We see videos on the internet more and more, and essentially every social media platform supports video content in 2020. All of this video content has changed the way we view videos every day: 85% of people watching videos on Facebook, for example, watch with no sound. Plus, the broad, nearly universal reach of videos shared online has allowed online content to provide greater accessibility for people with disabilities.
But recently, Twitter was abuzz with a heated debate – subtitles or dub? It became clear that many people simply don’t enjoy the visual disturbance of subtitles. And this makes sense: most subtitles you see are plain gray & white in a boring, plain font. The subtitles you are used to seeing don’t often add much visual character to the video they transcribe.
That’s why it’s a great idea to customize your subtitles with the exact font, color, size, position, and style you want! Your captions shouldn’t distract from your video, but enhance it – here’s how to make sure they do.
1. Use any font you want
Common fonts for subtitles include Arial, Calibri, Cambria, Times New Roman – all of the standard, document-style fonts that you’re used to seeing everywhere else. Most places where you can make subtitles let you use any of these standard font types and select the one that works best for your video.
But if you want your video project to have a bit more character, you can choose a less traditional font. Kapwing has hundreds of font types to choose from, so your captions can have exactly the type of flair they need. Just upload a video or paste a link in the Kapwing subtitle maker and customize every aspect of your caption text using the tools on the left-hand side of the screen. You can even save time by using the auto-transcription feature and let AI generate your subtitles.
2. Choose your position carefully
We’re used to seeing subtitles appear at the bottom of the screen while a video is playing, but that isn’t always the best option. Sometimes the bottom edge of a video has scrolling headlines, names, locations, and other valuable information.
In cases where the bottom portion of the screen contains important information, you don’t need to cover it with subtitles! Instead, you can move your subtitle layer to the top of the video, or even entirely below or above the video frame by adding blank padding to the edges.
3. Format your videos for the places you’ll share them
Sometimes, you can ensure that your subtitles don’t interfere with your video whatsoever. Most social media platforms, for example, give a bit of flexibility in presenting video content. Facebook, Twitter (desktop), LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest, to name a few, all show videos at least as tall as a square in users’ feeds. Even YouTube now supports a broad range of aspect ratios in its viewer.
This means that your captions don’t have to cover any part of your video – instead, you can add padding to the bottom of the frame! It’s likely that your video is in a 16:9 or 5:4 aspect ratio, depending on how you recorded and edited it. In this case, you can add padding to the top & bottom – or even just the bottom – of your video so the captions don’t cover up any part of the video frame. Some platforms like Twitter, as you can see, show video information in the actual frame, so you should make sure your subtitles not only don't interfere with your video, but aren't blocked by any other information, as well.