YouTube Subtitles: How to Add Subtitles on YouTube in 4 Best Ways Online

Last Updated: 2021. 11. 30

Adding subtitles to your YouTube videos offers many benefits. YouTube subtitles allow your video content to reach wider viewers who speak a foreign language and make it easier for people with hearing issues to enjoy your YouTube videos.

Besides, adding subtitles on YouTube videos can also increase YouTube watch time. So, with higher watch time, your videos are more likely to rank high on YouTube’s search list. You may also add subtitles for strong CTA for a promo video. What’s more, viewers can catch your YouTube videos without audio on.

In this post, we will walk you through how to add subtitles on YouTube in the 4 best ways online. Whether it is a short YouTube trailer or a complex YouTube makeup tutorial or a long YouTube documentary, one of our proven solutions will work for you. So, let’s rock and roll, now.

Here is what you will learn:

1. How to Add Subtitles on YouTube Using YouTube Studio

Well, the official way to add subtitles on a YouTube video is using the YouTube Studio. It’s 100% free and offers you an easy way to upload and edit the subtitle and caption.

*Add YouTube Subtiltes When Uploading a YouTube Video

Add YouTube subtitles when uploading a YouTube video

When you uploaded a video to YouTube, you will go through the “Video Elements” where you can add subtitles on the “Add Subtitles” section.

*Add YouTube Subtitles When a Video Has Been Uploaded

Log in to your YouTube account > go to the left “Subtitle” tab in YouTube Studio > click on the “Language” drop-down menu > add a specific language and click “add” under the “Subtitle” column.

Add subtitles for uploaded YouTube videos

Add subtitles for uploaded YouTube videos

Once you click on the “Add” subtitle button, YouTube Studio offers you 3 options to add subtitles on a YouTube video:

You have 3 options to add subtitles on YouTube plus keyboard shortcuts

You have 3 options to add subtitles on YouTube plus keyboard shortcuts

Option 1: Upload a Prepared Subtitle File

A YouTube subtitle file can be an SRT file or a TXT file in which the subtitles of the speakers in the video and the timings of the texts are written. Once you upload it to the YouTube Studio, YouTube will automatically arrange the subtitles according to the timings.

Option 2: Auto-sync the Transcript of a Video

You can manually type the transcript of the video with timing or copy and paste the transcript of a video > click on the “Assign Timings” button > YouTube Studio will auto automatically set subtitles timings for you.

Option 3: Type Subtitles Mannually

You can manually type in the texts as you watch the video and set the timing for each subtitle. To boost working efficiency, YouTube Studio also offers you keyboard shortcuts for editing.

You may use keyboard shortcuts, trim subtitles, or zoom in/out to check for details.

You may use keyboard shortcuts, trim subtitles, or zoom in/out to check for details.

To enable the keyboard shortcut feature, simply check the “Pause while typing” button and click on the “Keyboard Shortcuts”. Then a pop-up window will show you the hotkeys, like “shift+space = pause or play the video”, etc.

Or You can click and drag the caption to move it above the exact audio track and drag the slider to easily trim a subtitle or use the zoom in/ out tool to check whether your timeline is correct or not.

2. How to Add Subtitles on YouTube Manually Online

Instead of using YouTube Studio, if you prefer to add subtitles with styles and motion on a short YouTube video like a YouTube trailer or a promo video, then using FlexClip, a free and feature-packed online video maker, can be your go-to choice.

Use FlexClip to add subtitles with styles on YouTube

Step 1
Upload Your Video Assets to FlexClip

Once you upload your video, click on the “+” button to add it to the storyboard. You may trim the unwanted video parts when needed.

Upload video assets to FlexClip

Upload video assets to FlexClip

Step 2
Select a Text Template for Your YouTube Subtitles

Go to the “Text” tab on the left menu > select a pre-made subtitle and manually add it to the video. FlexClip offers you dozens of designer-made subtitles like “lower thirds”, “social media”, “wedding titles”, “news titles” and “speech bubbles” and “profile”, “search bar” etc. Do follow the scroll-down menu to find the one you need.

Add subtitles with styles to YouTube video

Add subtitles with styles to YouTube video

Step 3
Customize the Subtitles

All the fonts, color schemes, styles, and motion, alignment, sizes, can be customized. You may click on the “timing‘’ tool and trim the duration of a subtitle and place it in the right place. Find out how to add bilingual subtitles to videos.

