Panopto: Captions

Panopto is the College’s primary lecture capture and streaming audio/video hosting platform. There are several ways to add captions to recordings hosted in Panopto, and you can add multiple files in different languages to provide translated subtitles as well as same-language captions. Once captions are added, viewers will be able to turn them on during playback in Panopto’s viewer window or any other media player that supports captions.

View captions

Prefer video? Watch the Viewing video captions tutorial.

  • Click   (Closed captions) at the bottom of the video player window to toggle closed captions on and off.
    Closed caption button on the video player window
  • Click   (More) to customize how the closed captions display.
  • If you prefer to view captions in the transcription format shown below, click the Captions link in the left sidebar.
    Red box highlighting captions following the video in the left sidebar

Attention: If you are viewing the recording in a media player that is embedded in a web page, it may have more limited captioning options. Log into Panopto to view the recording if you need additional features.

Create ADA-compliant captions

College policies require that recordings published on a college website or used in academic courses have ADA-compliant captions. You can produce ADA-compliant captions for recordings stored in Panopto by correcting the ASR captions that Panopto generates or by hiring a third-party captioning service to produce and upload them.

Who is responsible for captioning?
  • Recordings used in an academic course by student(s) with documented disabilities — contact Deb Alder in Access Services.
  • Tri-Co library collections (DVDs or streamed video) — email
  • Everything else — the individual or department publishing or adopting the recordings.

ASR captioning in Panopto

By default, when you create a recording in Panopto or upload an uncaptioned recording, Panopto will automatically add ASR captions. You can either edit these to make them ADA-compliant or contract with a third-party service to provide ADA-compliant captions instead.

More on ASR Captions in Panopto

  • Panopto automatically creates ASR transcripts to enable viewers to search the audio content of recordings. (Similarly, they apply optical character recognition (OCR) to video content and slides to make text displayed on screen searchable).
  • Automatic ASR captioning is currently only available in English; however, Panopto supports captioning in multiple languages (subtitling).
  • If you upload a captioned video, Panopto will NOT overwrite the captions. ASR captions are only generated for recordings that lack a caption file.
  • When Panopto imports Zoom recordings, it will ingest the Zoom caption file, if one was created. If no caption file exists, Panopto will apply ASR.
  • The ASR process starts after the upload/recording is complete and typically takes less time than the recording itself, although it can take up to 24 hours in periods of heavy demand. (If it takes longer than that, email and we can investigate.)
  • Panopto saves captions in a separate file that is formatted for display during playback (closed captioning). They are NOT embedded in the video itself (open captioning).

Edit captions in the video editor

Attention: Only video Creators can edit captions. To give another person Creator permissions, go the folder containing the recording, click Share, choose Can create under Invite people, search for their name, select them and click Save (or Save and Send if you notify them by email.)

  1. Log into Panopto.
  2. Find your recording and click   Edit to open it in the editor window.
  3. Click Captions to show the captions panel.
  4. If the recording does not already have ASR captions, you can add them by clicking Import Captions and choosing Import Automatic Captions.
  5. Click (Play) or press Shift+Space bar to begin playing the recording.
  6. Click (Pause) or press Shift+Space bar to pause playback when you need to fix something:
    • To edit a caption, double-click on it in the captions pane (not the video player).
    • Image of the captions editor on Panopto
    • To delete a caption, hover over it, click (More), and choose  Delete.
    • To add a new caption, pause at the point in the video timeline where it should appear, then type the text into the Enter a caption box at the bottom of the captions pane and press Enter to save.
  7. Click the Apply button at the top of the video editor periodically to save your changes.

Image of the Panopto video editor

Continue playing, editing and applying changes until you have corrected the entire video, then close the editor window.

Edit caption files outside of Panopto

A caption file is simply a text file formatted in to tell media players when to display lines of text. If captions need extensive editing or you want to translate them to create subtitles, it may be easier to export the caption file, edit it outside of Panopto, and then re-upload it to apply your changes.

Export caption files

  1. Log into Panopto and find your recording.
  2. Click  Settings.
  3. Click Captions.
  4. Under Available Captions, click the drop-down arrow next to the language of the caption file you wish to download.
  5. Click Download file.

Caution: The Download unedited caption file option includes sections of the video that have been cut or moved in the video editor. You will rarely want this.

Edit the downloaded file

  1. Open it in a text editor like NotePad (Windows) or TextEdit (macOS). Do NOT use a word processor like Word or Google Docs as they will add invisible code to your file.
  2. Notice how the document is formatted and preserve this format as you edit.
    • Each caption consists of three lines:
      • Line 1: Caption number (does not appear on screen);
      • Line 2: Caption display period, e.g.: 00:00:01,000 –> 00:00:03,500 means the caption appears one (1) second into the video timeline and disappears at 3.5 seconds.
      • Line 3: The caption text.
    • There should be a blank line between captions.
  3. When you are finished editing, save the file with an .srt file extension.

Import caption files

  1. Log into Panopto and find the recording.
  2. Click Settings.
  3. Click Captions.
  4. If you want to replace an existing caption file, click the drop-down arrow next to it, and click Delete.
  5. Under Upload Captions, click the drop-down arrow and choose the language of your caption file.
  6. Click Choose file, and browse for the file on your computer.
  7. If your captions are based on the edited (e.g., trimmed) version of the recording, check Captions are based on the edited sessions
  8. Click Upload Captions
  9. You can upload multiple caption files in different languages to provide subtitle translation. See How to Add Translated Captions for details.

Captioning best practices

When creating captions it is important to note that captions are created with the assumption that viewers cannot hear, as compared to subtitles which are created with the assumptions viewers can hear but cannot understand the language. For this reason, captions require all meaningful sounds to be conveyed.

According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) guidelines, captions must be:

  1. Accurate: Captions must match the spoken words in the dialogue and convey background noises and other sounds to the fullest extent possible.
  2. Synchronous: Captions must coincide with their corresponding spoken words and sounds to the greatest extent possible and must be displayed on the screen at a speed that can be read by viewers.
  3. Complete: Captions must run from the beginning to the end of the program to the fullest extent possible.
  4. Properly placed: Captions should not block other important visual content on the screen, overlap one another or run off the edge of the video screen.

Tip: Please refer to this Captioning Tip Sheet to access specific rules for captioning correctly.

Outsource captioning

Panopto also supports outsourcing to third-party captioning services with integrations that enable you to request captions for a recording within Panopto and thereby enable the service to view it and upload finished captions to it. College departments typically use, which is an approved vendor in eMarket, and turnaround time is usually 24 hours.

Attention: Contact Deb Alder in Access Services if you need academic course recording captions for students with documented disabilities. If you need DVDs or streamed video in Tri-Co library collections captioned, please email

If you would like LITS to set up a integration for you or your department:

  1. Follow’s instructions for creating an account and generating an API User Key and API Access Token.
  2. Email this information to and ask us to set a Panopto integration for this account.
  3. We will ask you how you would like to handle caption requests:
    • We can give the people you specify account-level permission to request captions; once this is enabled, they will be able to place requests for any recording by clicking on Settings > Captions and choosing your account from the Request captions menu.
    • We set up a folder for you so that captions are requested when anyone places a recording in it. You can then give others Creator access to this folder to enable them to request captions.


If you have any additional questions or problems, don't hesitate to reach out to the Help Desk!

Phone: 610-526-7440 | Library and Help Desk hours
Email: help@brynmawr.eduService catalog
Location: Canaday Library 1st floor