Creating YouTube Subtitles in Vimeo

Creating YouTube Subtitles in Vimeo

Creating good subtitles on YouTube can be tricky. The built-in speech-to-text conversion in YouTube is not the best and most of the services that provide quality conversions cost $30 or more just for that one benefit. However, creating YouTube subtitles in Vimeo is easy once you can find the various controls and once you realize the subtitles, transcripts and closed captions are all intermixed.

Why Worry About YouTube Subtitles?

A lot of YouTubers do not spend the time and effort to create the Subtitles for their videos. There are three reasons you should consider doing this extra work.

  1. Well over half of the people watching YouTube videos, do it with the sound off. If you do not fill out the Subtitles area when you launch your YouTube video, these “viewers” will not be able to use the Closed Caption option. (The Chrome Browser has its own auto-convert system. Viewers can turn on the Open Captions option in Chrome Settings and see the audio converted to text on the fly. We have no control over the mistakes that the system may make. We DO have control over the Closed Captions text.)
  2. Having a transcript (subtitles) file gives the Google Bots much more information when they rank your video for several keyword phrases you may be covering in your video.
  3. In a similar vein, YouTube will rank your video higher when viewers search for keywords on the YouTube platform.

NOTE: You must have a paid Vimeo account to have access to this feature.  

Steps to Use the Vimeo Speech-to-Text System (Vimeo Calls It Transcript).

The first task you need to complete when you are creating YouTube Subtitles in Vimeo is to create a VTT file.

  1.  Upload your Video to Vimeo
  2. Get to the Edit the Video from Your Library or other wags.
  3. Click on Captions Option on the left side of the screen.
  1. Click on Closed Captions
Task #1 Creating YouTube Subtitles in Vimeo

A new screen will appear.

  1. #1 – If the Option TRANSCRIPT is not visible, Vimeo hasn’t finished converting the audio to text.
  2. #2 – The little down arrow is what you use to download the VTT file after you have cleaned up any errors in the Transcript file..
  3. Click on the TRANSCRIPT header
  • #1 – Click the TRANSCRIPT Header
  • #2 – The EDIT pencil icon appears – click it
  • #3 – Fix any errors in the transcript
  • #4 – There is a CONFIRM button at the bottom that I didn’t show – Click it to save the changes
  • Go back to the down arrow I showed above.   Click on it to download the VTT file.  (I add a few words to the name of the VTT file as I downloaded it so I can be sure which video the VTT file belongs to.)


The second major task when you are creating YouTube Subtitles in Vimeo is to upload the VTT file you just created to YouTube.

During the processing of a video on YouTube, you will see the ADD SUBTITLES option on the same screen that contains the option to do the END SCREEN and CARDS.  Click the ADD option way over on the right side. If you edit a video later, you can get to the Subtitles here: the word subtitle.

If you are editing a video later, you can get to the Subtitles here:

After you click ADD, you will see this screen:

Task #2 - Creating YouTube Subtitles in Vimeo

Choose the UPLOAD A FILE Option

This screen pops up.

Choose the WITH TIMING option and CONTINUE.

In the standard Windows File Explorer, navigate to the VTT file, highlight it, and click the OPEN button.

You can just click on #4 DONE

Don’t worry about #1.  VTT files have more info than the SRT files that YouTube usually uses.

#2 – This is the text – with timing.

#3 – So is this.

#4 –  DONE

BONUS – Creating Chapter with VIDIQ’s OPTION

You can do this manually. 

After you SAVE a new video and then EDIT from the CONTENT list in YouTube Studio, you will see the option to add Chapters   This is a VidIQ add-on.

This screen pops up and starts playing.

#1 and #2 – You can jump forward by clicking the progress bar and pause wherever you want to start a new chapter.

#3 – It starts with one CHAPTER named Introduction

#4 – When you stop the video at the point. Click ADD A CHAPTER.

This adds a new line and you can add the new chapter name.

Add as many as you need.

#5 – There is an ADD TO VIDEO button at the bottom. When you click on that, the list of chapters is added to the end of your Video Description.  I cut and paste it up closer to the top.

Summary – Creating YouTube Subtitles in Vimeo

Vimeo has a very accurate system that converts the Audio in a video to text. The words Closed Captions, Transcript, and Subtitles have different meanings, but they are all used to describe the text that is used to show Closed Captions when a YouTube video is playing.

The steps are easy, but they can be tricky to find. This post attempts to show you where they are.


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