25 November, 2022

How to Edit Video Subtitles

by

Grant Shaddick

Subtitles make any video more accessible, engaging, and convenient to watch. But what happens when the subtitles are wrong? Automated subtitles can have a lot of mistakes and manually transcribing a video takes a long time.

In this post you’ll learn how to edit automatic subtitles so that you can quickly create videos with 100% accurate subtitles.

Free automatic transcription software

Why you need accurate subtitles

  1. So that all viewers can understand your video. This is important if you have a strong accent or if the video includes technical terms. If your subtitles are inaccurate or parts of missing then viewers watching with the sound off aren’t going to understand what the video is about.
  2. So that your video can be indexed by search engines. Search engines can only index the text in your video if it has accurate subtitles. If the text is wrong, its not going to be indexed in the way you expect.

Some examples where accurate subtitles make a big difference.

1:1 personal videos

If you’re making a video for a specific lead, customer, or coworker it’s likely you’ll mention their name and their company’s name. As advanced as automatic transcription is, getting names and brands right is still tricky. Steph won’t be amused when she’s called Steve, Daniel doesn’t like being called Danielle, and it’s Tella not Teller. Inaccurate names can ruin a good first impression.

Product videos

If you have a video about a product you’re selling, you want to make sure the product’s name is spelled correctly in the subtitles. You also want to ensure that any features or benefits you mention in the video are accurately reflected in the subtitles.

Edit video captions

There are three aspects of subtitle editing:

  1. Editing the transcript (the words)
  2. The timing - so when the subtitles show up
  3. Subtitle appearance

1. How to edit a video transcript

Assuming you already have a video with subtitles generated (if not check out this post for how to generate subtitles for your video), here’s how to edit the your subtitles using Tella:

  1. Open your video to the view page. You’ll see a purple badge at the top of the screen which says “Viewing”.
  2. On the right hand side of the screen you’ll see a button labelled “Subtitles”, click that.
  3. Now you’ll see the full transcript of your video. Click on a word to change it. Below the transcript you’ll see an input box where you can submit changes.
  4. Hit enter or click the check mark and transcript will be updated.
  5. Scan the rest of your transcript for mistakes or words you want to change and repeat the previous two steps. When you’re finish editing, click done and preview your corrected transcript in the video by pressing play.

When you share the video using its link, viewers will be able to watch it with perfect subtitles.

You can also download your video’s subtitle file. This is useful for publishing to YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn. To do this, click “Download” on the right hand side and then select the option “Download subtitles”. To learn more about how to use subtitles on platforms like YouTube, LinkedIn, and Twitter, check out this post.

2. How to editing subtitle timing

Because Tella automatically generates you subtitles, it also determines the timing. Most of the time, the automatically generated timing will be accurate.

If you’ve generated your subtitles using a dedicated subtitling app, for example Happyscribe they have tools which let you adjust the timing manually.

If you have subtitles in a video editing app like Screenflow, Final Cup Pro, or Adobe Premier Pro then you can adjust the subtitles by moving the individual text layers on the video’s timeline. Here’s useful tutorial about this for Final Cut Pro (the principles will apply to most other timeline-based video editing software).

3. How to edit subtitle appearance

To edit the appearance of your subtitles you’ll need to use video editing software like Final Cut Pro or ScreenFlow. There are also online video editors that do this too. This feature isn’t available in Tella yet, but will be soon!

First you’ll need to import your subtitle file and your video. Then using the video editor’s subtitle editing tools create the appearance you want. Different video editing apps offer different features, but generally you’ll be able to modify the following:

  1. Font
  2. Colour
  3. Border
  4. Background

Start recording videos with automatic subtitles for free using Tella, sign up here.