How to Upload a Transcript to YouTube

RevBlogResourcesHow to Upload a Transcript to YouTube

Transcripts and captions help increase your search engine rankings using the words within your video to help viewers on search engines like Google find your content. In addition, when speech and sounds are turned into text, those who are deaf or hard-of-hearing gain access to your content, effectively expanding your viewing audience.

Even people who aren’t hard-of-hearing appreciate the opportunity to read the text of a video, particularly in areas with distracting noise. Those who are using your video to learn—whether as a tutorial or as part of a class—may appreciate having the text available because it gives them another avenue to absorb the content.

To Access YouTube’s Automatically Generated Captions

YouTube uses an algorithm to guess what’s being said in each video. Here’s how to access this:

  • Log in to your YouTube Studio.
  • Using the left menu, choose Subtitles.
  • Choose the video you want captions for.
  • Review what YouTube’s algorithm did and rewrite it to make it more accurate.

YouTube uses speech recognition technology that approximates what’s being said. Even though YouTube’s algorithm gets some words right, it often makes mistakes. Also, if you want to have captions for sounds or sound effects that are important to the video, the algorithm won’t transcribe these. 

Putting Scripts in the Video Description

You could also put a script in the video description by simply editing it and typing in the words of the video. However, this is difficult, or impossible, for viewers to read as they watch the video. Their eyes have to leave the screen to read the content, causing them to miss much of the video.

How to Upload YouTube Captions

To upload transcript to YouTube, you have to:

  • Log onto your YouTube channel and go to your channel homepage.
  • Click Manage Videos towards the top.
  • Select the video you want to add the captions to and select Subtitles
  • Choose the language you want and click Add.
  • Click Upload file, then Choose either With timing or Without timing, then Continue.
  • Select your transcript/caption file from your computer (you can order one from Rev here), and click Open.

You can then see your captions on the left side of the screen.

The Benefit of Timecoded Files

With a timecoded caption file, you can eliminate the chance of the words not matching up with the corresponding speech or images in the video. YouTube can read the timecode of each portion of text. It then correlates that timecode with the ones it automatically generates for each video. YouTube uses this information to align your text with the appropriate time they’re supposed to appear.

To save valuable time, many users choose to use a service like Rev for their captions and subtitles. You can be provided with a timecoded transcription that YouTube can read in order to properly align it with your video. This way, the words in the captioned files appear on the screen in sync with the video, automatically, without you having to do any editing.

You can also choose to have important sounds transcribed. For example, if you have a piano piece by Debussy playing in the background, a caption with the text “Debussy’s Clair de Lune” can appear on the screen, helping to set the mood for the scene.

How to Get the Most Accurate Captions

The auto-captions provided by YouTube have varying degrees of accuracy—even for speech that is relatively clear. With Rev you’re guaranteed 99% accuracy. You also get timecodes included with your transcription. If you use Rev, all you have to do is upload the file, and your video has accurate, timecoded captions, ready for your viewers.