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YouTube improving captioning tools for creators

YouTube has discontinued Community Contributions, but also announced several improvements to captioning that should make it easier to add and edit video captions.

To help Creators who used Community Captions, YouTube is also extending the free membership to the Amara captioning community from 6 months to 12 months, by which time the new features should be in place. If your channel was eligible for this subscription, you should have seen a notice on your YouTube Studio Dashboard. This was offered to channels actively using Community Contributions. 

Here is how YouTube is improving captioning for Creators: 

  • A new version of the Captions Editor in YouTube Studio is rolling out. It uses "smart" timing to automatically sync captions to videos while you write or edit captions. 
  • A new Trusted Captioner role is in development. This will allow you to add trusted members of your community to help caption your videos. This will be introduced next year.
  • Improvements to automated captioning.  They have launched a new English auto-captioning model with "drastically decreased word error rates". 

How to Caption or Subtitle your YouTube Videos

You can edit automatic captions or manually add captions in YouTube Studio.

1. Sign in to YouTube and open YouTube Studio (

2. Click Subtitles on the left menu

3 .Click a video to add or edit captions

4. Select the language for your video

5. Click Add to add new captions or Duplicate and Edit to start from the automated captions. Click Add Language to add translated in a different language.

6 Add the captions:

  • Upload file: use a file in a supported format for subtitles and closed caption files
  • Auto-sync:  type the captions as you watch the video
  • Type  manually: type or paste the captions, which are then auto-synced to the video.
  • Auto translate: YouTube will automatically translate your uploaded or edited captions. This is not available to translate automatic captions.

7. When you are done either Save Draft or Publish the captions 

More information