Closed captions Vs Open Captions

If you’ve turned on a television, watched a foreign film, scrolled through Facebook, or checked out a new YouTube video, undoubtedly, you’ve met closed captions or open captions.

Closed caption
YouTube CC Button

If you create a video, you will know that captions are important for a variety of accessibility reasons. And, yes, there is a difference between closed captions and open captions.

But what exactly are captions?

And what is the difference between closed captions and open captions?

Knowing what captions are and the difference between closed captions and open captions is important knowledge for any video content creator. So today we are going to explore these differences and when to use them both.

What are Captions?

Captions are the words and/or sounds you sometimes see scrolling along the bottom of a video, film, or social media post.  In fact, captions provide a text version of all the audio content from a video. Captions include all the spoken words and also any audible sounds in the video like [car horn], [music], or [laughter]. Lastly, captions will sometimes include the name of the person speaking.

What is the difference between closed and open captions?

The difference between CC and OC can be found obviously:

Close captions– can be turned off by users

Open captions:-cannot be turned off by users

Closed Captions

Closed captions are the preferred and most common captioning method as it leaves the viewer in control.

Most of today’s media players and social media sharing sites support closed captioning.

For example, at the bottom of each YouTube video, you will see the CC symbol. If you click on this symbol, the uploaded subtitles or the automatically generated captions will show up.

In most instances, video content creators should use closed captions as it gives the viewer the most choice and most viewers like to customize their viewing experience. If your video is solely going to be hosted on Facebook or YouTube, then you should use CC.

Open Caption

Alternatively, open captions (also known as “burned-in subtitles” are hard-coded into your video. There is no way to turn them off.

Open captions are great when you want your captions to look the same no matter what format your video is being played. Open captions also allow the creator to have full control over how the captions are displayed. Specifications like font color, font style, font size, background color, and positioning are all at the video creator’s discretion. 

Therefore, it is advisable to adhere to the Web Accessibility Guidelines for captions to minimize any issues for viewers.

How to get captions for videos?

If you are looking for the best caption creator online, then you should consider Autosubtitle. Autosubtitle’s caption tool brings together automated transcription, automated translation, and automated subtitles for the most powerful caption and subtitle creator.

auto caption creator caption creator platform

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