How to add captions to videos


Adding captions to all videos should become standard practice in the UK for all organisations with a responsibility to provide an inclusive and accessible online/offline digital environment for visitors and users of content.  This includes videos embedded into websites, such as this one as well as video content displayed on television screens around the campus.  It also includes video resources that may be embedded into LearningSpace or part of a presentation.

The reason is twofold.

  1. This is now the law, as highlighted in the following article by Jisc
  2. We want an inclusive environment to allow everyone to be able to access our content


There are a number of ways that you can create captions for you videos, this depends on whether you wish to capture ‘live’ captions or add captions after your video is captured.

  1. If you are interested in creating captions ‘live’, then you may wish to read a post about – this free-to-use software will enable you to capture audio ‘live’ with a mobile device or via the browser using a computer.  The software will capture speech and then process that into text, which can be downloaded.  You can then create a captioning file, which can be uploaded to your video via YouTube or Panopto for example.
  2. If you want to add captions to a video you’ve already captured then there are a number of ways to do this.  Microsoft Stream will automatically create captions on your videos, which you can then edit for accuracy.  You can then download and convert a file to make it usable for YouTube or Panopto.  There are other captioning solutions, but this post will guide you through using Microsoft Stream and

Let’s go!

Watch the video below to learn how, or follow the guide:

Microsoft Stream method for captioning videos.

Login to your Office 365 account online.

1. Click on the Stream icon to access Stream

2. Click on + Create > Select ‘Upload video’

3. Either drag and drop your video file into the window, or click and browse your computer to add

4. A pop-up box will display the video as it’s uploading

Screenshot showing the Microsoft Stream upload box

5. If you are ready to publish, click ‘Publish’ – you can setup the permissions after or prior to publishing (if after, click on ‘My Content’ > Videos – then click on the pencil icon

Screenshot showing the pencil icon
6. Ensure that the ‘

7. Note that depending on the size of your video it may take some time before the captions appear in your video.  Click on ‘My Content’ > Videos – then click on the small thumbnail image of the video to view it.

Screenshot showing the video captions

8. When you first view the video, you’ll want to go through and edit the text on the right-hand side for accuracy as there will be some words that it won’t pick up.  You may also want to correct errors with the grammar.

9. When you have completed checking the text for errors, you should click on ‘My Content’ > Videos > Then click the pencil icon to access the settings for the video

10. Click on the ‘download’ link within the captions area options and save to a suitable location on your computer

11. Visit the following link: – > Click on ‘Choose files’ > Find the file you saved earlier: ‘Modified_AutoTranscript_’

Screenshot showing download link

12. Select ‘Convert to SRT’ > The captions will be processed and then you click on the download button

13. Depending on what browser you use the file should download below – click to open the location and save the file to a usable place on your computer

You now have a usable captioning file!

To use this file within Panopto, follow these instructions:

1. Login to Panopto > Click on ‘Create’ > ‘Upload Media’ (if uploading your video for the first time) or locate the video in your folder

2. Hover your mouse over the video, until you see the ‘Settings’ link – click on this

Screenshot showing Panopto settings menu

3. Click on the link ‘Captions’

Screenshot showing captions option

4. Click on the ‘Upload captions’ link to open the captions file (srt file) from your computer > Check the box ‘Captions are based on the edited session’ > Select ‘Upload Captions’

Screenshot showing upload captions button

5. This will take time to process – so go away and make a cuppa and come back.

6. When you visit the video after the captions have processed – you should have the CC option on the video during playback to activate the captions.

Screenshot showing CC options


1. For YouTube, you’ll need to visit your YouTube studio (via viewing your channel, or by clicking your profile – top right-hand side of the screen)

2. Click on ‘Videos’

3. Hover your mouse over a video to reveal further options > Click on the pencil icon

4. Select the ‘More options’ tab

5. Click on the language drop-down menu and select ‘English’

6. Click the ‘upload subtitles’ link > find the SRT file and open it > Then save

Screenshot showing upload subtitles option







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Matt Ewens

Digital Innovation Technologist

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