IT Connect
Information technology tools and resources at the UW

Add captions to Panopto recordings

Adding captions is an excellent enhancement for your viewers and makes video content fully searchable. To learn more about why captioning is important, watch the video, Making Videos Accessible.

Faculty, staff, and students with disabilities can submit an accommodation request to caption Panopto videos by contacting the UW Disability Services Office or Disability Resources for Students. If the accommodation request is approved, all costs and implementation of captioning services are covered by the UW, and video owners don’t need to follow the steps below.

If there is no active accommodation request, costs and implementation of captioning services are the responsibility of video owners – although the UW currently has an opportunity for free captioning (see below). Caption transcripts can be generated manually, or by using the UW caption provider for increased accuracy, faster turnaround time, and educational discount pricing. Panopto also provides free machine-generated captions which will need to be edited to ensure accuracy.

Free Captioning

If you have course-related, widely-available recordings which will be used multiple times, have them professionally captioned for free. To apply, simply fill out the captioning services form.  If you have had a request for accommodations, your video is not eligible for this funding, instead work with UW Disability Resources for Students or the Disability Services Office.

Notes: If you plan to make your videos widely available (e.g., beyond the scope of your classroom), consider FERPA policies. In addition, consider posting such videos outside of Panopto, to spare the UW the cost of usage fees.

Enable Automatic Captioning on a Folder

Panopto offers free auto-captioning which is not accurate enough for accessibility accommodations. Be sure to turn off auto-captioning if your recordings are being professionally captioned for an accomodation.

If you enable the setting, Panopto will automatically caption any new recordings that are added to your folder. It will not go back and request captions for sessions already in that folder, but you may request them for each recording.

  1. Browse to the folder you wish to set up automatic captions for and click the Settings icon on the top right-hand side. Sessions that are automatically captioned due to this setting will always send full raw streams, rather than edited sessions. Please note: you will need to repeat this process to enable automatic captions for each subfolder. 
    select folder settings on screen
  2. Click the Settings tab and choose Automatic Machine Captions in the drop down.
    Select folder captions screen
    To increase the accuracy, consider editing your captions.

Request Captions for a Recording

As of Panopto 6.0, captions that are requested per session will be based on the edited session, not the full raw streams. Since the captions will be based on the edited session, the session will be locked for editing until the caption request is completed. Additionally, further edits after captions have been imported may result in needing to request new captions for the entire session. Note: If the requested session contains clips, the entire unedited duration of the session will be sent.

To submit a caption job,click the settings icon next to any session. Select the Captions tab and click the choose a caption service drop-down. Select the turnaround time you wish to use and click Order .

add captions to a recording screen

Captioning for a Fee

If your recordings don’t qualify for free captioning, contact for more information about how to set up a caption service account with Panopto.

Last reviewed April 2, 2020