Captions are used all across visual media, ranging from blockbuster films and TV all the way down to images in a textbook. Maybe you’re the one friend who absolutely has to use captions to watch TV, or maybe you’ve been looking to add better context to images on your websites. Or you’re worried about being accessible to your audience.

With captions, you can help keep your content available to everyone. But how can you incorporate them into your media? Let’s get into it!

What Are Captions?

Captions are used in a few different circumstances. By definition, they are for those who are deaf or hard of hearing, allowing them to enjoy video content by giving them written context for what they’re viewing (known as close captioning). They are also used for images on the web to assist with screen readers, which helps those with vision issues to use the internet.

In general, video captions fall into one of two categories:

  • Closed Captioning is designed to aid those who cannot hear. They are synced with the video and give detail to non-speech elements, such as tone or noises in the scene.
  • Subtitles are similar but instead are used to aid those who can’t hear dialogue or may not understand it. Foreign films that are “subbed” for international audiences usually include subtitles.

How to Add Captions with VTT/SRT Files

You can add subtitles to a video by including a file alongside it. VTT files are plain text files that add captions alongside a video and allow you to customize how the text will look on screen. On the other hand, SRT files are a little more strict on how they’re made. While VTT files include some metadata about the captions, SRT are purely for just adding captions.

Adding Captions with Cloudinary

Clouinary’s powerful Media Experience Cloud can bring your videos to new heights, including adding subtitles. Our platform not only can deliver high quality, optimized videos, but you can include captions too.

Don’t have perfect SRT/VTT files for your videos? We’ve got you covered there, too. Cloudinary can automatically generate subtitles for your videos with Google’s Cloud Speech API, enabling you to have videos that are accessible without needing to manually transcribe them.

Get started with a free Cloudinary account today and see how far you can go.

Last updated: May 25, 2023