How to Add Captions

To produce captions, we recommend you order closed captions through our preferred vendor,

You may also use automatic captioning in YouTube; however, autocaptions are not always very accurate and must be thoroughly edited.

Ordering Closed Captions

If you choose to outsource your video captioning, we recommend using Rev captions must be reviewed for accuracy, but the editing required is minimal.


The following video platforms integrate with Rev — meaning your finished captions can be added to your video automatically. (The standard university templates also support these video platforms.)

Note: You may also order captions without integrating your video accounts. Once your caption file is complete, you will need to manually upload it to your video platform.

Integrating Ensemble with Rev

If your department has an existing Ensemble account or library, or you will be producing videos through Media Technology Services (MTS) in the future, Rev can integrate with Ensemble.

Contact Eli Jacobson in MTS to request a local Ensemble username and password. Please do not use your Brandeis UNet credentials in Rev.

Placing Your Order Through Rev

Create a Rev Account
  1. Create an account on

  2. Add your department's P-Card to your Rev account for billing.

  3. If desired, set up integration with Ensemble, YouTube or Vimeo by linking those accounts on the Settings page of your Rev account.

Note: If you would like to set up integration with Ensemble, please contact Eli Jacobson in MTS to request a local Ensemble username and password. Please do not use your Brandeis UNet credentials in Rev.

Place an Order
  1. Order your caption files. You will see options to:

    1. Upload a video file from your computer.

    2. Share a link to a public web address.

    3. Pull videos directly from your Ensemble, YouTube or Vimeo account.

Review the Captions

You will receive an email when your captions are complete. Videos under 30 minutes are typically finished within 24 hours.

Rev's captions are generally very accurate, but you will need to review the spelling of names. There are two ways to edit your captions, depending on which video platform you are using:

  • YouTube and Vimeo: Using the Chrome browser, log in to your Rev account, go to My Files and click the name of the caption file to launch the caption editor.

  • Ensemble: Log in to your Ensemble account, select Edit on the video, then Manage, then Launch Amara Editor to launch the caption editor.

Add Captions to Your Video
  • If you linked a YouTube, Vimeo or Ensemble account during the order process, your captions will be added to your video automatically.

  • If you provided a web address for your video, you will need to download your captions from Rev and upload them to the appropriate video platform. Before you upload the file, please see Review the Captions above.

Editing Automatic Captions (Autocaptions)

Note: These directions are for YouTube Creator Studio Classic. This feature isn’t available in YouTube Studio beta yet. If you’re in YouTube Studio beta (, select Creator Studio Classic in the left menu to follow these steps for YouTube Studio Beta.

Create and edit autocaptions in YouTube
  1. Sign in to YouTube. You can use any gmail address (including your UNET address) or create a new account.

  2. Upload your video to YouTube.

  3. Click the blue EDIT VIDEO button under the video. If you are in Video Manager/Creator Studio your screen may look different and the button will simply be labeled Edit.

    screenshot of Youtube indicating edit video button


    screenshot of Youtube indicating alternate edit button

  4. The view will change. Click on Subtitles/CC above the video that should have appeared. If you are in the Video Manager/Creator Studio view, your edit button will be a drop-down as shown in the previous image.

    screenshot of Youtube indicating subtitles/cc button

  5. If your video contains automatic YouTube captions, you will see one or more long grey buttons with green dots to the right of the video. The default is English (automatic). If the captions have never been edited, it will likely be the only option. Assuming that is the case, click the English (automatic) button.

    Note: If the English (automatic) button does not appear, it is possible that your captions are still processing, so try again later. (Also, it is possible that no spoken words were detected in the video). Note, too, that the captions may still be processing even after the video itself has completed processing.

    screenshot of Youtube indicating published captions tracks

  6. The screen will change to show you the captions as they were written by the computer line by line with time stamps, as well as a video-editor-style viewer under the video itself. You can scroll through either and see the auto captions as they are timed to the video. An Edit button should have appeared over the video. Click it. It may ask you if you wish to overwrite the current captions. You do.

    screenshot of Youtube indicating caption edit button

  7. Now you should have the ability to edit each line of the captions. Check accuracy and spelling, and please add punctuation. You don't need to be accurate to the level of every "um," but make sure the words generally match what the person is saying. Also add reference to any music, important sound effects, etc. Tips for writing captions and transcripts.

