Captioning videos is an essential task for enhanced accessibility—and now, it doesn’t have to be taxing or tedious. With Runway’s adoption of artificial intelligence technology and a full suite of editing tools, you can add captions and increase your video’s appeal in minutes—then spend as long as you want on customizing the font, text size, background colors, and more exciting options.
Whether you’re editing a two-hour film festival entry or a minute-long Instagram reel, Runway takes the guesswork—and the legwork—out of closed captioning. Once you’ve uploaded your video, Runway can generate a complete transcription with just one click. Sit back, sip your coffee, and watch the captions appear before your eyes.
Upload audio and video files straight to the cloud and never worry about computer storage again. From MP4 to ProRes, we've got you covered.
Drag your desired clip into the timeline, and use the Subtitles feature to transcribe the audio. From here, you can choose to export the SRT file or burn captions directly into your video.
Once your effects are added, all that’s left to do is export! Customize formatting, download in 4K, or continue editing in Runway with more easy to use features.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a video without closed captions these days. And there’s a reason for that: closed captioning widens your net like nothing else. Best of all, with Runway, you don’t even need to know how to add captions to a video—AI technology takes care of it.
Grow and engage your audience
Captions make your video content accessible to the masses—and when it comes to video views, “the more, the merrier” always applies.
Reclaim your time
Time is money. Save on both when you switch your captioning work from outsourced to in-browser.
Caption everything, everywhere
Runway’s subtitle feature lets you save a transcription of your video as an SRT file, allowing you to add captions to your content before or after export, regardless of the platform you use.
From marketing materials to movie masterpieces, video projects come out better with Runway. Don’t be surprised when you find yourself asking, “Where has this been all my life?”
Tools that do it all
Runway’s ever-growing list of features gives you all-in-one access to a professional video editing tool. Generate captions, create green screens on the fly, add video effects, and edit audio—there’s nothing you can’t make.
Giant production value, tiny footprint
Say goodbye to your overheating hard drives and your long drives to the studio. With your computer and a stable Internet connection, you can make million-dollar movies on a micro-budget from anywhere in the world.
Teamwork that works for you
Share your project with any and all of your collaborators. No more uploads or downloads—or downtime. Runway lets you work in real-time with anyone on the team. Send over a quick invite link via email, and you’ll be connected with your crew for good.
By converting a video’s audio into on-screen text, closed captioning delivers a comparable experience for those watching a video with sound and those watching without it. Along with improving your ability to communicate, captions have other uses. They promote clarity and understanding. They increase the average viewing time. Above all, they demonstrate a commitment to accessible online content for everyone.
As for usage, captions have a place in all forms of visual media. From TikToks and Instagram stories to docu-series and video game reviews, closed captioning is a must in this day and age—because no one should be left out of the latest TikTok trends or most engaging YouTube series. If you’re unsure of how to add closed captions to a video, Runway can help.
Why should you add captions to videos?
In short, captioning videos removes the barrier to entry. When you have audio and text alongside your video, anyone can enjoy your content. Here are a few reasons to add captions to your videos: Accessibility – For some, reading the dialogue, sound effects, and music cues in a video is the best—or only—way to engage with content. Members of the hard-of-hearing community, people with auditory processing issues, and those learning the language used in the video can all benefit from captions. Improving video reach – Captions help you reach new people in more ways than one. Aside from making your videos accessible to a larger audience, captions can improve search engine optimization (SEO) if exporting your SRT with Runway. By incorporating important keywords into the script for your video (and then applying them to the video via caption), you increase the likelihood of search engine traffic landing on your content. And because videos with transcribed audio often rank higher in search results, you’ll see more views and better engagement overall. Capturing silent video viewers – How many times have you watched a video in silence on the train, on your lunch break, or even in a public washroom? Probably more times than you can count (or care to admit), and you’re not alone. According to a 2019 poll, 69% of people are likely to watch a video with the sound off in public, while 25% continue to keep the sound off at home. If your video doesn’t have captions, these silent viewers are unlikely to stick around.
Is there a difference between subtitles and captions?
There sure is. Although the terms are often used interchangeably, captions and subtitles fulfill different roles in the world of video. Let’s look more closely at each one: Subtitles – If you’ve ever watched a foreign-language film, you have experience with subtitles. In most cases, subtitles translate the video’s dialogue from the original language to a secondary language (though you could also subtitle a video in its original language). Subtitles are particularly useful for sharing video content in other markets; however, you’ll still need to translate your script from, say, Spanish to English.
Captions – Captions take subtitles to another level. In addition to displaying speech, captions also identify the speaker and describe non-dialogue audio like music and sound effects. On many media sites, you can identify a captioned video by the “CC” icon. Both captions and subtitles have their place in digital media, but captions are the more inclusive option since they incorporate all elements of the video’s audio.
Should you transcribe videos manually or use automatic tools?
A few years ago, the answer to this question might have been, “Do it yourself. Automatic captioning tools are way too inaccurate.” The time savings that came with auto-generated captions were often squandered by having to go back and fix typos. Today, AI-powered transcription has vastly improved. For example, Runway’s automatic subtitles function is unbelievably accurate. Even if there’s a misspelled proper name here and there, it only takes a moment to go in and fix the error. Thanks to a subtitle search tool, you can find the part you’re looking for, make corrections, nudge the timing if needed, and continue editing your captioned video.
How do you add captions to your videos?
The auto-generated captions of online video players aren't always the most reliable. So as a video editor, it's better to add accurate captions on your own. Wondering how to add closed captioning to a video? To start, you’ll have to generate your captions. Runway’s subtitles feature writes out accurate captions for you in minutes and then places them neatly along the timeline of your video. Once you’re happy with your captions, you have to decide whether you want to bake them into your video or add them separately. This choice usually hinges on your video file’s ultimate destination. Option #1: Pre-export – If you’ll be posting your video to your website or sharing it on social, adding subtitles before export might make more sense. When you export your video with captions, you can rest easy knowing that your content will be accessible, no matter where it’s shared. The downside to these so-called “baked-in captions” is that your audience won’t be able to turn them off if they want to. Option #2: Post-export – Some platforms, such as YouTube and Vimeo, allow you to upload a caption file along with your video. Caption files contain all of your text, as well as cues about timing. With Runway, you can export a caption file (as an SRT file) after you’re satisfied with your captioning. Post-export captioning allows users to turn off captions if they find them distracting. The best option? Try creating one version of your video with captions built-in and another without closed captioning to use as needed.
Do captions need to be synced with the video?
To give all viewers the same experience, captions should always follow the video as closely as possible. Perfectly lining up the timing used to be a challenging feat, especially during moments of rapid-fire dialogue or one-after-the-other sound elements, but with today’s technology, it’s much easier. In fact, with Runway, timing your captions to the video is practically effortless. You can click and drag to shorten or extend sections and move blocks of text along the timeline in sync with the video. Whether you are uploading a YouTube video, Facebook video, Instagram video, or any other social media video, if you want to give viewers the option to read your video captions separately from the video, Runway makes that possible, too. Simply tweak your captions to your liking, then export them as an SRT file. From there, you could upload your captions to YouTube or provide a full transcription on your website.