How to Add Captions to a Google Drive Video

To add captions to a Google Drive video, begin by making a transcript of the video in Notepad or Word, following the exact format below (you can use overlapping times if you would like more than one line to appear at a time):


00:00:00 --> 00:00:03

Text that will appear from the beginning of the video (00:00:00) until 00:00:03



00:00:04 --> 00:00:07

Text that will appear on screen from 04 seconds to 07 seconds



00:00:08 --> 00:00:11

This is the text that will appear from 08 to 11 seconds.


If you are using Word, make sure that the two dashes and close bracket do not automatically convert into an arrow. Save the document as a .txt or .srt file. 


Once your document has been saved as a .txt or .srt file, you can upload it to your video in Google Drive. To do this, right click, or Ctrl+Click on the video file and select "Manage caption tracks" from the list.

How to add caption track in Google Drive


Click the "Add new captions or Transcripts" plus-sign button, and select your .txt transcript. Give the transcript a name, and click "upload."

How to add caption track in Google Drive


How to add caption track in Google Drive


The transcript may take a few minutes to process. Once processing is done, click "done."


You can now view your video, and click the "cc" button in the bottom right hand corner to view the closed captioning. 


Some guidelines for captioning:


Identifying speakers:

When a speaker changes, use >> to indicate this, followed by a space and the speaker’s name/title/some indication. If a conversation is taking place, you drop the titles after the first use, and just use the >> For example:


>> Reporter: Congratulations on winning the National Art Program Grant!

>> Teacher: Thank you, we are very excited

>> What will you do with the grant money?

>> We have a year-long community art project planned


If there are multiple people speaking at a time, use three >>> and also indicate “all” or “group” or “both” after, for example:


>>> All: Welcome to ASD!


If the person speaking is offscreen, make sure to indicate it, using “narrator” etc.


Descriptive captions:

These are necessary to indicate sound effects, non-verbal noises such as laughing. Use brackets to indicate this, for example:


[group laughter]

[marching band plays]

[energetic background music]


General info:

  • If text appears onscreen which is also being spoken, do not add a caption.

  • Do not use double spacing

  • Use a dash to illustrate abrupt interruption

  • Use ellipsis if a speaker trails off or if there is a long pause between sentences

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