Use the text tool to customize the subtitles

Use the text tool to customize the subtitles

Bonus Tips
Don’t forget to check out the 4M+ royalty-free stock assets in FlexClip’s media library, including high-res videos, HD photos, and background music and sound effects. They will take your YouTube videos to the next level.
Step 4
Preview and Export the Video

Done with the editing. You can export the YouTube video with subtitles in MP4 (1080P) to your local PC or directly share it to the YouTube channel or save it to your Dropbox. Even export it as an animated GIF. Pretty handy.

3. How to Add Subtitles on YouTube Automatically

If your YouTube video is more than 30mins and you don’t have time to manually add subtitles on YouTube by YouTube Studio, a viable solution is to use HappyScribe, a professional online tool, offering auto-generated and human transcription services.

Use HappScribe to automatically add subtitles to your YouTube videos.

Step 1
Sign for a free account and log into it
Step 2
Select the Auto-transcription Tool in the Dashboard

Go to “Upload a New File” > click on the “Transcription” option > you can directly upload your YouTube video from PC or select “My YouTube Channel” to allow HappyScribe to access your online YouTube video and choose the video you would like to transcribe > select the language of your YouTube video is spoken and choose “Machine Generated” option for a quick auto-transcription > click the “Submit” button.

By the way, you may also opt for paid human service for complex and long YouTube video content.

Step 3
Correct the Minor Errors and Label Multiple Speakers

Once the auto-transcription is done, you may open the auto-transcripted subtitles. You can manually correct the minor mistakes and add the name of multiple speakers at different timings. HappyScribe also allows you to select a new language for auto-translation.

Step 4
Download the Transcription in a Format You Like

Multiple formats of transcription are available, such as: SRT, VTT, TXT, STL, HTML, JSON, CSV, PDF, etc.

Step 5
Upload the Subtitle File to YouTube

4. How to Add Subtitles on YouTube by Hiring Professionals

For long YouTube videos like documentaries with many terminologies, hiring a professional to add subtitles to your YouTube video can be a great alternative. Our recommendation would be to use the affordable human service offered by Rev($1.25/per min).

Use Rev’s human service to directly add subtitles on YouTube

Like HappyScribe, Rev has fine integration with YouTube. So, you can grant Rev access to your online YouTube video and then select the video you wanna add subtitles. Then pay for the service. Then the professionals will add subtitles to your YouTube videos within the agreed time. So, there is no need for you to upload an SRT file to your YouTube Studio and save your precious time.

Step 1
Go to Rev. com and Select “Caption” Option and Click “Get Started”
Step 2
Grant Rev Access to Your YouTube Account

Click on the “YouTube” icon > sign in Rev and grant Rev access to your YouTube account. So, Rev can download your YouTube video and directly upload subtitles to your YouTube videos. > select the video you would like to add subtitles > hit “Add Selected to Cart”.

Step 3
Finish the Checkout Process

If you are pressed for time, you can select “Rush My Order” by adding $1 more/ per min for human transcription service.

Now, It’s Your Move

  Add YouTube Subtitles Accuracy Best Suited For
YouTube Studio Upload SRT file; paste transcript; type in manually; keyboard shortcuts; display single language subtitle; free > 80% short and long YouTube videos
FlexClip Type in manually with styles and motion; add single or multilingual subtitles; free 100% short YouTube videos with personal flair
HappyScribe Paid machine-generated subtitle; paid human service ($1.95/min, 24hrs delivery) >85%(AI); >99% (Human) Long YouTube videos
Rev Paid human service, including directly adding subtitles on YouTube ($1.25/min, 24hrs delivery, expedited subtitle service) 99% Long YouTube videos

So, these are the 4 best ways to add subtitles on YouTube. Different strokes for different folks. It’s fine to use YouTube Studio to add subtitles to your YouTube videos. But, if you need to create styles and add personal flair or multilingual subtitles to your YouTube tutorials or promo videos, FlexClip is the best choice. While for long videos like documentaries and movies, HappyScribe and Rev’s human service fits you best. So, start adding subtitles on YouTube now!

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