Video subtitles - close vs open captions

You want to subtitle your video? (Because on Social Media, up to 80% of LinkedIn videos for examples are watched without sound!)
Then there are two ways to do so: Close vs Open Captions.


Very simply, Open Captions means the subtitles are ‘written’ on the video, they’re a part of the video.

Open Captions Tips Videographer

On one side:

  • Subtitles are already included, no need to worry about it.
  • Subtitles are always ON.
  • You have more control over the size, font, color of the text.


  • Harder to modify = You need to export the whole video again.
  • Only one Language at a time.


Close caption means the subtitles are basically a separate file, coming along the video.

Close Captions Tips Videographer

On one side:

  • Can be turned on and off.
  • Can be multiple languages.
  • Can be personalized from the viewer (YouTube, Facebook).
  • Easy to change


  • Not always ON.
  • Need to link them.
  • Generally designed from the platform.


Use YouTube to be quicker.

Using Youtube Studio for Subtitles

YouTube automatically translates videos on their platform. In my opinion it’s not good enough yet to simply leave it this way but you can use their tools to edit subtitles quicker.

On your YouTube Studio, you can upload a text transcript or subtitles file, create yourself subtitles or use the auto-generated content and work from there.

When you’re done you can download the closed captions you just created as a .srt file and import it in other platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Vimeo…


Many rules prevail for captioning, subtitling and transcription, that’s why some general guidelines become even more handy.
What are the good practices when it comes to the length and size of each subtitle for example. Should I use regular punctuation? What about hyphenation (splitting a word in different subtitles / subtitle lines)?

Find here guidelines for video subtitling (License CC BY-ND – Captiz)


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