How do I use the captioning tool?

Simple Caption Editor

Simple Caption Editor offers a user-friendly and accessible platform to create Closed Captions for video content. The end result displays timed text on a video, representing dialogue, sound effects and descriptions of music and lyrics.

Making captions in Simple Caption Editor can be completed in two easy steps. The first step is Type Mode, where the audio is transcribed by typing out the dialogue and sound effects. During this step, captions are broken into readable chunks of information for the viewer. The second step is Time Mode, with functionality to edit and cue out captions in time with the speakers.

Tips and tricks

The first tip of captioning is to get cosy with your keyboard shortcuts! There are a few ways to navigate the media, and the more you can get comfortable using the keyboard rather than the mouse, the quicker you’ll get at captioning.

Here are some essential keyboard commands. You can find more from page 5 of the Simple Caption Editor User Guide.

Tab: Play/Pause

Shift+Ctrl: Jump back (you can customise the length of time you jump in seconds)
Shift+Alt: Jump forwards (you can customise the length of time you jump in seconds)

Shift+Enter: Insert a line break

What do I caption?

Captioning is all about balancing content with readability. Speakers should be clearly labelled, all audible speech should be captioned, along with any meaningful sound descriptions, such as if the media contains music or videos.

However, some content isn’t necessarily essential to captioning, and can actually impact the readability of captions. So, for example, if a speaker is stuttering frequently, or misspeaking and correcting themselves, you can leave out little things like these to create clear, readable captions.

There’s more detailed information about what to caption and content guidelines in the Recorded Captioning Style Guide.

How do I get faster?

They don’t say ‘practice makes perfect’ for no good reason. The more you caption, the more familiar you get with the keyboard commands and text editing shortcuts, along with listening and accurately transcribing audio, the faster and more confident you’ll get.

If you’re unsure of anything or have any questions, you can also get in touch with our team at Online Support for advice and information about our standards.

Download the User Guide for Simple Caption Editor

Download the Recorded Captioning Style Guide

Looking for information on the Transcription tool?

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Updated on September 9, 2020

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