To ensure that your Vimeo videos are as accessible as possible, you will need to add captions.  Vimeo does not have a captions generator or editor built into its platform.  This means that you will need to generate captions manually or automatically generate captions and download them from another platform.  The instructions on this page will guide you through automatically generating captions in YouTube, downloading the captions, and uploading them to Vimeo.

YouTube can use speech recognition technology to automatically create captions for your videos.  Automatic captions may not be ready at the time that you upload a video. Processing time depends on the complexity of the video's audio.

Keep in mind that if you use auto-generated captions, you will need to revise them for accuracy.

To add YouTube automatically generated captions, use the following steps:

  1. Upload your video to YouTube.
  2. Click on the link of the video to which you would like to add captions.
  3. When the video page appears, click on the Edit Video button.
    1. analytics and edit video buttons
  4. In the Video side panel, choose Subtitles.  You will need to scroll down through the list to see it.
    1. Subtitles link shown under Comments link
  5. Click Add.
    1. subtitles add link
  6. If you are automatically generating captions, choose Create new subtitles or CC.
    1. choose how you want to add subtitles or closed captions to this video: Upload a file, transcribe and auto-sync, or create new subtitles or CC
  7. Edit your captions.  Remember, auto-generated captions are only 70-85% accurate, and the industry standard calls for 99% accuracy or higher.  You will need to edit punctuation, spelling, and speaker changes.
    1. caption editor with captions selected for editing
  8. Save your changes.
  9. Return to YouTube Studio.
    1. Return to YouTube Studio button
  10. Click Videos and select the newly captioned video.
  11. In the Video side panel, choose Subtitles.  You will need to scroll down through the list to see it.
  12. Under the Subtitles heading, next to Published by Creator, click the three buttons to view more options.
    1. Subtitles heading with Published by Creator underneath; three dots signifying additional options beside text
  13. Download captions.
  14. To change the caption file's format, visit Happyscribe Free Converter.  Change the output type to WEBVTT.
    1. Conversion output set to WEBVTT
  15. Paste the text from the YouTube SBV file into the text editor and click the Convert My File button.
    1. text editor and Convert My File button
  16. After uploading your video to Vimeo, select Edit Settings.
    1. edit settings button enabled, save button disabled
  17. In the Settings panel, select Distribution and then Subtitles.
    1. Settings panel with Distribution opened and Subtitles selected
  18. On the Subtitles screen, select the + button to upload your WEBVTT file.
    1. Subtitles page, with add new file button selected
  19. Set the language, and under Type, select Captions.
    1. language drop down set to English, type drop down set to captions
  20. Select the Choose file button and find the WEBVTT file in your Downloads folder.
  21. Toggle Captions on.
    1. captions toggled on
  22. Click Save.

Resources: Vimeo Captioning

Last modified November 26, 2019