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.

Download Subtitles from Amara Public Workspace or Simple Teams (Plus, Community)

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

  • Click the Download button to the right of the Subtitles header.Download button highlighted next to the Subtitles header on a video page.

  • Select the language and the file format you want from the dropdown lists, then click Download.

Pop up window for download subtitles with options to select the language and format.

Download Subtitles from Collaboration Teams (Enterprise, Community Enterprise)

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

  • Click the subtitle language under the Completed Subtitles or Incomplete Subtitles header.

Completed Subtitles and Incomplete Subtitles headers, with clickable links to languages under the headers.

  • Click Download under the subtitle language header.

Subtitle language header with Download highlighted underneath the header.

  • Select the file form you want from the dropdown menu.

Download menu with subtitle file formats listed.

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. 

Automatic Export from Amara User Accounts

Automatic Export from Amara Teams (Admins only)


Upload Subtitles From the Video Page

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

Upload Subtitles to Videos on Amara Public Workspace or Simple Teams (Plus, Community)

  • 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:

    • Note: The kebab menu for Amara Public Workspace videos might have additional menu items than Team videos.


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


Important: For videos on Collaboration Teams (Enterprise, Community Enterprise) you can only upload subtitles from within the Editor. See the Upload Subtitles in the Editor section below.

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 next section.

Upload Subtitles in the Editor

You can upload subtitles for videos on Amara Public Workspace or Simple Teams (Plus, Community) from within 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.

Note: For videos on Collaboration Teams (Enterprise, Community Enterprise) you can only upload subtitles from within the Editor. On those teams, first you must take on the Transcription or Translation Request, then enter the Editor by choosing to edit the subtitle language.

  • In the Amara Editor click the Subtitle tools button and select the Upload subtitles item from the dropdown menu:

A red arrow points to the Upload subtitles item in the Subtitle tools dropdown menu in the Amara Editor


  • Choose the subtitle file, then click on Upload.

Upload subtitle file dialog box with buttons for Choose file, Upload, and Cancel.

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 upload 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 team 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.

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.

  • 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).

  • 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!