Caption Using Amara

Why use Amara

  • YouTube’s or Vimeo’s automated caption quality is poor,
  • you desire more control of the timing,
  • you have a transcript from the production or
  • you wish to avoid the risks of using a external cloud service like YouTube.

Upload to the Internet

Your un-captioned video needs a Web URL address. It must be uploaded or file transferred to the Internet. You can upload to YouTube or another external service or to your website. In WordPress you can upload it to your Media Library. Contact the COFA Web team for assistance.

Log in

  • Go to the Amara website,
  • Make an account by registering or log in through Gmail, Facebook or Twitter.

Tips for Writing Captions & Audio Description

 Add Captions

  • Paste the Web URL address of your video into the “Subtitle a Video Now” field.
  • Click “Subtitle.” Doing this will bring you to a page with your video on it.
  • Underneath your video there will be a tab that says, “Subtitle me.” Click it.
  • Select the language the video is in and the language the captions will be in.
  • Then, click “continue.”
  • You will be brought to the subtitle page where you type while watching the video.
  • Press tab to watch the video in 8-second increments. At this point don’t worry about timing. Just group words into a few lines at a time.
  • Click “Done” and start syncing.
  • Now you will sync the captions to appear in your video at the correct time. To do this, press tab to start playing the video, then the Down key whenever the next subtitle should appear.
  • After the initial run through you can refine the timing of each individual subtitle to the millisecond by clicking the arrows.
  • After each subtitle is correctly timed, click “Done” and go on to fill out the title and description for the subtitled video.
  • Finally, Amara will give you one more chance to check your work and edit things before submitting (though you can always go back to the previous steps if need be).
  • Once you’re satisfied, click “Done”. It’s that easy!

Upload and Add the Captioned Video to Your Website

At this point, you have two options.

  • Upload captions to YouTube and Embed from YouTube (Option 1)
  • Embed the video directly from Amara (Option 2)

Upload Captions to YouTube and Embed from YouTube (Option 1)

Download the Caption File From Amara

  • Click the “Activity” tab above the video. You should see a message like: (Your Username) edited English subtitles for Video Name
  • Click the link to “English subtitles” in the message.
  • Click “Download”, then “SRT”.  This will download a .srt file to your computer.

Upload the Captions into YouTube

  • Log in to YouTube.
  • Go to “video manager.”
  • Go to the video you want to add the captions to.
  • Click the down arrow next to the “EDIT” button and select “Captions.”
  • Then click “Add new captions or transcript.”
  • Using the “Choose file” button, select the downloaded .srt file from your computer.
  • Make sure that the type is “Caption file” and the language is English or the appropriate language.
  • Finally, click the “upload file” button. Your captions will now be in the YouTube video, and viewers can access them in the YouTube player.

Get the YouTube Embed Code

  • Go to the page for your YouTube video, click “share”.
    Example code:
    <iframe width=”640″ height=”360″ src=”″></iframe>
  • Paste the code into your Web page file. If you are using a content management systems like Drupal and WordPress, due to security concerns, you may not be allowed to paste iframe code. WordPress content editors can follow the instructions for adding media from external services. Drupal content editors should contact the COFA Web team.

Embed the Video Directly from Amara (Option 2)

  • From the home page, click your username and select “Videos”
  • Find the page of the video you captioned.
  • Once you’re on the specific video page, click “Get Embed Code.”
  • Paste the code into your Web page file. If you are using a content management systems like Drupal and WordPress, due to security concerns, you may not be allowed to paste in code. Please contact the COFA Web team.

Leave a Reply