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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. 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 want to have captions added to your recordings for no charge, apply to UW-IT’s Accessible Technology Services captioning study. Eligible Panopto videos must be course-related, widely-available, and used multiple times. Recordings made for accommodation requests are not valid for this study. The free captioning will be available for a limited time.

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.

Captioning for a Fee

We suggest applying for free captioning. However if you want to do it on own and plan to edit your recordings,  caption your Panopto recordings first and edit them after they have been captioned. Otherwise the captions won’t line up with the content. You will be charged for captioning the entire recording. We are working with Panopto to allow us to edit content first.

If you are not able to use free captioning (either through an accommodation request or the free captioning study), follow these steps to add captions to a Panopto video:

  1. StepsActions
  2. Set up an account with the UW caption provider, 3PlayMedia, at If you already have the .srt caption file, proceed to step 7.
  3. To ensure that the “.srt” caption file type option is selected, in the upper right corner, click Settings. If a check mark does not appear in the “.srt” check box, check it.
  4. Log in to Panopto and navigate to the folder that contains the recording you want to caption. Below the title of the Panopto video, click Settings.
  5. In the left column, click Outputs, then click the Download Podcast.  This will download an .mp4 file that you’ll then send to 3PlayMedia to use as the reference for creating your caption file.
  6. Return to your account page (making sure that you are still logged in). Click the upload media link and navigate to the .mp4 file you downloaded from Panopto.  You will be offered a variety of turnaround times with different prices to choose from.
  7. When you receive your captioned file from 3PlayMedia, download the .srt file to your local machine.
  8. Return to the Panopto folder. Choose Settings for the video.
  9. In the left column, click Captions.
  10. Below Upload Captions, click Browse.
    Panopto will process and link your new captions to be available for viewers of your video.