How do I Add Automated Captions to a video and edit them in Kamua?

☕️ TL;DR - If your video contains people speaking, you can display the dialogue on the screen by activating Kamua's Automatic Captions feature and you can manually edit or create a Transcript.

Before you Start, some things to know:

  • This is a very early version of AutoCaptions, but it has been quite a popular request so we are releasing it early, and it will improve!
  • AutoCaptions will currently only work on a single Source Media file; if you have 2 or more Source Media in a Project, Captions will not work (we are developing multi-Source support)
  • Kamua supports multiple languages. But, if your video is in more than one language, you will need to select the one that is used the most in the video (or the language you need the Captions for). For segments in the other language(s) you can manually type in the Captions or you can start another project and process Captions in that language, then copy and paste.
  • Any changes you make to your Captions (Transcript) will be specific to that Project only. The changes will not be saved to the Source Media, so if you start another Project with that Source Media and want to use Captions, you will need to copy and paste the Transcript (more on that below).
  • Currently each word is displayed as it is spoken; you can adjust timings manually in the EDIT CAPTIONS tab and on the Timeline.
  • There is a 5,000 word limit for editing Captions in the transcript. However, if your project exceeds this limit, you can edit the Captions on the Timeline.


Kamua uses AI (speech to text) to generate Captions for you automatically. You've probably seen something similar on YouTube's player. Once enabled, Kamua displays the speech in a word by word format on the screen, so each word is displayed at the time it is said in the Source video. The Captions will be visible across all the Clips you have on the Timeline, provided that those Clips contain speech in the original Audio. You can also edit the Captions once they have been generated. 

💡Pro Tip: Kamua is the only online editor that allows you to crop/resize your video and resize the captions at the same time. So you can automatically produce a video for landscape and also for portrait, with captions, from the same Project.

🎓In this article you will learn how to:

  1. Add Captions to your video
  2. Resize and change the position of the Captions bounding box
  3. Change the Captions settings
    1. Font Family
    2. Font Style
    3. Font Color
    4. Font Background
    5. Font Size
    6. Number of Lines
  4. Edit your Captions in the Transcript
    1. Locate and Edit Words
    2. Split Words
    3. Insert Missing Words
  5. Edit your Captions on the Timeline
    1. Locate and Edit Words
    2. Add and Delete Words
    3. Adjust Word Timings
  6. Download your Captions for use in external applications

😎Heads up: As we mentioned above, Captions only work on single-source Media projects (for now).

1. Add Captions to your video

  • In your Shot List view view_module-24px add the shots you want to add Captions to on the Timeline Timeline.
  • Switch over to the Preview ondemand_video-24px mode and navigate to your Clip Settings on the right-side panel and select Captions.closed_caption-24px
  • Choose the (main) language of the video from the drop-down and press the Generate Transcription button:Generate Transcription
  • Once loading is complete, a new tab under Captions will appear. From there, select Optionssubtitles-24px and toggle the Enable Captions on Video closed_caption-24px switch. Press play play button or move the cursor where there is dialogue to view your Captions. 

Note: If you turn the Enable Captions toggle to OFF, it will erase any changes that you made manually to the Captions in the Transcript.

2. Resize and Change the Position of the Captions Bounding box

To move the Captions Box:

  • Using your mouse,  hold (left click) and drag move captions the Captions bounding box to any position in the video.

To adjust the height and width

  • Drag captions rsize either of the top/bottom and sides of the Captions Box like you do when you resize the Crop Box.

3. Change the Captions settings

Options available:

a. Font Family font family : To change the Font click the drop-down menu in the Font Family row and select a font.

Note: for now we do not support uploaded fonts, only browser fonts. We will let you know when we support custom font uploads.

b. Font Style font style : You can make the font Bold or Italicized by selecting either Bold captions or font style in the Font Style row. Press them again to deactivate the style.

c. Font Color font color : To change the Font Color tap the white rectangle in the Font Color row. From the Color pop-up window, you can: 

colour picker
  • Select from the available swatch palette 
  • Type in a custom Hex or RGBA value
  • Use the Color slider and drag your cursor inside the Color picker.
  • Adjust the transparency using the slider beneath the Color slider.

d. Font Background font background : To change the Font Background Color tap the black rectangle in the Font Background Color row. From the Color pop-up window, you can:

colour picker 2
  • Select from the available swatch palette 
  • Type in a custom Hex or RGBA value
  • Use the Color slider and drag your cursor inside the Color picker.
  • Adjust the transparency using the slider beneath the Color slider.

e. Font Size  font size : To change the Font Size move the slider in the Font Size row, either left (to decrease) or right (to increase). 

f. Number of Lines  number of lines : You may increase the Number of Lines you would like in the Captions Box  using the slider in the Number of Lines row. Slide it either left (to decrease the value) or right (to increase the value).

😎Heads Up: Increasing the Number of Lines will also decrease the previous Font Size. Use the Font Size slider or manually increase the height of the Bounding box to adjust the Font Size accordingly.

4. How to Edit your Captions

Once you have processed automated Captions you will have the option of editing the Transcript. Click on the Captions Tab on the right side to access, and then click on the EDIT CAPTIONS sub-tab.

Here you will see the Transcript for the Shots that you have added to your Timeline, which are now on the Timeline as editable Clips. If you have added all Shots to the Timeline, the Transcript will have everything that the AI has been able to understand from the video.

No automated system is perfect, and in fact you may end up seeing a lot of mistakes and missed words, but it's still a lot easier and faster than listening to the video and typing them yourself!

