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How to add subtitles to a video: step-by-step guide

Subtitles are helpful for language learners and everyone who wants to watch a video without disturbing other people in public places, such as libraries or a bus.

This guide explains how to add captions to a video on Windows and online on YouTube.

How to add subtitles in AVS Video Editor

AVS Video Editor allows you to insert subtitles on Windows, including older versions up to XP.

This method involves overlaying a text on a video wherever you want subtitles to appear. Captions are customizable, some editing options include:

  • Subtitle presets
  • Fonts, colors, text alignment, brush type, gradient
  • Shadows
  • Objects and images
  • Animation

Here are the simple steps to add subtitles on a video in AVS Video Editor.

1. Click the Text button and choose a text preset. They’re classified by type – Titles, Animation, Simple.

2. Drag’n’drop the desired preset to the timeline.

3. Adjust the text position and duration.

4. Enter your text and edit properties, if necessary.

5. Click OK, preview and save the video.

Note that after saving a video, you won’t be able to switch off or edit captions.

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How to add captions to video content on YouTube

YouTube is the world’s most popular video sharing platform. You can add subtitles to your clips in different languages as closed captions (CC). There are several ways to do that:

  • Generate/upload a file with subtitles and timecodes (e.g., SRT or SBV)
  • Auto-sync
  • Type captions manually
  • Automatic captioning and translation

Watch a short and clear introduction to each method.

Source: YouTube

Follow these simple steps to get subtitles for a YouTube video.

Upload a file with subtitles and timecodes

This way is the right decision for everyone who has a video script with timestamps.

  1. Open YouTube Studio and go to the Subtitles section.
  2. Choose the desired video.
  3. Click Add language and upload a file with captions. The recommended formats are SRT and SBV, but you can check the full list of supported subtitle formats.


Have the text from your video, but no timecodes? YouTube can automatically set words to the appropriate timing.

  1. Open YouTube Studio and go to the Subtitles section.
  2. Choose the desired video.
  3. Select Auto-sync and copypaste your text. Alternatively, you can upload a transcript file.
  4. Edit text and timings, if necessary.

Manual typing

The most obvious, but relatively difficult way to enable CC on YouTube.

  1. Open YouTube Studio and go to the Subtitles section.
  2. Choose the desired video.
  3. Select Type manually to enter your captions and timings.

Automatic captioning and translation

YouTube encourages creators to use professional captions. Still, the integrated AI can recognize speech in videos.

  1. Open YouTube Studio and go to the Subtitles section.
  2. Choose the desired video.
  3. Under the Languages section, you’ll see automatically generated subtitles.
  4. Click Assign timings to edit subtitles as usual.

Note: Automatic captions are only available for videos in Dutch, English, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, Ukrainian, and Vietnamese. Learn more

On YouTube and other major streaming services, subtitles can be switched on and off, and viewers can choose their language.

Why are subtitles and CC important?

Subtitles are the perfect option for each video, whoever your viewers are. Here’s some reasons for it.

Wider audience. Reach hard-of-hearing people with your videos, as well as everyone who doesn’t want to unmute a clip in public transport or a reading room.

Higher engagement. Viewers remember information from your video easier, when they also see subtitles.

Videos for language learning. Many people find movies with subtitles helpful in mastering a foreign language.

In fact, subtitles are key to success of a YouTube video.