Adding subtitles and captions to your video

A straightforward way to create subtitles and captions for your embedded video is to use YouTube.

By uploading your video to YouTube, your video will be automatically subtitled by their system. You can then adjust using their online tools.

YouTube’s guide to adding subtitles and captions.

Don't rely on YouTube’s auto subtitling alone, always manually refine the text it provides. Using YouTubes guide you can:

  • Check the auto captions are accurate and correct with no wrong words.
  • Add captions to describe sounds, movement or music required to understand the context of a video.

Top tips for writing subtitles and captions

  • Always identify who is speaking each time the speaker changes
  • Wrap caption information in squared brackets [like this] to distinguish it from dialogue
  • If characters are speaking from off-screen, caption it as such. For example: John: [over the phone] Hello, how can I help you?
  • If nothing is happening on-screen which needs subtitles or captions, state that: for example: [Silence]
  • Check that subtitles are on screen long enough for users to read them.
  • Check that text content appears approximately the same time that audio would be available.


If you use Vimeo as your host to embed videos onto a webpage, they allow you to upload captions or subtitle files, but they do not automatically create them for you.

You must create your own or they can be purchased through a third-party provider. WebVTT is the preferred file format.

Vimeo captions and subtitles