  8. When you have finished editing, click the blue button Publish edits, located above the video. If a warning comes up, click publish.

    screenshot of Youtube indicating publish button

  9. The screen should change to reflect that the new captions/subtitles have been published. You may want to open a new browser and check your video. Turn on the captions using the CC button on the player and watch your edited version. If you have multiple versions showing in the video player, you may unpublish the incorrect version(s). If you are having difficulty, please contact us.

  10. If your video is embedded on web pages (as opposed to linked), the captions should work in the embed, as well (you may need to refresh your page).

If you are only using your video on YouTube, you are all set with captions! For other video players, read on.

Download YouTube captions for use in other video players

Before proceeding on to Ensemble, Facebook or another video platform, finalize your captions in YouTube and download the subtitle file.

In the Creator Studio view in YouTube, click the Actions button at the left side of the screen. A dropdown will allow you to select what format you wish to download the subtitle file.

  • Choose .vtt for Ensemble

  • Choose .srt for Facebook

The caption file (named captions.vtt or will download to your downloads folder; this file can be uploaded to Ensemble or Facebook.

youtube screenshot selecting subtitle format

Add caption file to Ensemble
  1. First, download your caption file from YouTube as instructed above. Make sure the file is .vtt format.

  2. Go to the Ensemble website.

  3. At lower right, click "Login with Brandeis Unet" and login with your Brandeis ID.

If you are first uploading the video to Ensemble:

  1. In the Media Library view, click the green +Add button

  2. Enter your description information for the video; only Title is required.

  3. Click the Manage tab

  4. Drag your video to the box and click Start Upload

  5. Click the Caption tab at upper right

  6. Make sure the correct language is selected. Typically this is English (United States), but it is possible to have captions in other languages. (For example, you might translate the English caption file in a text editor, or one of the caption editors). Note that if the video has foreign language(s), select the language of the captions, not the language of the speaker. Note that a video might have multiple caption files in different languages, but each caption file should only contain one language.

  7. Drag your captions.vtt file (which you downloaded from YouTube above) into the box and click start upload

  8. Once your video is processed, click the black Preview button at upper right

  9. Play the video to check it. You will need to show the captions by clicking the grey [cc] button, which appears at the bottom right of the video as you mouseover the video. Select English (or whatever language you chose for the caption).

  10. If you need to edit the captions, this can be done from the Caption tab; click Launch Amara Editor.

  11. Once your captions and video are complete, click the Publish tab and then the green Publish button at bottom.

If you are adding captions to an existing video on Ensemble:

  1. Go to the Media Library and find your video

  2. Click either Edit or Manage and you will be brought to the editing screens as described above.

Add caption file to Facebook

Note: Please finalize your captions in YouTube before proceeding on to Facebook.

  1. Download your caption file from YouTube as instructed above. Make sure the file is .srt format.

  2. Rename the file using this format:

  3. Login to Facebook as usual. Click the Photo/Video button to upload the video, if you haven't already.

  4. Add your description information and add it to your feed or story. It will take a few minutes for the video to process.

  5. To find your video once it is processed, click your name to go to your account; click the More button under the banner and Videos should be an option. Click on the video to open larger.

  6. Under the video, click the three dots next to "Like" and "Comment;" choose Edit Video

    Edit Facebook Video icon
  7. Under Captions > Upload SRT files, use the Browse button to select your captions file (remember the file must follow the naming format or it will not work)

  8. Make any changes to Title, Description, etc you like and click Save.

  9. Play the video to test it.

  10. When you mouseover the video, a gear icon appears at the bottom right of the video for settings; click it to reveal the Captions on/off toggle, and More Video Settings option.

  11. Click the toggle to ON to see the captions.

    Facebook settings icon
  12. Clicking More Video Settings brings up a series of options, one of which is Always Show Captions. This should be on. You can also change the caption display style.

    Facebook caption settings