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Captioning Methods for Delivery

Best Option – Use a Commercial Captioning service

We strongly recommend contracting with professional services. Their expertise allows them to work more quickly than you could, plus they can easily avoid pitfalls that an inexperienced captionist may miss.

The CSU has negotiated a systemwide contract with Automatic Sync. Account access is available through CaptionSync CSU System Account Sign Up.

In addition, there are other, perhaps local, captioning providers you might use. The Described and Captioned Media Program maintains a list of Captioning Services.

On-campus option

Some CSU campuses have established offices that can create your captions. Check with your Disabilities Services Office, or other on-site services. For example, CSU Northridge hosts the National Center on Deafness, CSU Sacramento, Technology Learning Center for Faculty and Staff provides Captioning Self-service.

Do It Yourself (DIY) option

  • Published Guidelines/Best Practices - Before you begin, make sure that you’re familiar with expert guidelines and best practices.
  • Again, we don’t embrace self-captioning, but we know that there are times it may be necessary. Online tools are available that allow you to add captions through a web interface. Registration is sometimes required. Many options are available at no cost for both Windows and Mac.
  • Please keep in mind DIY tools may leave you open to a high error rate.  At times one word in a sentence being incorrect can totally change the meaning of the sentence. This leaves individuals out of critical communication. In addition simple words being misinterpreted can lead to embarrassing mistakes.


Online Tools

DIY-based Tools

  • Amara: Enter/edit captions or upload caption files (e.g., .srt) to sync with a video.
  • Overstream: Create/synchronize subtitles to any online video.  
  • dotSUB: Learn how to create caption files for streaming videos in multiple languages.
  • Vimeo
  • Subtitle Horse: Transcribe Flash videos online and export/convert caption files in different formats.
  • SubPLY
  • YouTube “Help”: Learn how to use the Closed Captioning feature to add a file or create new subtitles/captions from scratch. 
  • Creating Accessible iTunes U Content: The National Center for Accessible Media at WGBH has written guidelines for content providers who would like to create accessible iTunes U media via captions, subtitles and audio descriptions. These guidelines provide step-by-step documentation on creating fully accessible media.
  • Easy YouTube Caption Creator

Commercial tools

  • Camtasia Studio (Mac/Win): Import movies/videos and create/import captions, and export to a variety of formats. Windows version includes speech-to-text feature.   
  • CC Movie Captioner (formerly MovCaptioner; Mac/Win): Import movies/videos of various formats; create or import captions and export to a variety of formats (e.g., YouTube, iOS, QuickTime). 
  • Captionate (Win): Caption Flash videos (flv); it is not recommended for use with Windows 8 at this time.
  • STAMP (Subtitling Text Add-in for Microsoft Power Point): Add closed captions to video and audio files you embed in your presentations or import caption files directly.
  • Adobe Captivate: This software converts slide notes into speech or closed captioned text.
  • Adobe: Learn to create professional Flash videos. 

Free tools

  • MAGpie - Windows software from the National Center for Accessible Media that is used for creating synchronized captions for videos.
  • Subtitle Workshop –Windows software used to create or import subtitles; synchronize captions to the video; supports an extensive list of subtitle formats.
  • CC for Flash –software for adding captions to Flash videos. Flash Captioning Tutorial by CSU Long Beach, Contact: Walter Gajewski,
  • World Caption –Mac software for adding captions to Quick Time Movies.  
  • Windows Media Center: This shows how to make closed captions/subtitles visible in content played back in Windows Media Player:


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