If you have permission, you can set up and distribute videos with closed captioning, in multiple languages, for your users all around the world. Closed captioning is a process of playing back text on video to provide information on the audio portion of the media. Subtitling works very similarly, but while that is more focused on translation of dialogue for non-speakers of a language, closed captioning generally offers transcription as well as a description of both dialogue and non-speech elements.

The Closed Captioning feature must be enabled on the Features page by Widen Collective admins for you to upload caption files and view videos with captions. You must also have the Administrate Asset Group permission to see the Captions area on the Asset Details page.

Add closed caption files to videos

To get closed captions for your videos, the exact method is going to differ depending on the tools you have, but generally speaking, video editing apps should offer it as a part of their features. The Collective supports closed captioning in three file types, DFXP, SRT, and VTT, so you’ll want to check the app's documentation to verify it supports exporting in those formats. Alternatively, there are free and paid tools that can generate closed captioning outside of your typical video editing app. Broadly speaking, you’re using the app to mark times in the video for when, what, and how you’d like text to display.

To add closed captioning to videos in the Collective, add a DFXP, SRT, or VTT file in a language of your choice to a video in the Captions area on the Asset Details page. When videos are previewed, downloaded, or shared, the captions will display.


After you add the file, select whether or not captions are on or off for each video with the addition of at least one caption file. If you select for them to be on, you can also select for captions to be on by default. When you do this, any video with an added DFXP, SRT, or VTT file will automatically display closed captioning during video playback. The video player will try to choose the caption file associated with the browser's default language and will default to English if there's no matching caption file. If captions aren't on by default, the CC button will display during playback but will not be enabled. The viewer will need to select a language to start seeing the captions.

The “enable captions by default” flag may be overridden by your browser's cache. If you turn on or off captions for a video, the video player will remember that setting the next time you access that video.

Captions will display during video playback when you're previewing the video in the Collective or when viewing the video externally via share links or embed codes.

Note that with video share links and embed codes, changes to video closed caption settings can take up to an hour to be reflected due to caching.