A definite advantage in offering a digital event is the potential size and reach of your audience. But when dealing with a global audience we immediately encounter language barriers. Many who are able to function in a second language don’t always choose to, and may prefer the convenience of subtitles to confirm their understanding of the content. Federal requirements in many countries also call for subtitles in order to afford everyone access to the content.

The majority of video editors have captioning capabilities. Adding subtitles to videos using these editors involves a number of steps:

  1. Start with a script – if your video content was read from a script, you can use your script (or transcript) to copy and paste the spoken words into the captioning editor. If you don’t have a script, you may want a transcript of your video. For shorter videos, you can just watch your video and type out the presentation. You may choose to out-source this service for longer videos. Some video editors feature speech-to-text ability but need to be checked for accuracy as the quality of the transcription can be affected by a number of factors – such as background noise and the overall quality of the audio;
  2. Add a captions track to your audio track on the timeline;
  3. Add your captions to the captions track – select the caption space on the timeline and a caption dialogue box will open below the video preview and the selected portion of the video will play. You can then copy and paste the portion of the script that’s heard in the selected caption space or type in the caption manually. You then click the right arrow button to move to the next caption space and repeat until all captions have been added; and,
  4. Check for accuracy.