When creating a video with Adobe Premiere, you may consider adding captions. This could be a great idea for a number of reasons, and we’re about to cover them. We also want to take a look at how to add captions in Premiere. The bottom line is that captions can help you reach more audiences and let them engage them more. Sounds good, right? So, let’s read on!

Benefits of Captioning Your Videos

So why should you caption your video? Isn’t that line of text across the screen going to distract from the art of your video that you so carefully created? Actually, it’s not. And when you skillfully learn how to add captions in Premiere, your captions can enhance your work and not only bring in more of an audience but also inspire them to engage more. Check out these benefits you’ll get by captioning your videos.

Create more accessible content and a more inclusive audience

One thing some of us, unfortunately, forget to think about is that video can be difficult for people with hearing impairments. We go about creating content that suits us, but what about the audience that may have trouble with it? Well, they won’t watch it. And they probably won’t bother engaging with you either or seeking out more of your content. But if you can caption your videos, you will automatically provide an opportunity for more people to consume your videos.

As this article shares:

Accessibility is also about including those who suffer from loss of hearing or other impairments. Transcripts and captions help with these things enormously and are more important than you know.

It’s not only people with hearing impairments who appreciate captions, but many viewers without hearing impairments keep their captions on, too. Check this out from Digiday:

“Sound is still an option [on Facebook], but it’s not required,” said Rye Clifton, director of experience at GSD&M. “If you can make something compelling without needing people to turn the audio on, you’re ahead of people who are not thinking that way.”

And it’s not just Facebook that viewers watch in silence. Instagram reels often have captions, and so do YouTube videos. Don’t forget TikTok’s captions, either. Think about watching a video while waiting in a doctor’s office or on a noisy bus. Turn on your captions and you’re all set; you still get all the content and the sound isn’t a disruption or hard to hear. You know, you’ve seen the guy watching a video somewhere quiet who’s trying not to laugh too loud…he may very well have captions on.

how to add captions in premiere

Captions promote engagement

When people read your content, they are more apt to engage. Not only will their engagement with you increase, but they’re also more likely to share your content. This article tells us that over 85% of people watch social media videos on mute.

And this same articles shares that

YouTube and other streaming platforms index videos by watch time. Closed captions can keep viewers engaged regardless of whether they’re able to listen or not (as in, being stuck on the bus without headphones). And in fact, speaking of mobile, Facebook found that captions increase engagement by around 12%.

So, to increase that engagement and add inclusivity to your videos, you should be captioning them. So let’s go!

How to Add Captions in Premiere

When you are creating a video in Premiere, it’s pretty easy to add captions.

Open or closed captions

However, one of the first things you want to decide is do you want open captions or closed captions? Not sure of the difference? Check this out…

Closed captions can be turned on or off, allowing the viewer to have options. It puts the viewer in charge of their experience and allows them to view your video content in all kinds of different scenarios, including loud train rides or quiet nights while rocking a baby to sleep.

Open captions, on the other hand, are added to the video file or media player and cannot be turned off. This is great for accessibility and comprehension especially deaf, hard of hearing, or hard-of-hearing people, but may distract certain viewers. Both closed and option captions have their value. The important thing to decide is how your audience will best engage with your video.

Most of the captioning on videos that you see are closed captions. In other words, viewers can turn it off and on. So when you’re on that crowded bus, turn the captions on. But watching a video at home alone, turn them off.

You may want to use open captions when you have an actor speak in a different language as subtitles or when the conversation is overshadowed by other noises. You’ve got some options. And though Adobe Premiere isn’t the only platform to create videos and add captions, it is the industry standard and video creators love it.

So let’s see how to add those captions

Here is a brief step by step explanation of how to add captions in Premiere:

Step 1: Create a new caption file Click the New Item button at the bottom of the Project Panel and select Captions. The new caption file will be a video file, and the settings will match with the current sequence you have open. Here is where you choose your type of caption (open or closed), and you can adjust the height, width, frame rate, and pixel aspect ratio. Make sure to drag the caption video file onto your timeline.

Step 2: Adding, timing, and formatting captions  You’ll either select the Captions File or Captions and add timing and formatting options. Open captions usually offer a few more options.

Step 3: Export the captions as a file Use the caption tab to export the captions as either burn in for open captions or as a Sidecar file for closed captions. Burn-in, as it sounds, will burn the captions into the video, and they’ll always be there. Viewers can’t turn them off. When you export as a Sidecar file, you’ll get a .scc file which you can upload or deliver with your video files. This allows the turning off and on of the captions.

The Importance of Transcription

Before you add any captions to your video, you’ll want to have a good transcription of the video. Our own Bunny library shares this article about transcription and its importance, reminding us that People love to jabber, don’t they? Whether it’s in a courthouse, on the street, or in internet videos, they go on and on all the time. The thing is, sometimes it’s important for someone to record these words verbatim.

So before you jump into creating your captions, create your transcriptions. Not only are transcriptions important for creating captions, but they can also promote your engagement. Your audience can find material through transcriptions and SEO. A Google search will more likely pull up your videos if you have transcriptions with them.

Examples of Captions that Work Really, Really Well

Tabitha Brown

Check out Tabitha Brown for some great examples of captioning. She is a wife, mom, actress, and vegan food influencer known for her loving demeanor, and her honest, viral, and comedic food reviews. She’s got lots of catchphrases, like “That’s your business” and “Like so, like that,” and guess what…she uses captions on her videos. This makes it easy to get Tabitha’s full message, even when you can’t turn up her voice. Don’t get me wrong, her voice is magical and adds a lot to her videos, and yours probably does to your work, too, but when you can’t hear it, well, use the caption feature.

how to add captions in premiere

Rhett and Link

Rhett and Link are internetainers who use captioning on their videos. In fact, years ago, they tweeted Did you know we’ve been closed-captioning every new #GMM video? Take a look next time you watch an episode! They also share the importance of pre-transcription through their auto-captioning fail videos. 

TED and TED-Ed

No explanation needed here on what TED talks are, but did you know they are captioned in multiple languages? In fact, they tell us here that Thanks to our volunteer TED Translators, TED Talks are subtitled in over 100 languages.

And just a few more tips…

When you are captioning, make sure to:

  • use a legible, clear font
  • have a good size and placement of text
  • capitalize the entire word of sound effects (especially in video games)
  • break the text up at natural points
  • use good contrast with background colors and text
  • keep the amount of text on the screen readable in the time it’s there

Can We Help?

If you are looking for some help any step of the way, let our pros here at Bunny Studio climb on board. Whether you’d like some help with transcriptions or editing your video (including adding captions) our pros are ready and waiting. Doing everything can be a lot of hats to wear, and we know it can get a bit overwhelming. But the thing is, the more you can put into your videos, the better they can be. We know it’s tough to do it all, that’s why we’re here!

The Big Takeaway on Adding Captions to Premiere

The thing about captions is that sure, you can have great videos without captions or a caption option, but with captions or that option, they can be even better. Part of engagement and reaching a broad audience is making your videos accessible to everyone. No exclusion here. Also, adding that transcript along with captions is even better for sharing and engagement.

If you give adding captions to Premiere a whirl and get overwhelmed, no worries! Hop on over to Bunny Studio. Whether you’ve got video for games, your YouTube channel, Instagram stories, or anything else, we can help you caption it, edit it, or transcribe it. In fact, we can do it all.