The first step in choosing a format is to decide how you want the final subtitles or captions to display in the video. There are two ways to display captions on video content:

  • Open captions are always on and cannot be turned off.

    • Open captions are only available through our in-house subtitling team, Amara On Demand

  • Closed captions allow the viewer to turn them on or off. 

    • Closed captions are a separate file played with the video, so you can add multiple subtitle files for viewers to choose from.

    • The standard option on Amara is closed captions or subtitles.


Subtitle Formats Available For All Amara Users

All Amara users have multiple formats to choose from on the Amara subtitling platform:




YouTube format


Timed Text Markup Language- TTML: Distribution Format Exchange Profile, subtitles in an XML file, with file extension .dfxp, for software and media services that support the common Timed Text standard


Web Video Text Track format, the W3C standard for video on the web. It's similar to SRT but supports a lot more features


The standard subtitle format supported by most video players


SubStation Alpha subtitle format. A popular format for hardcoding subtitles.


Text transcript, without timestamps


If you need Timed Text subtitles with .xml file extension:

Change the file name ending from .dfxp to .xml




Additional Subtitle Formats Through AOD

Amara On Demand (AOD) is Amara's in-house subtitling service. In addition to the subtitle formats listed above, AOD provides ITT, SCC, CAP formats and open captions embedded in the video.

  • Send us a request and we'll be happy to help with your projects

  • If you order from AOD, your professional subtitles will be delivered in a private file in the format of your choice




Timed Text Markup Language for iTunes, subtitles in an XML file, with file extension .itt, for software and media services that only support the ITT version of Timed Text


Scenarist Closed Captions, a legacy format from analog broadcasts. Supports English captions and characters from the main western languages.


Videotron Lambda captions, a common format in the Japanese market



Captions for Social Media

Tips for the most common media sites.

  • Facebook and Instagram both use unformatted SRT files.

    • Neither platform supports positioning, special characters,or text formatting.

  • YouTube, Vimeo, Brightcove, or Kaltura use WebVTT files.

    • These online platforms allow some styling to your subtitle files. 



Download Subtitles

You might want to download subtitles to add to a video that you are watching on your computer or edit offline using other subtitle editors.

  • Go to the main video page for the subtitles you want to download. 

  • Click the language you want in the list of available languages next to the video player. 

  • Click the Download button on the right side of the video page and select the format you want from the dropdown list.

The selected subtitles will be downloaded to your computer. You can now view or edit the file in a text editor on your computer or upload them to a video player.

  • When downloading subtitles, make sure to save them directly to disk rather than let the browser open them with the default application.


For more tips and tricks about subtitle formatting, check out this blog post about subtitle formats available on Amara.



Set up automatic subtitle export from Amara

You can automatically export completed subtitles from Amara to your channel or account on video hosting platforms. 

For all Amara Free users:

For admins of Amara teams:


Upload Subtitles

You can upload subtitles or untimed transcripts to Amara and make edits if needed.

  • First, the related video needs to be added to Amara

  • Amara creates a page for your video.

  • On the video page, click the kebab menu next to the Add/Edit Subtitles button.

  • Then select the Upload subtitles item from the dropdown menu:


The upload subtitles item in the add edit subtitles kebab menu on a video page in Amara.


When you upload subtitles, you have to select the language of your subtitles. 

  • If there are already subtitles in that language for your video on Amara, those subtitles will be replaced by the uploaded version.

  • View different versions of subtitles in a language by clicking the language under the subtitle list on the right side of the video.

Uploading subtitles on the video page will automatically mark them as complete. 

  • If you have an integration set up to YouTube, Vimeo, or another video hosting site, the uploaded subtitles will be visible on that site.

  • If you want to make edits before your subtitles export, upload them in the editor following the steps in the section below.



Upload Subtitles in the Editor

You can also upload subtitles in the Amara Editor. 

  • Go to the video page and click on the Add/Edit Subtitles button.

  • Select the language that you want to add and open the editor.

  • In the Amara Editor click the wrench icon and select the Upload subtitles item from the dropdown menu:

Upload subtitles item in the wrench dropdown menu in the Amara Editor

If you had had any unsaved changes in the editor prior to uploading, you may see another dialog warning you about abandoning those changes. If you continue with uploading, unsaved changes will be lost.


Using YouTube ASR captions

Both Amara Free users and Amara team admins can use YouTube ASR captions on Amara.

  • Any Amara user can download and upload YouTube ASR manually and edit the subtitles on Amara.

  • Amara Team subscriptions like Amara Community, Amara Plus and Amara Enterprise teams have the additional option of automatically importing YouTube ASR captions when they integrate their Amara and YouTube channel.


Uploading Untimed Transcript (.txt) Files

You can upload an untimed text transcript, and use the Amara Editor to synchronize its timing and make any necessary edits to the transcript.

  • Your transcript file needs to be in TXT format (filename.txt).

  • If your file isn’t in TXT format you can copy and paste the text from your file into a new document with Notepad++ (Windows PC), Geddit (Linux PC) or TextWrangler (Mac).


For example: 

Hello, this is my first line of the subtitle transcript.

And here is my second line of the transcript, but it's exceptionally long,

so I separated it into a third line.

  • When saving your TXT file, make sure that UTF-8 Encoded is selected and save it with the extension .txt

  • Then follow the steps in the “Uploading Subtitles” section above.



If you have any questions or suggestions please share your feedback. 

Simply click No in the Did you find this helpful link below to submit a quick ticket.

Thank you for your contributions to support an inclusive and accessible media ecosystem!