Video Subtitling Made Simple

If I had to choose between Articulate, Camtasia, PowerPoint, Captivate and Adobe Presenter for the ease of creating eLearning content, I would probably always go with Camtasia, with PowerPoint in a close second.

Back in May 2020, around the time the world fell apart, I posted a blog titled One Cannot Live by Camtasia Alone (well maybe), which described my first use of Articulate 360. Since then, I have had the opportunity to use other applications but I still keep coming back to Camtasia.

I recently upgraded to Camtasia 2021 and I was happy to see that the developers did not or change the GUI–like so many other companies do–in such a way that a long-time user would find it difficult to use, nor did they make changes to imitate other application GUIs.

I upgraded to 2021 in order to work on a contract translation and audio subtitling/captioning project. The client created a Camtasia project and upon attempting to open their files, I found that the files were not compatible with my outdated version.

The transition to Camtasia 2021, and the completion of the project, could both be aptly described as “seamless.” In addition, it did not cost very much to upgrade (~$100).

Camtasia Captioning

Captioning in Camtasia is simple. Start by clicking the CC Captions button in the left side menu, then start typing. The application has predefined time segments that can be adjusted for the audio segment length and the speakers rate of speech. Add additional captions by clicking the green Add Caption button.

Camtasia 2021 GUI Captions

I never view the training unless I cannot find something intuitively. Yes, I do realize that I am missing out on features that I could probably be using. Sometimes I am lucky and discover them on my own. This time the discovery was an ADA button. [Disclaimer: I am not sure whether the old version had this option].

Making the captions ADA compliant is done in two clicks: Clicking the ADA button, and then choosing the make compliant option. Gotta ❤ that!

To make the application even more useful for language professionals, I would suggest a few additional improvements. The two use cases/features that come to mind immediately are:

  • a plain text, csv or Excel spreadsheet import tool that would read the start and end time stamp
  • a multilingual spell checker

In the meantime, I will continue working with Camtasia and a separate text editor. Great application, 10 years, 3 versions and counting!

So what tools are you using for movie and video subtitling? Let me know and I’ll post about it in the future. Let’s share ideas!

Published by Be better.

Working on social and economic progress.

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