How do I create a caption file for an external video?

If you are the video owner for a video hosted on a supported third-party media site, or if you already have an online link to a supported video type, you can create caption files for external videos.

Note: You cannot add a closed-captioning file to an online video if you are not the owner.

Create Caption Files

Amara is the same service referenced in our lesson about creating captions in Canvas. The difference is that with YouTube and other third-party sites, your video is already uploaded to the Internet, so to create captions, all you need is the URL to the video.

Note: Your video must be publicly accessible for the URL to work and stored on a supported third-party site.

Upload Caption Files

Upload Caption Files

Most online video sites that support closed captioning will have a link to upload caption files. Each site will have its own requirement for the type of file required.


YouTube accepts a variety of file types, the most common being .srt, .sbv, and .txt. If you grant them permission, sites such as Amara and CaptionTube can link directly to your YouTube account and add the caption files directly to your video.


Currently Vimeo does not support closed captioning, so if you want to add captions directly to the video, the text must be added to the actual video, like an overlaying graphic.

Embed Video in Canvas

When you're finished, embed your YouTube video into Canvas. The closed-captioning option will appear with all available language caption files.

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