Video Captioning Best Practices

ADA Best Practices for Caption Timing and Positioning:

  • Each caption frame should hold 1 to 3 lines of text onscreen at a time, viewable for a duration of 3 to 7 seconds. Each line should not exceed 32 characters.
  • Each caption frame should be replaced by another caption.
  • All caption frames should be precisely time-synched to the audio.
  • A caption frame should be repositioned if it obscures onscreen text or other essential visual elements.

ADA Best Practices for Caption Style and Formatting:

  • Spelling should be at least 99% accurate.
  • When multiple speakers are present, sometimes it is helpful to identify who is speaking, especially when the video does not make this clear.
  • Both upper and lowercase letters should be used.
  • The font should be a non-serif, such as Helvetica medium.
  • Non-speech sounds like [MUSIC] or [LAUGHTER] should be added in square brackets.
  • Punctuation should be used for maximum clarity in the text, not necessarily for textbook style.
  • Captions should preserve and identify slang or accents.

Related Information: