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How to add subtitles to your YouTube video?

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  • 4 min read

Subtitles add that extra touch to a video or film that everybody notices and no one appreciates. They take a lot of time and effort to make and often go unnoticed.

However, that doesn’t mean you should overlook them. Sure only a small number of your audience might actually use them but a lot more will appreciate them.

Subtitles can also be super handy for anyone who can’t hear the audio or doesn’t necessarily understand the language used in the video.

Don’t worry though, adding subtitles to your YouTube videos is simpler than you think. Here’s how you can add subtitles to your Youtube video.

Also read: How to get a student discount on YouTube Music?

How to add subtitles to a YouTube video?

Step 1: Head over to YouTube Studio

Step 2: Scroll down in the left pane and click on Subtitles

Step 3: Select the video you’d like to subtitle.

Step 4: You’ll see a Set language dialogue box. Set your preferred language. You also have the option to set that as the default for your channel. Click Confirm when done.

Step 5: One the next page, you’ll see the language you added alongwith an option to add subtitles. Click on Add to proceed.

Step 6: A new tab will open giving you some options as to how you want to add subtitles

  • Upload a file: Allows you to upload a timed subtitle file or a transcript.
  • Transcribe and Auto-Sync: Allows you to upload a script and automatically syncs it with the audio.
  • Create new Subtitles or CC: Allows you to create subtitles from scratch. This is the one we’ll select for this guide.

Step 7: Once you click on the third option, you’ll see that a list of auto-generated timings has opened and all you need to do is type in the text. You can, of course, modify the timings if they’re incorrect.

You can also use the timeline at the bottom to adjust how long each subtitle lasts on the screen.

Adding subtitles can seem taxing especially if the video is long or complex. Here are some keyboard shortcuts to speed up your workflow

  • Shift + left arrow: Seek back one second. 
  • Shift + right arrow: Seek forward one second. 
  • Shift + space: Pause or play the video.
  • Shift + enter: Add a new line.
  • Shift + down arrow: Edit next subtitle.
  • Shift + up arrow: Edit previous subtitle.
  • Enter: Add the subtitle.

Also read: YouTube launches a native DIY Video Builder suitable for advertisers

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here: