What’s the Deal with WebVTT?

As you might have noticed, InqScribe version 2.2.3 includes a new subtitle export format: WebVTT. Why should you care? Although it’s a young format, WebVTT has quickly become a new standard, supported by HTML5, YouTube, and Vimeo. Here’s a quick overview of what you can do with WebVTT:

What is WebVTT?

WebVTT is a text-based format similar to Subrip SRT. What’s special about WebVTT is that it’s compatible with HTML. You can use WebVTT to provide extra information about HTML video, including subtitles, closed captions, descriptions, metadata, and chapters. Not only does this make videos more accessible, it helps keep them organized, and gives you a space to make notes or annotations.

Here’s a sample of what a WebVTT file looks like:

00:00:00.000 --> 00:00:15.365
Start of video.

00:00:15.366 --> 00:00:17.432
Puts down toy.

00:00:17.433 --> 00:00:25.632
Picks up toy again.
Calls out.

How do I use WebVTT?

To export a WebVTT file from InqScribe, simply prepare your transcript and select “File > Export > WebVTT…”

Once exported, you could use the WebVTT file to create captions for YouTube and Vimeo videos. For instructions on how to take your InqScribe transcript into YouTube, head over to our guide here.

To use your WebVTT file with an HTML video, just enter the appropriate references into the <video> tag of your HTML code. For more on how to integrate a WebVTT file into an HTML video, check out this guide by html5doctor.com.

If you are using WebVTT for a browser-based HTML video, there are some additional styling options available. You can control formatting such as bolding and italicizing by adding HTML and CSS tags to your transcript. Although InqScribe transcripts do not currently support styled text, you can still use tags in your transcript to specify how the text will appear in the video. Below are some examples of acceptable styling tags:

<b>Make this bold</b>
<i>Make this italic</i>
<c.myclass>Apply CSS class "myclass"</c>
<v Sue>Identify who is speaking</v>

Note that WebVTT also supports a few custom position and display options not supported by InqScribe. Specifically, if you’d like subtitles to appear karaoke-style or control per-subtitle positioning, you’ll need to manually edit your exported WebVTT file with a text editor. You can read more about these limitations in our WebVTT User Guide entry here.

For more technical information, head over to the WC3 Community Group report. If you have any questions or comments about using WebVTT, send us email at support@inqscribe.com.

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