Any successful YouTuber knows that adding captions to your videos is essential. Captions help SEO because Google can’t index audio.  Captions increase engagement because most people view videos on their mobiles without sound. Captions assist with accessibility and a way to reach the millions of Europeans that are hearing impaired.  Captions are without a doubt essential to your YouTube video.

One way to add captions to your YouTube video is to use YouTube’s automatic captioning service. It’s a popular method as it it is free. However, it isn’t the most effective, or necessarily the quickest method.  YouTube’s built in feature doesn’t always work, there are limited languages it can transcribe, the service isn’t reliable, and the captions aren’t always indexed by Google.

So what is the alternative?!

The alternative is to provide the captions yourself.  But don’t worry! This process is not only quick it yields much more accurate and professional captions.

Here’s how to add captions to your YouTube Video:

Step 1: Transcribe Your Video

You could manually listen to every word of your video and type out the text yourself. However, this is very time consuming and frustrating method.

Instead, use an automated transcription service provider like Happy Scribe to convert the audio to text for you.  It takes a little less than half the time of the video to do the conversion and provide you with a pretty accurate text file.

Just log on to Happy Scribe - the first 30 minutes are on us! - and click on the 'Upload a New File' button in the upper right hand corner.

Upload a file on Happy Scribe 

This pops up a new screen where you can upload the file and choose the language the video audio is spoken in.

Select "Subtitle"
Upload your file 

Bonus: The software recognises 119 languages and accents. Meaning if you have a video in Arabic or Mandarin, it can provide you with a respective Arabic or Mandarin text transcript. Something YouTube’s automatic transcription can’t do.

Step 2: Make Edits

Within the Happy Scribe Interactive Editor you can make minor edits to the text file.  Whilst Happy Scribe provides near 100% accurate transcription, it can’t always find the correct spelling for unusual proper names.

Subtitle Editor 

Step 3: Export the Text to an SRT File  

Once you are happy with the final text, you can export the file. Click on the 'Export' button in the top right hand of the Interactive Editor.  A screen will pop up asking you to select the format. You will need to select the Subtitles( file version to be able to add the subtitles later in your YouTube account.

Export Format (Select SRT)

Step 4: Log into Your YouTube Account

VERY IMPORTANT! You cannot currently add captions to YouTube Studio (Beta). To include captions you will need to go to Creator Studio Classic.

Go to You may need to login here.  However, if you are already logged follow these steps:

  • Click on your account icon in the Upper Right Hand Corner
YouTube Account
  • Click on 'YouTube Studio (beta)'. A new window should pop up.
  • On the left hand side click on 'Creator Studio Classic'.

Step 5: Upload Your Video

A new window should pop up in Creator Studio Classic.  Select the file to upload.

How to Upload a Video to YouTube

Whilst the file is uploading, go ahead and add your title, description and tags.

Add a Title, Description and Tags for your YouTube Video

Don’t forget to select your audience.

Always select an audience for your YouTube video.

Then either add to a playlist or create one.

It is recommended to add all your YouTube videos to a playlist.

Select a video thumbnail.

Finally, when the processing is done, click the ‘Done’ button to confirm.

Adding Videos to YouTube is easy.

Step 6: Add Captions

Your video should now be uploaded onto your channel. Click on the edit button next to your video and a drop down menu should appear.  Chose Subtitles/CC.

Adding captions to your YouTube video is simple with Happy Scribe

Select the Video Language

Click Add Subtitles or CC.

Under Select Method choose Upload a file.  You will need to select the SRT file you exported from the Happy Scribe Interactive Editor. When it asks, select the 'Subtitles file' and then select 'Upload'.

Your subtitles should now be successfully added!  Just click 'Save Changes' and you should be done.

Adding captions to a YouTube Video is easy with Happy Scribe.

There you have it!  A very simple way to add captions to your video on YouTube.

If you have any questions about converting your video to text, please don’t hesitate to contact us.