Transcription and Captioning Basics in Premiere Pro

This tutorial teaches you all the basics for transcription and captioning your videos in Adobe Premiere Pro. You may want to make captions for YouTube or various other reasons and it’s simple to do in Premiere.

Creating an Auto-Transcription in Premiere Pro

Our video is done. Picture locked. No more changes. The client (even if that’s you) is happy. You can have Premiere Pro transcribe everything that’s said in the video. Here’s how.

First, go under the Window Menu and select Text. The Text panel will pop up and activate. In the Text panel, open the Transcript tab of it. Here there is a Create transcription button. Click it.

Premiere Pro Text panel in the Transcript tab
Click “Create transcription” in the Text panel

Once you click the Create transcription button a new box will pop up with various settings. Feel free to adjust if needed and then click Transcribe.

Premiere Pro transcription settings
Adjust the transcription settings as needed then click “Transcribe”

Now Premiere Pro will generate the transcription of your video. Depending on the duration of your video this might take a couple of minutes. Go have a sip of water. In fact, go have a sip of water right now.

Premiere Pro creating transcription
Give Premiere a second to make the transcription

When the transcription is finished, go through and revise it for grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Premiere does a decent job but I’ve always had to refine the transcription. The transcription is highlighted with where the playhead is in the timeline, which is pretty helpful.

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Create Captions Easily in Premiere Pro

Once you’ve revised the transcription it’s time to create the captions. In the Text panel find the Create captions button.

Premiere Pro Text panel with Create captions button highlighted
Click the “Create captions” button

Click it and a new box will pop up with the caption settings. Adjust them as needed then click Create.

Adobe Premiere Pro captions settings
Adjust the captions settings as needed then click “Create”

Give Premiere Pro a moment and it’ll make the captions. Once it’s finished you’ll notice a new C1 track on the timeline. The Captions tab in the Text panel will be populated with captions now. Adjust the timing of the captions in the timeline by dragging either end to the left or right just like any other clip. Premiere Pro is pretty spot on with it’s timings from what I’ve seen.

Exporting an SRT Caption File from Premiere

Now it’s time to export the captions to an SRT file. Back in the Text panel in the Captions tab find the three dots icon in the top right corner. Select Export to SRT file… and save out the .srt file just like any other file in the Adobe ecosystem. You can upload this SRT file to YouTube and it is already timed out and ready to go.

Captions tab in Premiere Pro Text panel with Export to SRT file... highlighted
Click the three dots then “Export to SRT file…”

If you’ve now gone through this tutorial and you still need help, please leave a comment and I’ll do what I can to help troubleshoot it. But if you now know transcription and captioning basics in Premiere Pro, I hope you stick around and check out some of the other Premiere Pro tutorials on my website or consider signing up to get notified about new blog posts and happenings around EVF.

– Josh

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