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Types of Text on Video

There are many types of text one may see on videos. In this post, we cover the many types and their pros and cons.

Brie E Anderson

There are two instances where you will see text on a video. The first instance is when a creator or platform adds subtitles. The other instance is when a creator provides captions.


What are subtitles?

Subtitles are used when it is assumed that people won’t be able to keep up with what is being said. Many times subtitles are used when people have thick accents or when the dialogue in a video is in a different language that the viewer speaks.

What are captions?

Captions are sound descriptors that are meant to better the experience for those hard of hearing. Often times you see subtitles on movies or TV shows. Any time you see text on a video that says something like “upbeat music,” or clarifies who is speaking, you are watching a video with captions.

Open vs Closed Captions

There are two different types of captions: closed and open.

Closed Captions

Closed captioning is by far the most popular form of captioning. This form of captioning allows the viewer to decide when they would like the captioning to show, if at all. It can* also allow the viewer to decide which language they want the captions to appear in.

*This depends heavily on whether or not the video creator provides transcriptions in the other languages OR if the platform the viewer is on has artificial intelligence that can auto-translate the captions.

Open Captions

Open captions are always present as they are hardcoded into the video.

Though this form of captioning is less popular, it is currently gaining traction in social video for many reasons such as branding, control, ease of use for viewers, etc.

Want to put text on your video? Learn how with our article How to Add Text to Your Video with Quicc!

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