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Tips for Editing Captions in Canvas

Here are some tips to facilitate and expedite caption editing in Canvas.

There’s no doubt that editing your captions takes some time. Below are some tips about how to make the process as efficient as possible while ensuring accuracy and accessibility.


Leverage collaborators.

As mentioned above, editing captions can be extremely time-consuming. Is there anyone who can assist you to ensure the accessibility of your course videos? A grad student? Your TA? A student worker in your department? All you'd need to do is add them as a co-editor for your video and they can either edit the captions in Canvas or in MediaSpace. Read our tutorial on sharing videos to learn more about adding collaborators to your videos.

First review the captions without playing the video.

Many of the errors that are made by machine captioning have to do with mistakenly assuming there's a new speaker, misspellings, and grammatical errors. These can be fixed without playing the video and won't have you constantly stopping and starting the video. And if you were the one in the video, there’s a good chance that you know what was said anyway.

Leverage media player speed controls.

Playing a video more quickly or slowly can serve you well when you're editing your captions. The Kaltura video player, for example, offers you the ability to change the speed of the playback by clicking the "1x" button in the player controls. Consider lowering the speed of playback to make it easier to edit without having to pause as frequently. Alternatively, if you're finding the captions to be more accurate than expected, speed the video up.

Leverage peripheral devices with play/pause buttons.

If you have headphones, a keyboard, or any other devices with a play/pause button, you can leverage those buttons to your advantage while editing your captions.

Be aware of speaker changes (or lack thereof).

At minimum, a change in speaker should be denoted with >> in the captions. Ideally, instead use square brackets and enter the speaker’s name (e.g. [John Smith]).

For whatever reason, machine captions often mistakenly detect a change in speaker, and as a result, your captions may be littered with >> characters. If there wasn’t a change in speaker, delete the characters.

Pay for human captioning (optional).

Because you can upload captions yourself, you can leverage captioning services that you employ on your own, such as or Cielo24. Captioning services like these usually cost between $1 and $2 per minute of media. (That is, a 5-minute video would cost between $5 and $10.)

Have additional questions about video? Contact Multimedia Services at