Captions for Videos and Live Events

FOCUS AREA THREE
Video Captioning Format and Grammar (Part Two)

Deepening Your Understanding

When a caption line length exceeds 42 characters, the sentence must be broken into two lines at a logical point where speech normally pauses (Captioning Key, n.d.). Line breaks in captions can help to make the dialogue on screen more easily understood, or, if not broken correctly, it can confuse the audience.

Here are some examples of line breaks in captions.

Unclear

 Closed caption logo

The journalist walked through the

group of protesters.

Clear

 Closed caption logo

The journalist walked

through the group of protesters.

 Closed caption logo

Prime Minister Justin

Trudeau is in Ottawa today.

 Closed caption logo

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

is in Ottawa today.

 Closed caption logo

Tomorrow, we are

going to record an interview.

 Closed caption logo

Tomorrow, we are going

to record an interview.

Unclear: The journalist walked through the group of protesters.

Clear: The journalist walked through the group of protesters.

Unclear: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is in Ottawa today.

Clear: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is in Ottawa today.

Unclear: Tomorrow, we are going to record an interview.

Clear: Tomorrow, we are going to record an interview.

illustration of gears in motion

Task

Please watch the video below. Click on the CC button to play the video with the captions on. The captions on this video were automatically generated on YouTube.

What did you notice about these automatically generated captions?

Please fill in the textarea.

The lines in the automatically generated captions are too long, and they are not kept on screen for long enough to read them. In these captions, there is incorrect grammar and there are spelling mistakes.

guide icon
The Faculty of Media & Creative Arts at Humber College has developed a Style Guide for Video Captioning. Download the PDF below: