This guide walks you through the process of creating a transcript and synchronizing it to a video.

Creating your own captions is useful for media that has specialized or technical vocabulary, less than excellent audio quality, or a presentation or lecture you have given verbatim from a transcript.


  1. From the "Channel videos" page in your YouTube Studio, click on the video you would like to caption.
  2. On the "Video details" page, click on the "Subtitles" button in the left-side column.

  3. Click the "Add Language" button and choose "English" or "English (United States)" from the pick list.

  4. The language you chose will show up in the table. From here click the "Add" button in the "Subtitles" column.

  5. You will be taken to a new screen titled "Manage subtitles and closed captions." On this screen, click the "Transcribe and auto-sync" button.

  6. On the "Transcribe and auto-sync" page, play your video and begin transcribing by using our transcription guidelines in the box to the right of the video.
    • You will notice that the video pauses once you start typing and plays again when you stop typing.
    • You may also copy and paste a transcript that you already have. You will still need to edit the captions and timings according to the caption editing guidelines.
    • Useful keystrokes include:
      • "Shift + Spacebar" to pause the video
      • "Shift + left arrow" to go back 1 second in the video.

  7. Once you have finished typing up the transcript, click the "Assign timings" link in the textbox.
    • Note that if you need to leave in the middle of a transcription, clicking the "Exit" button below the textbox will save your progress.
    • Do not click "Assign timings" until you are finished transcribing.

  8. You will be redirected to the "Manage subtitles and closed captions" page. You will see a button that says "English (setting timings...)."
    • YouTube is taking its best guess at where the transcript fits with the audio of the video. Depending on how long the video is, this could take a few minutes. So go grab a snack or catch up on emails in the meantime.
    • When you want to check on the progress of the timings, click the refresh button to the right of the language title.

  9. Once YouTube has finished its process, you will be taken to the "Transcribe and set timings" page. On this page, edit each caption by following our caption editing guidelines.
    • Useful keystrokes include:
      • "Enter" to break one caption into two captions where your cursor is.
      • "Shift + Enter" to move words to the next line within the same caption.

  10. When you have edited the captions to your liking, click the "Save changes" button to the upper right side of the player.

You are now ready to share your captioned YouTube video!

Back to Top