captioning at 100% Speed and Accuracy

Closed Captioning at 100% = transcribe, proofread, time-stamp, format, proofread, export into desired format.

Start with a transcript. Always, period.

There are numerous reasons to always start with a transcript. You cut in half the amount of time spent generating titles line, after line, after line, you can correct spelling mistakes on the fly, you get valuable suggestions from your editor as you type, and you can make use of advanced formatting features of text editors like MS Word. This method increases accuracy and significantly reduces the number of keystrokes since the transcript will be imported and broken into lines by the timecoding software of your choice. A free and sturdy option is Subtitle Edit.

YouTube Now Offers a Complex Trascription Interface. Take Advantage.

To explain why this is true, here are all the keyboard shortcuts that you can use while transcribing. One major advantage for transcribing in YouTube is the ability to transcribe without pressing any keys to pause the video. YouTube will automatically pause the video whenever you start typing and resume playing it when you stop typing. That saves a whole lot of keystrokes. Awesome.

The YouTube interface makes use of browser spelling and grammar capabilities, and therefore alerts you with red squiggly lines if potential spelling mistakes are identified. This assuming your browser correctly identified the language of the transcript.

One caveat of transcribing on YouTube is the need to upload the video to YouTube. You can save the video as Private or Unlisted, but if the video contains sensitive information, it is best to transcribe in specially-designed software or using MS Word and DeskPins to hold the video always on top. DeskPins is a free application to hold programs always on top.

If your video will end up on YouTube, it is best to become familiar with the formats that can be uploaded on YouTube; this article also details the types of markup supported by each format in part. Take note of this detail: YouTube manifests a preference for the .scc format

Scenarist Closed Caption (.scc file extension) files are our preferred file format. These files have an exact representation of CEA-608 data, which is the preferred format whenever captions are based on CEA-608 features.

YouTube Keyboard Shortcuts for Transcript Generation

When Editing Captions

Pause or Play VideoShift+Space
Edit Previous SubtitleCTRL+ Up Arrow
Edit Next SubtitleCTRL+ Down Arrow
Seek Backward by 5 SecondsShift + Left Arrow
Seek Forward by 5 SecondsShift + Right Arrow

Global Keyboard Shortcuts When Generating Transcripts in YouTube

View Keyboard Shortcuts?
Zoom to FitCTRL + 1
UndoCTRL + Z
RedoCTRL + Y
Nudge Playhead to the LeftLEFT ARROW
Nudge Playhead to the RightRIGHT ARROW
Toggle Full ScreenF
Toggle MuteM
Toggle Play/PauseK or Spacebar
Rewind 10 SecondsJ
Fast Forward 10 SecondsL
Decrease Playback Rate<
Increase Playback Rate>
Seek Backward by Smallest Amount Possible,
When Video Is Paused
Seek Forward by Smallest Amount Possible,
When Video is Paused

Timecode Keyboard Shortcuts for Generating Transcripts in YouTube

Increase the ValueUp Arrow
Decrease the ValueDown Arrow

Timeline Keyboard Shortcuts for Generating Transcripts in YouTube

Move Focus to Start Handle,
When Focused Over an Interactive Element
Move Focus to End Handle,
When Focused Over an Interactible Element

Player Keyboard Shortcuts for Generating Transcripts in YouTube

Seek Backward by 5 SecondsLeft Arrow
Seek Forward by 5 SecondsRight Arrow
Increase the Volume by 5%Up Arrow
Decrease the Volume by 5%Down Arrow
Seek to the Beginning of the VideoHOME
Seek to the End of the VideoEND
Seek to a Specific Point in the Video
(‘7’ advances to 70% of duration)

From YouTube Into Your Favorite Text Processor

When transcribing, avoid capitalization to mark the beginning of a sentence; you can automatically take care of this in MS Word using the Change Case function available on the Home tab of the Ribbon. Make sure to capitalize all names, and if there were any possible slips, go through the names mentioned in the transcript and run a CTRL+H to replace any instances that are lower case. Proper names may not always be spotted by the Microsoft Spelling and Grammar check, so extra care should be invested in marking them accordingly.

Ellipses may not import correctly, avoid using them

When importing from YouTube, a plain text editor like Notepad into MS Word or a subtitle software like Subtitle Edit, ellipses may be removed. For this reason, it is advisable to avoid them when generating transcripts if you are still the in the draft stage of editing and not done transferring text from one software into another.

When in MS Word, Act Like You Are in MS Word: Run a Spell Check

Sounds trivial, but you may think this is but a simple text, and mistakes likely had no opportunity to creep in. Don’t chance it, select all the text with CTRL+A, set the proofing language to the correct one and run a spelling and grammar check (keyboard shortcut F7).

Import Text Into Subtitle Edit

When generating closed captions it helps to keep at the back of your mind the standard time length of a caption, the standard length of text acceptable per line of text and whether your captions are allowed to spill over onto a second line. If you are aware of this from transcript generation stage, things will run much smoother down the road.

Upon import, the fastest way to split text is to consider each new line a new caption. Once you have generated the draft caption file, import the video and generate the audiogram. Generating an audiogram is a must, as it significantly improves timestamping accuracy. In fact, timestamping should be done ON the audiogram.

Fast and Accurate Timestamp Generation

With the first segment of text highlighted, play the audio. Once you have identified a match, select the audio segment, left click and choose from the context menu.

Context menu shows how to time-stamp a line of text using the command "Set current as new selection"

You can also generate a shortcut for this command to make things run faster as you will be using it…to the end of the video!

You can set keyboard shortcuts to timestamp a transcript faster: when pressing SHIFT + Q automatically generate timestamps for a selected audiogram fragment

Other features that you can make use of are: Karaoke mode, when letters and words are highlighted as they are spoken, and formatting like inserting a music key for whatever lines of text you select (yes, you can select all the lines of a song and having it show on all lines from ONE selection).

Square Brakets and YouTube

Upon import into YouTube, if you want to add the transcript directly into the description area, you can! Just be mindful of the following: YouTube has a 5000 maximum characters allowed for this space and does not accept square brackets here. If you have them in an .srt file that you will upload, then this will not pose any problems.

Translating a Closed Captions File

SDL TRADOS imports captions well in SRT format at least. Once you are done translating, however, it is best to bring the target language translated .SRT file back into your subtitle editor to check if there are any warnings. You will likely need to perform some adjustments and SDL Trados is not equipped to warn you when lines are too long and the characters/second ratio is too high.

Curious to see what the result looks like after following these steps? Browse our selection of closed captions for film and animation and YouTube CC and Translation.

Exporting Captions to Your Desired Format Using Adobe Premiere Pro

A few file formats like .scc and .srt, along with various burn in, export sidecar file or encode options are available in Adobe Premiere Pro. This video concisely illustrates the most popular ways to export a captions file using Adobe Premiere Pro.