Audio/Video Transcript Guide

  Getting Started

What You’ll Need:

  • Microsoft Word
  • The current version of the SAU transcript template (attached to this article)
  • Video or audio to transcribe

Always start by downloading the current SAU transcript template. Open the template and enter the course ID, course title, and content title and duration (format: Hours, Minutes, Seconds (HH:MM:SS). Delete the placeholder body text. 

  Transcribing Soundcloud Clips

SoundCloud does not support the embedding of captions or the ability to automatically generate them, therefore the only way to transcribe them is by hand or by submitting a General Project Request Ticket. If transcribing by hand, make sure to follow the instructions laid out in the Transcript Editing Guidelines section of this article.

  Transcribing YouTube Videos

For YouTube videos you have two options: transcribe the video from scratch by starting and stopping the video while writing your document, or extract the automatically generated captions from YouTube and use them as a starting point. The latter is recommended to save time, but you can choose whatever method is fastest and most accurate for you. 

Finding and Extracting Auto-Generated Captions

First, verify that the video has automatic captions by playing the video on YouTube and turning on captions, which can be found in the bottom right of the player. There will be an (English (Automatic) option if the video has generated its own captions. If a video has no captions, you will not be able to extract them. If the video has recently been uploaded, captions may still be in the process of being generated by Google’s servers. The time this takes will depend on the length of the video, and how long it takes for the servers to process it. The latter can vary for unknown reasons, so it could take an hour to 24 hours for automatic captions to show up.

To extract YouTube’s auto captions, the process will be different if the video is hosted on a channel you have access to. 

If you own the video:

While logged into the account, navigate to YouTube Studio and find your video under Content. After selecting the video, select Subtitles. In the row labeled English (Automatic) select Duplicate and Edit. An editor window will appear with the raw caption text. Copy and paste this text into your transcript document. 

If you don’t own the video:

If you don’t have access to the channel that uploaded the video, you will need to extract the captions using an external site like Downsub. Just take the video’s URL and paste it into the site, and be sure to download a .txt file.

The formatting of the text will likely be separated into multiple paragraphs, which will need to be fixed. To begin, copy all of the text you acquired from the .txt file and paste it into a blank Word document, not the transcript template (yet). You should see something like the image below.

Now open Find and Replace by using the keyboard shortcut CTRL+H on either macOS or Windows, or by selecting Edit -> Find -> Replace. A panel should open to the left of your document. Instead of typing in the first box, select the drop down arrow to the right and select Paragraph Mark. You can also just type ^p .

In the second box, type a single space character. This will replace all paragraph breaks with single spaces instead of joining the beginning and end of each paragraph. Select Replace All.

Now that the text is properly formatted, copy and paste it into the transcript template. 

After you’ve gathered the auto-captions from whatever source, it’s time to edit them. From here it’s up to you on how you’d like to proceed. One method is to have the YouTube video and transcript template open in two separate windows side by side. Start the video, follow along in the transcript, and edit the document using the Transcript Editing Guidelines section of this article. Do what you find is easiest and most efficient. 

After editing the transcript, make sure to follow the instructions in the Importing YouTube Captions section at the bottom of this article. 

  Transcript Editing Guidelines


The captions we provide should be as accurate as possible. When the content being transcribed is something like a course lecture, the accuracy of the spoken word could mean a passing or failing grade for the student. Please read, re-read, and read again! Ask for feedback from someone on the team if you need further clarification.

Spelling, Grammar, and Punctuation

To ensure the accuracy of your transcripts, pay close attention to what was said and how it fits in the context of the sentence. Read through your writing frequently as you work through the content to verify correct word usage, spelling, and grammar, and punctuation. If a speaker says a word incorrectly and it’s clear what they were trying to say, you should correct that mistake in the transcript. When a speaker interrupts themselves (or is interrupted) or any other time their sentence is cut short and they start a new one, place an em dash (—) at the end of the cut off sentence. 

Crutch Words

Do not include “crutch words,” or words that speakers repeat as they think out loud. Examples of crutch words include "um," "uh," and "like," especially when used in excess. Pacing is not something easily translated from speaking to writing, so if there are extra words or spaces that appear in the content, it is not necessary to include them in the transcript. These words may confuse those who read it without the context of the audio or video. When in doubt, read it through to see if it makes sense as text instead of spoken word. 

Speaker Labels

If there are multiple people talking and you know the name of the participants, label their name at the beginning of their first sentences. If the name of the speaker is unknown, the speaker label can be a generic one-word description of the person talking. If two or more people are having a conversation, each time a different person starts speaking you should add their name to the beginning of their sentence, and these sentences should be separated by a paragraph. 


[Michael] Do you know what the assignment was for today? I wasn't paying attention.

[Nancy] Yeah, we were supposed to read chapters 1-4 and answer the questions. 

If two or more people talk over one another, list their names and full sentences in the order that they started speaking. Use your best judgement for what information is important to include. 

  Saving and Uploading

After completing the transcript, save the Word document to your computer with the naming convention ABC123_ContentTitle_Transcript. Upload it to Box in the course's Media folder. Create a Box share link to the transcript and navigate to the content item in Blackboard where the transcribed content appears. Edit the content item, and underneath the embedded media type the word Transcript. Hyperlink the Box link to that text and select Submit. If you need detailed instructions for this process, review Creating Box Links and Placing Them in Blackboard.

Importing YouTube Captions

If you transcribed a YouTube video and have access to the account that hosts it, you can also take your edited transcript and use it as captions for the video. Navigate back to YouTube Studio and find the video you transcribed. Under Subtitles, select Add Language and in the drop down menu select English. A new row should have appeared under the automatic captions. There will be two Add buttons in the new row you created, select the one under the Subtitles row to the right. 

In the new window that opens, select Auto-sync from the list to the left. In the Enter the words that are spoken box, paste the transcript text from your edited document. Only include the body text, do not copy the titles and header information. YouTube's algorithm will now automatically generate the caption timings for your video. This will only take a short amount of time, even for large videos.

After the captions have populated in the timeline below, quickly verify that the timing synced correctly and there are no gaps where there shouldn't be. If everything looks good, select the Publish button in the top right of the window. Now that the video has proper curated captions you are free to delete the original automatically generated captions. Hover over the automatic captions row and select the three dots at the very end to the right. Select delete. 


Article ID: 138844
Thu 10/21/21 11:32 AM
Mon 4/4/22 11:09 AM