How to do Captions like a Pro?

Video and audio materials are readily available from websites, organizations, academic institutions, libraries, video, and audio sharing sites, to social media sites. Many of them include captions. How can you ensure the captions for your video or audio materials are accurate?


One solution is to work with a professional captioning service provider, or if you do it in-house, consider the most advanced CART captioning software will all the necessary features.


How to do Captions like a Pro?


How to create captions like a professional?

Many entities produce media content. With the amount of multimedia content available, are they reaching the intended and potential audiences? You will reach a broader audience if they know about your transcripts, captions, and audio description. A caption is a text that you see below an image on the screen. Captions are part of multimedia accessibility.


Here are the rules to produce accurate captions.


  • Break the captions in the same way the natural language breaks
  • Evenly break up the captions
  • Creating captions is not an exact science
  • Allow time for the readers to read the caption


Break the captions in the same way the natural language breaks

It is more effective if you break captions into at least two lines. A lengthy line of text on a screen is difficult to read. To facilitate readability and easier understanding, you should end a line simulating natural linguistic breaks, such as at the end of a clause or phrase. Moreover, remember not to split captions in the middle of a name (e.g., the proper name of a character as mentioned in the video).


Evenly break up the captions

If you want to make captions look like they are done by a professional, follow the guidelines. Remember captions are easier to read if they are split into even line lengths. The viewer will have an easier time reading the caption quickly as a short chunk. It is hard for a reader if their eyes race to read a lengthy line or two of text running from one side of the screen to the other. Another thing to remember is that most viewers will read the first line faster than the rest of the lines.



Creating captions is not an exact science

Rule #1 is the traditional rule. However, with modernization and technological advancements, captioners believe that breaking up the captions in even lengths improves the viewer's reading speed. If you follow the natural language break, you might have lines of uneven lengths.


The rule is not absolute, so the captioner has to decide how to develop a balance to ensure the caption is easy to read. But do make sure you maintain the consistency of the style you utilize to create the captions.


Allow time for the readers to read the caption

When professionals create captions, they base the caption according to the reading speed of an average reader. They also make certain the reader can read the caption before the video frame changes. They also consider a rest time between the lines of captions. Professional captioners usually go back to the video and read the caption to ensure a viewer will find it easy to read and comprehend each line.


If they find it hard to read the caption, they either break up the caption further or condense it.


Following these rules can help you improve your captioning technique, and produce captions similar to how professionals do them.


Kunal Chowdhury
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