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Instructors: How do I create a subtitle file using Amara?

If you are recording a new video or uploading an existing one into Canvas, it is recommended that you include captions for accessibility and convenience. If you do not have a caption file to add to your video, you can make one using the Amara subtitle creation tool.

Opening Caption Menu for Canvas Video Files

  1. You will need to open the Canvas page where the video in question is located. Click the thumbnail to enlarge the video player.

  2. Click the CC icon.This will open the video's closed caption menu.

  3. Click the Upload subtitles button, this will open the video's subtitle menu.

Accessing the Subtitle Creation Tool

Once the video's subtitle menu is open:

  1. Copy the entire displayed URL from Step 1 shown below. You will need this  when you log into Amara. Make sure you copy the entire link.
  2. Click the Go to subtitle creation tool button located in Step 2 shown below. This will open up a new window to the Amara subtitle creation tool.

Note: Canvas has to render the video and create a proper link before you can create a caption file. If you cannot access the subtitle creation menu on your newly added video, try accessing it later.

Getting Started with Amara

Amara is a tool that allows for the creation of subtitle tracks that can be added to videos. Amara is free, you just need to create an account. 

  1. Click Begin to make an account.

  2. Amara will present a few options for creating your account. You can link to your Gmail, Facebook, or other service's account to a new Amara profile. We recommend simply making one that is linked to your FSU email, which can be done by scrolling down to the "Create an Account" menu. Input the appropriate information and click Create Account.

Using the Amara Editor

  1. Once your account is created, paste the URL of the video that you got from Canvas' subtitle editor and click Begin.

  2. Amara will load the video into its editor. Click the Add a new language! button on the left-hand side of the editor menu.

  3. Amara will prompt you to specify first the spoken language that is used in the video file, and then what language the subtitles will use. Click Continue to proceed to the editor.
  4. This area is where you will create captioning. We recommended you look at Amara's guide to using the editor prior to beginning the captioning process. This guide will take you through the entire process of making your subtitle file from start to publication.

  5.  Once you are finished, click the blue Publish icon in the upper right of the editor.

Downloading Your Subtitle File

  1. Once you have published your subtitles, you will need to prepare the file for download. Click the language of subtitle you want on the left-hand side of the video window. Click the highlighted subtitle track.
  2.  To download a copy of the track, navigate to the Download menu in the upper right. This will produce a drop-down menu where you can select a format for the caption file. We recommend the SRT or VTT format for use with Canvas.

    Note: Users accessing Canvas using the iOS version of the Canvas mobile app will only be able to see captions uploaded using the VTT format.

  3. Once you have selected the desired file type, you will be prompted to download the subtitle track. Select Save File, and then click OK. You will prompted to select a download location. Once that is done, the file will be downloaded onto your device and will be available to be used in a Canvas video.


Once your subtitle file has been created, you can add it to your Canvas videos.

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  • 15-Aug-2018