Closed captions (subtitles) ensure the accessibility of teaching materials to all of our students. All video content should be provided with subtitles under the Accessibility Regulations 2018. The University recommends that all videos are uploaded to the University video portal.

Videos uploaded from 14th September 2020

As of 14th September 2020, videos uploaded to the University video portal will automatically be provided with auto-generated captions through the video portal player. You will see when you upload a new video there is a now a ‘Generate subtitles’ check box towards the bottom of the page. This will be selected by default.

It can take up to 24 hours for subtitles to be generated on a video once it has finished processing. To quickly check if subtitles have been added, view your video on the portal and click ‘Options’ at the bottom right. It will have the option to download the subtitles as a .vtt file or a full transcript as a text file.

Accuracy of the subtitles will vary greatly depending on the quality of the audio track, so you may wish to edit them and re-upload. Please see the help guides and the link to the video portal FAQs below for information on editing and re-uploading subtitles.

Editing subtitle files

Once downloaded, your subtitle file will have a .vtt extension. A VTT file can be opened in any text editor, such as Notepad on Windows, or Textedit on a Mac. Do not use Microsoft Word or other rich-text editors, as this will add incompatible formatting to the file and the subtitles will not display.

Editing on a Mac

On a Mac, double click your .vtt file to open. It will open automatically in Textedit. Make changes to the text only (don’t touch the timestamps) and save. The file will automatically save with the .vtt extension.

Editing on Windows

On Windows, you need to use the Notepad app. Watch the following video or follow the instructions below:

  • Go to the start menu on your desktop and type in ‘notepad’; you should be able to open the app as a blank window
  • Click file>open
  • At the bottom right of the window there is a drop down menu that defaults to ‘Text Documents (*.txt)”, change this to “All Files (*.*)”
  • You should now be able to select your downloaded .vtt subtitle file and edit the text within Notepad. Leave the timestamps as they are
  • Once finished, save the file. It should keep the .vtt extension automatically

Uploading edited subtitle files back to the video portal

Once edited, your .vtt file can be uploaded to replace the existing subtitles on the video portal. Watch the following video or follow the instructions below:

  • Log in to the video portal and go to ‘My videos’
  • Switch to ‘Manage videos’
  • Find your video in the list and click ‘edit’ on the right hand side
  • Where it says ‘Replace subtitles’ at the bottom, click ‘choose file’ and select your edited .vtt file
  • Click ‘Update’

You will receive an automated email once this has finished processing and your new subtitles are ready . If you have the video embedded anywhere, it doesn’t need to be changed and will automatically update.

Videos uploaded before 14th September 2020

Subtitles can be requested for videos uploaded prior to September 2020. Information is available at the link below.