How to fix Closed Captioning on your YouTube videos

YouTube has a very cool featured whereby the big fancy YouTube computer will try to automagically perform closed captioning for your videos.  In my experiences in watching my own videos, and from viewing other videos, the closed captioning results from YouTube can be hit or miss.  In a pinch, most results are serviceable, allowing non-native speakers the ability to pick up on *some* of the works used in the audio.

I normally introduce myself in my videos as “Hey there, I’m Chad Boeninger, Business Librarian for Ohio University Libraries.”  In one of my recent videos, YouTube apparently didn’t pick up on my Southern accent or the spelling of my name.  The image below shows the result:

“hair I’m sad bond” ???!?


Fortunately, you can fix these results, and the process, while tedious, is not entirely painful.  All you have to do is go into the Edit menu in YouTube, and click on the Captions link.  This will take you to a page where you can change the wording of the captions, as shown in the image below:

Much better! (click for larger)


After you have edited your captions, it is a good idea to disable the YouTube automatic captions for that video to avoid confusing viewers with multiple closed captioned options.

Remember to disable duplicate captions

The end result, is much better:

Much better, with less “hair” 😉

Now that I’ve got the first 7 seconds fixed, now all I need to do is find time to work on the remaining 15:03.  Perhaps an easier option is to download the captions.sbv file from the video and edit in a text editor, as shown below.   You could then upload the modified sbv file to YouTube, remembering to disable other caption options.

Editing captions in a text editor may save time

I’ll edit the captions for an entire video soon, and report back on what I’ve learned.

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