How to add closed captions to your videos

Closed Captions are one way to make videos in your lessons or announcements more accessible to students and families. For example, 

  • Students and families who are deaf or hard of hearing may be unable to hear the audio in a video, and need a textual transcription of the dialog and sounds to understand it.
  • Students and families who don’t understand the language spoken in the video need a textual transcription of the dialog in a language they understand.
  • Young students who are learning to read may benefit from hearing dialog in a video and reading it at the same time in text form.
  • Some people just like to have captions on, even if they are able to hear all or most of the dialog, to help them focus and understand everything.

How Do I Add Closed Captions? 

  1. Upload or record your video 
  2. On the Creative Canvas, select your video, click the [...] button, the video will be locked by default.
  3. Click the ‘Unlock’ button to access the settings, then choose Accessibility
  4. Choose Add Closed Caption File 
  5. Upload your WebVTT file and select the appropriate language 

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When playing back the video, viewers will see a CC button in the bottom right corner of the video player. Choose the CC button to enable closed captions. If multiple caption languages are available, select your preferred language from the list.

What is a WebVTT Closed Caption File? 

The Web Video Text Tracks (WebVTT) format is a file that contains a transcription of dialog and sounds in the video, along with the timestamps that dialog and sound is heard. It also supports simple formatting and custom placement of captions on the screen. 

You’ll need to create one WebVTT file per video, per language you want to support. For example, if you want to support closed captions for a video in English and Spanish, you need to create two WebVTT files. Learn more about the webVTT

How Do I Create a WebVTT Closed Caption File?

There are services and online tools for creating WebVTT closed caption files. 

To create your own VTT files, check out VTT Creator. If you use a Microsoft device, check out this tutorial on how to create your own WebVTT files. 

There are also paid services where professionals can create WebVTT files for you in multiple languages for your content. 

Can I Add Closed Captions in Multiple Languages?

Yes, Seesaw supports uploading closed caption files for 20 languages, including English, Spanish, Chinese - Simplified, Arabic, Chinese - Traditional, Dutch, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Lithuanian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Thai, Turkish, Vietnamese.

How Do Students and Families View Closed Captions? 

Once you’ve added closed captions to a video, anyone can turn on captions by choosing the “cc” button in the bottom right corner video player. If you’ve added closed captions in multiple languages, they will be given the choice of language. Once a student or family member has turned on closed captions, they will automatically stay on for all videos in Seesaw that have closed captions available in their chosen language.
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Does Seesaw Offer Automatic Closed Captioning?

Seesaw does not offer automatic closed captions at this time.  If you use Seesaw on Chrome Browser or Chromebook, turn ON the LiveCaption feature to get live captions for any audio or video content! This tool is currently only available in English.

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