CONTACT US          •          ABOUT THE HUB

Cambrian College Teaching & Learning Innovation Hub

  /  Blog   /  How to Edit Video Captions on YouTube
YouTube video with captions at the bottom

How to Edit Video Captions on YouTube

By Sarah Wendorf (Instructional Designer) & Jeff Tranchemontagne (Multimedia Specialist)

YouTube video with captions at the bottom

Accurate video captions are a necessity for some and a benefit to all. They are not only good for Universal Design for Learning, but they are also mandated by accessibility laws in Ontario for the public sector.

When you post videos to YouTube for your students to watch as part of their learning, YouTube’s automatic captioning service will create automatically-generated captions for your video. However, these automatic captions are not always accurate. This may disadvantage some students who rely upon, or prefer to watch videos using captions. They may miss out on important terminology, names, dates, and other information that may be missed when spoken words are not captioned accurately. As well, poor audio quality, accents, microphone feedback, or background noise may add further inaccuracies.

Luckily, you are able to quickly and easily make edits to your video captions within YouTube’s video editor. This is only possible for videos that you upload yourself and have editing access to.

It may take a few hours for YouTube’s automatically-generated captions to appear on your video. Once that process is complete, follow the steps below to learn how to edit your video captions on YouTube.

Accessibility Legislation

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)

Under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) Integrated Accessibility Standards:

Accessible websites and web content section: 14. (4) Designated public sector organizations and large organizations for their internet websites shall meet the requirements of this section in accordance with the following schedule:

1. By January 1, 2014, new internet websites and web content on those sites must conform with WCAG 2.0 Level A.

2. By January 1, 2021, all internet websites and web content must conform with WCAG 2.0 Level AA, other than,

i. success criteria 1.2.4 Captions (Live), and

ii. success criteria 1.2.5 Audio Descriptions (Pre-recorded).  O. Reg. 191/11, s. 14 (4).

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)

Our online content must meet WCAG 2.0, as outlined in the Accessibility Standard for Information and Communications in AODA linked above. WCAG 2.0 is an internationally accepted standard for web accessibility developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), an international team of experts.

WCAG 2.0 Guideline 1.2.2 for pre-recorded captions states: “Captions are provided for all prerecorded audio content in synchronized media, except when the media is a media alternative for text and is clearly labeled as such. (Level A)”

How to Edit Captions on YouTube

Step 1: Login to YouTube, Step 2: Click on YouTube Studio
Step 1: Login to YouTube, Step 2: Click on YouTube Studio
Step 3: Click on "Videos", Step 4: Click the pencil icon beside your video
Step 3: Click on "Videos", Step 4: Click the pencil icon beside your video
Step 5: In the video editor, select "More Options", Step 6: Click the three dots beside "English by YouTube (automatic)", Step 7: Click on "Edit on Classic Studio"
Step 5: In the video editor, select "More Options", Step 6: Click the three dots beside "English by YouTube (automatic)", Step 7: Click on "Edit on Classic Studio"
Step 8: Click on "Edit" in the top left corner
Step 8: Click on "Edit" in the top left corner
Steps 9-11: Type your edits on the left. Ensure proper terminology, capitalization, spelling, punctuation, etc. You will see your edits appear on the right as a preview. Once you have completed your edits, click "Publish Edits" at the top.
Steps 9-11: Type your edits on the left. Ensure proper terminology, capitalization, spelling, punctuation, etc. You will see your edits appear on the right as a preview. Once you have completed your edits, click "Publish Edits" at the top.
Step 12: You will now see a second caption file published underneath YouTube's automatic captions. These are the manual edits you made, Step 13: Click "Return to YouTube Studio".
Step 12: You will now see a second caption file published underneath YouTube's automatic captions. These are the manual edits you made, Step 13: Click "Return to YouTube Studio".
Step 14: If you need to return to make more edits to the captions, follow steps 1 through 5 above, Step 15: Click the three dots beside "English by you"
Step 14: If you need to return to make more edits to the captions, follow steps 1 through 5 above, Step 15: Click the three dots beside "English by you"
Step 16-17: Your edited captions will now show up on YouTube when you watch your video. Click on "CC" to display the video captions.
Step 16-17: Your edited captions will now show up on YouTube when you watch your video. Click on "CC" to display the video captions.

Was this article helpful?

Share this:
Post a Comment