When you have opened the EDIT CAPTIONS sub-tab, you will see that some of the words are in various shades of yellow. This is to indicate that the AI isn't sure that these words are correct, so the more yellow something is, the less confident the AI is that it got the correct word. You don't need to do anything here, these are an FYI only, but the colors may help you quickly locate incorrectly transcribed words.

a. How to Locate and Edit words:

  1. When you play the video in Preview mode, not only to the words appear on top of the video itself, with the EDIT CAPTIONS sub-tab open, the current word will also be highlighted in blue in the Transcript panel.
  2. Click to select the word you wish to edit. You will see a toolbar pop up above the word (we'll get to the toolbar that later). 
  3. Each word is surrounded by a bounding box in blue, indicating that this is the word (or words) that will appear on the screen at that exact moment of the video. This box represents the timing of the word(s) on the screen, so anything that you include inside the blue box is going to appear on the screen at the same time. To edit, select and type as you normally would in any editor. The reason we generally have the space in front of the word is because you don't want a space to appear on the screen after the word is spoken. The flashing white cursor will show you where you are typing.
  4. If you mistakenly delete the space, you can undo (CMD + Z on Mac / CTRL + Z on Windows). If for some reason it doesn't undo, then you should select the first letter of the word, replace it with a space and then type in the first letter you replaced. (Yes this will get better as we improve our tools!)

b. How to Split Words

If you notice that two words have been joined together, for example "everyone" instead of "every one," you can split those words into two separate words so they appear individually on the screen at the time they are spoken.

  1. Select the word that needs to be split and right-click on it to bring up the Timing update-24px and Split playhead-cut-scissors icons.
  2. Put your cursor at the point where you want to split the word.
  3. Click the blue playhead-cut-scissors icon just above the word.
  4. You will now see two separate words, each surrounded by their own bounding box.
  5. Make sure that there is a space between the words, or insert a space if there isn't one.

Note: Undo doesn't work if you are trying to undo splitting a word. If you want to change what you did, just type the original word and delete what you don't need.

c. How to Add Missing Words

If the AI can't accurately determine what is being said (or unable to at least make a best guess) it won't put text in the Transcript for those segments it can't understand. You can insert words manually.

  1. Go to the point in the Transcript where the missing word(s) should be and click to select the point of insertion.
  2. Type in the word(s)
  3. They will all appear inside the same bounding box as a block of text, so you will need to split them afterwards by positioning your cursor between the words and clicking the blue playhead-cut-scissors icon (see the section above for splitting words).
  4. To set the timing of a word or block of words:
    1. Make sure that the word or words are within the same blue bounding box and that you have the bounding box selected.
    2. Go to the Timeline (Advanced Timeline) and move the Playhead to the exact Frame you want the Caption to appear on.
    3. Click the blue and white Set Word Start Time update-24px button to lock the word(s) to the exact Frame. This will immediately set all words that are inside the blue bounding box to appear on the screen when that Frame is played in the video.

    💡Pro Tip: If you want to add multiple words in one go and have them appear at specific points, then you should type or paste in the words you want and when you split the block into individual words, apply the timing at each split.

    5. How to edit Captions on the Timeline

    You can also edit your captions, add and delete words, and adjust word timings easily on the Timeline. 

    Each word appears above the Timeline in its own Word Clip. The position of the Word Clip indicates where the word will appear in the video, in a similar way to the Clips on the Timeline.

    a. How to Locate and Edit words on the Timeline

    1. Once you have added captions to your project, you will see the Word Clips above the Timeline. If a Word Clip has a number denoted in it, e.g. *66, this means the block has 66 words within it. You can zoom into the timeline to see the words individually, using the mouse wheel or zoom slider. You will now see that each word is inside its own Word Clip.
    2. To edit a word, simply double-click on the Word Clip to make the cursor appear within it. From there you can edit the word like you can in any text editor.
    3. To make a word appear on a new line in your captions, right-click the Word Clip and select  Add line break in front of word. The Word Clip will now have the  icon in front of it.

    b. How to Add and Delete Words from the Timeline

    1. To add a word on the Timeline, navigate to an empty space and click the + icon next to the Playhead.
    2. To delete a word, right-click the Word Clip and select Remove word.

    c. How to adjust word timings on the Timeline

    1. To change the point at which a word appears in your video, simply click and drag the Word Clip and move it to its desired position.
      NOTE: You can only move Word Clips to empty spaces. To move a word Clip to a point where another Word Clip already exists, you must first delete the underlying Word Clip to create an empty space.
    2. You can also trim the right side of a word to create blank space. To do this, simply click and drag the right side of the Word Clip.

    😎Heads Up: If you split words in the transcript (See 4b) You will only see the 2nd half of the split on the Timeline. This is because both parts of the Clip have the same timing set until you change it. You can do this in the transcript or directly on the Timeline.

    😎Heads Up: The length of a Word Clip does not signify its duration. This is because several words need to be on screen at a time to make the Captions readable. If there is a long break in the Captions, they will remain on screen for 1.5 seconds after the last word is displayed.


    6. How do I download my Captions?

    If you wish to use your Captions in another application, such as YouTube, Vimeo or many others, you can download them as an SRT file.

    Simply click on the Download SRT icon Download SRT_original at the bottom of the Edit Captions tab, to download the file to your computer.

    😎Heads Up: When you render a video in Kamua, the Captions are displayed on a word-by-word basis. However, SRT files work on a line-by-line-basis and will be displayed this way when you use them in another application.