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UWM LibGuides Training Site

An internal resource page used for training and getting started with LibGuides at the UWM Libraries.

Captions, Subtitles, and Transcriptions

Video Accessibility

To ensure all users are able to understand your media content with speech, videos should include a textual component. 


Definition and Use Case

Definition: Text versions of speech and other important audio content

Use Case: An instruction video with captions on the bottom of the screen for students to watch without audio


Definition: Text version of speech translated from another language

Use Case: A video for a foreign language class in Spanish with English translation subtitles


Definition: A written record of the speech from the video available to read outside of the audiovisual player. Screen readers may prefer a transcript to a captioned video. Helpful for those who cannot watch the video.

Use Case: An instruction video with a separate document of the spoken words to be reviewed alongside or separate from the video. Transcripts can also be used to create captions using video captioning software.

Before publishing: 

  • Ensure your videos and multimedia content is accessible to all users
  • We recommend using captions for your videos

Video Captioning Options

UWM Libraries preferred method: Editing YouTube captions

YouTube will generate captions for any video you upload, but these captions need to be edited to make them truly accessible. When you've finished recording a video upload it to YouTube:

Course and Subject-Specific Videos- Upload to a personal YouTube account

General-use Videos (tutorial content)- Contact Heidi ( to add your video to the Libraries' Youtube Channel


Follow these instructions for editing auto-generated captions in YouTube Studio.

Tips for captioning in YouTube:
  • It may take up to 24 hours for YouTube to generate captions for your video.
  • You can then edit the captions for grammar, flow, capitalization
  • Anything over 15 minutes will require an authentication of your account
  • Your video can be "unlisted" meaning only those with the link will be able to find it
Captioning via MyMedia in Canvas

If you have access to Canvas, or can ask an instructor to add items to Canvas, MyMedia will provide auto-captions for videos. However, this feature may encounter issues at the beginning of the semester with slow processing speeds. 

The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning has compiled a tutorial on adding videos to Canvas through the MyMedia tool. Please consult the guide for further help. 

To add captions to the video in Canvas, use this set of directions to request machine-generated captions. 

Note: You must be enrolled as a "Teacher" of the course in Canvas to add media and your video must be less than 2GB.

Other captioning methods

To create captions for your videos, you can investigate these free options.

  • A free Subly account allows for users to upload and caption 20 minutes of video a month. 
  • Once a video is uploaded, it will autogenerate a transcript of the text. You can edit the transcript to make sure it captures your speech and then add the transcript in as captions. You can edit the captions' font, color, placement, and style.
  • The video can be downloaded with captions and the program will generate a text file of transcripts as well. 
  • The Subly logo is displayed in the video. With a premium account, this is something you can change. 
  • Clips is an Apple app for iPhones/iPads that allows you to create videos with automatic captions
  • If using this app to produce captions, you will need to record your media using your phone and provide a voiceover 
  • You can also upload an existing video, without sound, and then voice record your speaking to add captions to the video.
    • An issue with the method is that the video would need to be long enough to fully overlay speech
Free transcription services

If you would like to avoid using captions, you can investigate these free transcription options. You can use a transcript to upload alongside your video in LibGuides or use it to create captions in another application.

  • Create your own transcript. All controls can be managed through your keyboard. 
  • No account needed
Google Docs
  • Use your Google account and Google Docs to create a text-to-speech transcript. 
  • Have GoogleDocs open with text-to-speech running in the background as you record your video.


Additional Resources


The contents of the Accessibility Tutorial may be reused with attribution. Please copy the following into new works based on the Accessibility Tutorial
Creative Commons LicenseAccessibility Tutorial by Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.