How to Open & View a Transcript on YouTube

There’s a lot of wisdom on YouTube. The world’s favorite video hosting site is a massive resource for learning about nearly everything.


Get a YouTube Video Transcript



RevBlogResourcesTranscribeTranscribe Video to TextHow to Open & View a Transcript on YouTube

But did you know you can export some of that knowledge in the form of a written transcript? A YouTube video transcript is a written record of the text spoken in a YouTube video. You can view this transcript on YouTube and even copy and paste it to a Word or other document.

Video transcripts are super-useful if you are doing research. Instead of scrubbing through a YouTube video to find a quote, you can browse the transcript and copy-paste it into your project. Or, you can re-read the content of a video that you enjoyed at your leisure. (Let’s face it, some YouTube videos would be better without the presenters!)

Automatic vs. Professional Transcription

Who transcribes these transcripts? When a content creator adds the captions, YouTube transcribes them automatically using the caption file. Otherwise, YouTube’s software creates the transcript from the auto-generated captions.

You might also prefer to send the link to a professional transcription service & professional captioning service like Rev. There are several advantages of doing this instead of using YouTube’s automatic transcription & captioning option:

  • The transcription will be higher quality
  • You receive an export of the video transcript in the file format of your choice
  • You will also have access to your transcript in Rev’s powerful online editor
  • Using a third-party service like Rev is the only way to get a transcription from YouTube if the video isn’t captioned

Opening & Viewing a YouTube Video Transcript

You’ll need a web browser with an active internet connection. YouTube tends to work best with Chrome because they are both Google products. But any up-to-date browser should work. Then:

  1. Navigate to YouTube and open the video that you want transcribed.
  2. Locate and click the three horizontal dots below the video. They should be next to the Share and Save buttons.
  3. Clicking the dots pulls up a short menu. Click Open transcript.

YouTube will generate the transcript to the side of the video. Note that transcripts aren’t available on the mobile version of YouTube.

These transcripts are generated from the YouTube caption file (automatic or professional) associated with the video, so the YouTuber who posts the video will need to add professional captions to their YouTube video to get the most accurate transcripts.

Transcribing a YouTube Video without with Rev

Rev guarantees 99% accuracy with its YouTube transcription service, which is done by human professionals. So, it is more accurate than a YouTube transcription generated by their automated captions.

Here’s how to get a YouTube Transcript:

  1. Go to Rev’s Transcription page or Captioning page (depending on which service you want) and click Get Started.
  2. On the checkout page, choose Paste A URL.
  3. Copy and paste one or more YouTube addresses into the Paste URL(s) dialog box and click Add.
  4. Complete the checkout process.

Rev will email your finished transcript file within 12 hours for videos shorter than 30 minutes.

How to use services to add captions to your YouTube videos

YouTube uses speech recognition to automatically add captions to videos that you upload. But these tend to be low quality and full of errors. Adding captions or subtitles to your own YouTube videos has a lot of advantages. Your content becomes accessible for the hard-of-hearing and people who need to watch on silent. Captions can also boost your SEO ranking. And captions make it possible for YouTube viewers to access a transcript of your video.

The best and most convenient way is to use a professional captioning service. Rev guarantees 99% accuracy. To have Rev create subtitles for your YouTube video, follow these steps:

  1. Upload your video to YouTube.
  2. Navigate to this Rev Closed Captioning page and click Get Started.
  3. On the Order Captions page, click YouTube in the Pull videos directly from your account box.
  4. Select the YouTube video you want captioned and add it to your cart.
  5. Rev preselects the automatically deliver files back to YouTube box. Complete the checkout process, and you’re done.

Rev’s professionals will transcribe and caption your video and hook them up on YouTube. This usually takes less than 24 hours.

Information At Your Leisure

Not everybody computes at the same speed as a YouTube video. Activate YouTube’s transcription window or purchase a downloadable transcript from Rev to get the information you need in a format you can use.