Camtasia 9: Making Engaging Videos by adding Captions

This article gives details about using captions in Camtasia 9

Camtasia 9 is available for free to UW-Stout faculty and staff for loading onto their computers issued by UW-Stout

PC users should go their Software Center desktop app and install Camtasia 9. Instructions on using software center for PC are located here.

Mac users can use Self Service to install Camtasia 9. Instructions on how to install for a Mac are located here.

Your LTS Instructional Technology Consultant or the Technology Help Desk can assist you with downloading the software.

Why Captions?

Captions appear on or under a video and are a text representation of the spoken words in a video. You might ask, "Why should I use captions?" There are a number of good reasons and here are some of them:

Viewers may be deaf or hard-of-hearing. Since captions show the words that are spoken in a video, they can be very helpful to viewers who have hearing loss or deafness.

banner with the text Deaf/Hard of Hearing and the international symbol for deafness

Your viewers may be non-native English speakers. Captions can help non-native English speakers to distinguish between sentences and enable them to look up words in a translation dictionary to learn their meetings.

banner with the text Non-Native English Speakers and the flags of several countries

In some cases, viewers may not be able to play sound in their location. If the viewer is not able or allowed to play sound in their environment, having captions will help them to follow along with the video without having to change locations.

banner with the text No Sound Allowed and an icon of a speaker with a red line through it

Your may have viewers who want to take notes or learn the spelling and pronunciation of new words. Pausing a video with captions will enable students to take notes from the captions. They can also learn the spelling of new terms in the content.

 banner with the text Notes, Spelling & Prounciation and icons for a note pad, a spell checker, and a person talking

Adding Captions

There are four main ways to add captions to videos in Camtasia 9.


Start by clicking on the Captions tool in the left menu.

captions button showing in left menu

If you do not see the Captions tool, click the More button and then choose Captions from the menu that opens.

captions showing in more menu

Within the Captions area, you have several choices.

Add Captions:

Your first option is to click on the Add Caption button and start typing in your captions.

the Add Caption button

The diagram below shows where to type your captions and where they will appear.

where to type in captions and where they apppear 

Copy and Paste Script

If you made a script in electronic form, you can create a caption and then copy and paste the entire script into that caption.

whole script added to video

After you paste it in, click on the cog wheel in the upper left-hand corner of the Captions area and choose Sync Captions.

captions cog wheel menu

Follow the instructions to space out your captions so they will appear at the right spots to match the audio in your recording.

 caption sync instructions

Importing Caption Files

You can also import a caption file if you have one. To import caption files in Camtasia, you must have caption files that have file extension .srt, .smi, or .sami. You cannot import any other type of file using this feature.


If you're using the PC version of Camtasia, you will also have the Speech-to-Text option. When you click Speech-to-Text, Camtasia will attempt to take your speech and convert it into text.

 cog wheel menu opened

You will want to follow the instructions as they will help to improve the efficiency of the Speech-to-Text tool. Please note that this feature is not perfect, so you will need to review the captions created by Speech-to-Text.

speech to text instructions

Export Captions

If you open the cog wheel and click on Export captions, you'll be able to export your captions. in either the .srt or the .smi file format.

 captions cog wheel menu opened with export captions highlighted

You can export your captions in either the .srt or the .smi file format.

file format choices for exporting captions

If you have any questions, please contact the Instructional Technology Consultant for your college.

To view a video version of this article, please follow this link:

Please note: Although this article shows you how to make and use captions in Camtasia, you can have your videos captioned at no cost by Learning Technology Services. In order to have your videos captioned by LTS, your videos must meet these criteria:
  • The videos you want captioned were produced by you. LTS does not caption videos from YouTube or other video sources.
  • Your videos must be used for instructional purposes
  • Your videos must be housed in your My Media Library
  • When uploaded to My Media,your videos must be tagged with the words "closed caption" (without the quotation marks).
When you have LTS caption your videos, the captions will not appear instantly. It may take a week or more.

When your videos have been captioned, the captioner will change the Close Caption tag to Captioned. You will not need to reload your video in order to make the captions appear.

Keywords:camtasia, captions, closed captions, my media, captioning, camtasia tips camtasia tutorials, camtasia help, camtasia best practices   Doc ID:69603
Owner:Katie L.Group:UW Stout
Created:2016-12-20 15:23 CDTUpdated:2020-03-02 10:14 CDT
Sites:UW Stout
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