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Web Accessibility

Quick tips that everyone can use to make their websites and pages more accessible.

Best Practices for Editing Captions

Most third-party captioning services will provide well-formatted captions. If you're reviewing captions, or are creating captions from scratch, here are a couple of tips to keep in mind:

  1. Save often!
  2. Identify speakers: With multiple speakers (especially with an offscreen interviewer), identify who is speaking by adding their name in brackets with a colon: [Interviewer:]. You can use just the last name after initially identifying the person by their full name. 
  3. Do transcribe exactly what the person is saying, including grammatical errors or accents: "y'all", not "you all" for example. 
  4. Use punctuation, capitalization, and grammar: Use the same language mechanics as if you were writing a text document.
    1. When a person quotes another, use quotation marks.
    2. Use an ellipsis if there is a significant pause.
    3. Use italics if the speaker emphasizes a word.
  5. Skip filler words: You do not need to transcribe "ums", "uh" or other filler words. 
  6. Include non-speech sounds: Add captions for background sounds and music when they are important for understanding the context of what's happening in the video. Examples: [Door creaking], [Dramatic music]. 
  7. Keep captions short: Each caption should be no longer than 2 lines and should not obscure any important information in the video. Aim to keep complete sentences and phrases together and don't split them across screens.
 

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