When you add subtitles to videos, you increase the value and appeal of your content. You also make it accessible to viewers who are hearing-impaired or those who have trouble making out what’s being said onscreen. However, adding captions or subtitles is more than just slapping a bunch of text on the screen. Read on to know how to add subtitles that are informative, visually appealing, and reflect the quality of your video.
Timing is perhaps the most crucial element of subtitling a video. Captions should appear on the screen not more than 16 seconds after being spoken unless the scene ends with the caption sentences. Avoid captions that are left-over when the frame has changed because left-over captions are an obvious indicator of lazy and sloppy work. To make sure that this does not happen, make sure captions are off-screen before the transition to the next captioned frame.
Stick to the two-line maximum
Captions serve to enhance the viewing experience by allowing viewers to understand the audio and spoken words, especially if there are unclear or inaudible potions. However, they shouldn’t crowd the screen and distract from the visuals. To avoid overloading the viewer with words, stick to a 2-line maximum. This means that you may need to tweak the pacing of the videos as well as the font size to maintain synchronicity and keep the text clear at the same time.
Use the correct punctuation
Is the subject of asking a question or expressing an idea forcefully? Use question marks or exclamation points, respectively. Use commas to signify breaks in a sentence or when there is a quick pause. When the speaker pauses for a long time or when another speaker intercepts mid-sentence, a long dash is useful. Use an ellipsis when and if the speaker stops talking mid-sentence. If the speaker is reading from a book or another source or is not speaking directly, quotation marks should be used. If you want to describe an audio effect, such as a door slamming or birds chirping, place the description in parenthesis. All these ensure that dialogues between speakers are easier to make out.
Captions enhance the value of any video clip because they allow viewers to understand the audio, especially the spoken words. Add subtitles to videos are also essential if your target demographic includes those with hearing problems that make written captions essential. Make your subtitles easy to see, use the right punctuation, and synchronize with the frame if you want your videos to have maximum impact.