Why caption your videos?
LinkedIn native video is one of the most engaging types of content on the world’s biggest B2B platform. Adding captions can elevate this valuable content and ensure that everyone gets the message you wish to put across. Here’s why:
We road tested 4 different captioning apps – plus 1 bonus one – to find out which was the best app for adding subtitles to your video.
Kapwing is a free online captioning tool, ideal if you are editing videos that are on your desktop. It’s purely a captioning app, so there are no fancy add-ons.
How to add captions to video using Kapwing:
- Go to https://www.kapwing.com/caption-video and upload a video from your files or paste a URL.
- Start by typing your first subtitle in the box labeled below.
- Then set markers for how long the caption will be visible. Do this by sliding the white toggles to the proper time.
- To preview a caption’s timing, click on the timestamp (labeled 00.00 and 03.00 underneath the caption text) or hit the rewind button highlighted below.
- Adjust the font, size, and alignment using the left hand column labelled below.
- Now click “Add subtitle” and repeat the steps above.
- Once you have finished entering your subtitles, click “CREATE!” on the bottom left hand side.
- The finished video will refresh in the webpage where you can edit, download or remove the watermark by signing in.
Kapwing is very easy to use. You just have to upload your video and everything is on the one screen. This is ideal if you want to work from your desktop and you need accurate captions.
The downside was fumbling between subtitles and not being able to pause the preview properly. It takes a bit of getting used to. That said, you will eventually get the hang of it and it is a breeze from there on.
Rating: 4.5/5 -Accurate, easy and on your computer.
2. iMovie for iPhone
This is a free and easy to use app available on iPhone, that also has a desktop version on macOS. This was simpler than one of the other Apple captioning apps we reviwed (Clips) and I liked that I could enter my own subtitles and headers.
Steps to adding captions to video using iMovie:
- Open the app and tap “Create Project”.
- Tap movie → browse your library → tap multiple files if you want to combine multiple pictures/video into one movie.
- Hit “Create Movie”.
- Tap the gear icon on the bottom right for filters themes and misc.
- Add subtitles manually by tapping on the video → hitting the Text icon. I chose standard which was 3 levels of headers in all caps.
- If using Standard, choose which height you want the subtitles to be then enter text. Make sure you delete the other headers if you are not using them or else it will show as “Title Text Here” in the final product.
- To add new subtitles: tap the video again → slide the bar to where you need to cut the video at a new subtitle → tap scissors icon → hit split.
- Tap the new clip and repeat the steps.
- Once you have all of your captions, hit “Done” in the upper left.
- Edit or share by tapping the button with the up arrow.
We thought iMovie was extremely easy to use, and there were many options available for titles. Being able to control the caption accuracy was a plus.
We didn’t like the way you have to split the clips, which can become time consuming, and not being able to fully customise the captions was a bit limiting.
Rating: ⅘ – if you need simple and accurate captions
3. Clips for iPhone
Clips is a free app that works only on iPhone, and is great if you post live videos. An Apple product, it is easy to share on iMessage, social media and phone contacts. Clips also has extra editing capabilities much like Instagram Stories and Snapchat to create edgy looking content.
Steps to captioning a video with Clips:
- Open the app on your phone (or download in App Store).
- Your most recent project is found on the bottom of the screen, with each video showing as a separate clip. Click on one of the videos to continue editing or tap the files icon in the upper left to choose or create a project.
- Click “Create New”.
- To add captions, click the live titles icon to the left of the record button, pick a style (I used the second option, beside “None”), then hit the X to start recording.
- Hold down the pink button to begin recording.
- Add filters, labels, stickers and emojis by tapping a clip → “Effects” (the star to the right of the record button) → select.
- Other menu options include mute (which we used in the final video below), delete, trim, and save which adds it to your Photo Library.
- Add music from your phone by hitting the music note in the upper right.
- Tap the icon in the lower right with the up arrow to send, save, etc.
Only good for live video, but you must have good data or WiFi, it’s chunky! It’s easy to use, but you do have to get the hang of all the menus. We enjoyed the various editing options like stickers, to make the video more attractive.
On the downside, we found the live captions were sometimes inaccurate! If that happens, it’s time consuming and confusing to fix.
Rating: ⅗ – for the average Joe who needs quick, on the spot captions.
Autocap is a free captioning app available in Google Play. The app would not even boot up after uploading our video so a big no from us!
BONUS: Closed Caption Creator
Here’s a good one if you’re looking for separate caption or transcript files, although if you are looking to create a captioned video as one file, this will not work.
LinkedIn supports SRT caption files which you can export from this application to add to native video.
Steps to adding closed captioning to your video:
- Go to https://app.closedcaptioncreator.com/ and enter your email, add a password and you now have an account!
- I recommend watching the video, mentioned at the top of the screen or from the pop up if you are new to captioning tools.
- I used the default frame rate, and uploaded from files (notice you can upload from YouTube and Facebook!)
- Hit “Create” at the bottom to get started.
- I recommend adding a random key as the play/pause shortcut. Do this by clicking on the box that currently has “Shift+Meta(CMD)”, tapping the key of your choice, then clicking out of the popup. DO NOT just use the spacebar or else it will pause and play every time you type a caption!!
- Start captioning, by finding where you want you first caption to end. Set this time by sliding the arrow on the left and right of the blue box. Then type.
- Watch out for the length of the caption, you may need to click the orange exclamation point to make it more than one line.
- The interface can be confusing, so take a moment to click on the menus, like the position one that brings up the grid shown above.
- To add a new caption after the first: play the video to where you want the new caption → hit pause → go to Insert → Caption Event.
- Repeat, and feel free to click the timestamps or the caption blocks to toggle between the subtitles.
- When you are done, go to file → save project → choose a slot to save to your account.
- Warning! You can only download a separate captioning file. It will not embed into the video.
- For LinkedIn click file → export → caption file → SRT → export.
- Follow these instructions to post the video and captions on LinkedIn.
This is good for creating transcripts and caption files but you cannot combine video and captions into one file. Steer clear if you are a casual captioner!
Rating: 4/5 –For separate SRT and transcript files.
Which one should you use?
We hope you have enjoyed this review of captioning tools to add subtitles to LinkedIn video. If you know of any others that we haven’t included, please let us know. Good luck and enjoy adding text to your videos.