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Closed Captions vs. Subtitles: What Are Their Differences?

For videographersFor YouTubers
Closed Captions vs. Subtitles

Captions and subtitles are undoubtedly helpful when it comes to displaying the text of video footage on screens. Subtitles deliver text alternatives to dialogue of flicks from one language to another.

On the other end, captions are grouped into open captions and closed captions. Though captions meaning might sound just like subtitles, it has more features. It explains the dialogue with relevant audio materials to help deaf and hard-of-hearing people.

Closed captions have additional background sound, speaker changes, and non-speech elements. Its primary goal is to help deaf or hard-of-hearing people.

What are Closed Captions (CC)?

Closed captions

Captions serve as a means of displaying text on screens to provide interpretative information of visual content. It is used as a transcription of the audio part of programs. Captions also provide relevant audio-test transcription when sound is unavailable or not audible.

It targets those with hearing difficulties and assists them in following the video. Captions are of two types- open captions and closed captions.

At this point, the question “What is closed captions?” should come up. Amazingly, closed captioning meaning is as explanatory as it sounds. Let’s discuss more on it!

Closed Captions vs. Open Captions

Closed captions are called “closed” because it has a separate track from the video. This makes it easy to toggle them on and off while watching a video.

In the United States and some other parts of the world, closed captioning has been mandated on most videos. Conversely, open captions are part of the track. You can’t turn them off while watching a video. Closed captions also allow easy control over their color and position to suit users’ desires. 

Benefits of Closed Captioning

Over 200 American studies have shown that closed captions have the maximum tendency of producing better comprehension.

This style is also beneficial to people watching a video that is not in their native language. Another significant advantage of closed captioning is how they help the hard-of-hearing viewers.

What are Subtitles?

Subtitles are translations of dialogue where the viewer does not understand the sound. It was first introduced in 1930, evolving from silent film to film with spoken audio. Its purpose was to help foreign audiences who are watching a video that isn’t in their native language.

Subtitles might not be of much help to hard-of-hearing hearing. They don’t contain those descriptive non-speech sounds.

The Differences between Subtitles and Captions

Subtitles vs Closed Captions

The table below will clarify the arguable motion of “Subtitles vs Closed Captions”. Their differences are:

– Translates the audio into other languages.– Identify speakers.
– They are synchronized with the media.– Change on-screen position when obscuring visual elements.
– Do not include non-speech elements.– Include non-speech elements.
– In some countries, subtitles and captions mean the same thing.– In the United States, the use of closed captions is mandatory.
– Translates languages as text– Displays all dialogue and audio as text

How to add video subtitles and closed captions

You can add subtitles to your videos in 3 different ways:

With either of these options, modifications and editing of subtitles are stress-free. You can change the timing, color, font, and size of the subtitles. For Closed captions, clicking on the CC icon will be enough.

How to Make Closed Captions and Subtitles

The use of 3rd party closed captioning and video transcription services make the process easier for video producers. However, a major obstacle is the cost of hiring a captioning company. Most video producers don’t have enough financial resources to hire a captioning company for the task.

This problem incites the search for less costly or free caption services. In a true sense, the only “free” way to make them to your taste is by doing it yourself. Unfortunately, getting it done yourself is a lot more stressful and time-consuming than you think.

Create the right format of captions with these steps:

Alternatively, if you finally decide to seek the help of a captioning service, Audext is an excellent service that puts you on track. With Audext smart services and their reasonable cost of services, you will get excellent results above your expectations.

What Should Captioning Vendors Offer?  

The cost of captioning varies from vendor to vendor. But it all comes down to the video quality, feature, quality, and services they can offer. Before picking a service, make sure they can provide you with these:

Price Advice to Consider When Picking a Captioning Service

Audext is a smart transcribing service that offers more than these requirements. It also provides automatic transcription and 100% professional assistance to guide you through.

How Audext Can Help You in Creating Closed Captions and Subtitles

Audext is an online video to text converter that can serve this purpose. Our cloud services include transcription and internal editor.

Once you upload your video file to the Audext dashboard, the software performs immediate transcription to create then a subtitle format for it.

Audext guarantees a fast result, cost-effectiveness, and accuracy. So, if you’re thinking of creating transcription for captions or subtitles – try our software.


Katrin Deres 09/11/2021
Katrin runs her own podcast show and is interested in the best ways to transcribe audio recordings into text.
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