What are the 4 Types of Captioning?

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All the Basics About Captioning

What are the 4 types of captioning? Not sure what type of video captioning you want to get into? This article explains the different types of captioning and methods to make it easier for you! 

There are 4 different types of captioning and each one has their specific purpose. They are: 

1. Closed captioning 

2. Open captioning

3. Subtitles

4.Subtitles for the deaf and hard of heading

There are two types of methods when captioning: 

• Off-line 

• On-line. 

Keep reading to find out more information about which video captioning type suits you best and how they help people.

What are the 4 Types of Captioning?

What are the 4 Types of Captioning?

1. Closed Captions


According to the dictionary, closed captioning is a transcription of a television program audio track encoded in the signal that allows you to read the dialog on the screen. Basically, closed captioning is like subtitles but there’s a difference. Subtitles assume that the person watching can hear, closed captioning allows the deaf and hard-of hearing people to experience the video. It will add brief character changes, noises in the text so the person watching the video knows what is happening. Normally, the text will be in white and have a black block behind it.

2. Open Captions


Open captions are embedded in the source and cannot be turned off whereas closed captions can be turned on and off whenever you like. This is great for accessibility and comprehension especially deaf, hard of hearing, or hard-of-hearing people, but may distract certain viewers.

3. Subtitles


Subtitles are captions displayed at the bottom of a cinema or television screen that translate or transcribe the dialog or narrative. Thank goodness for subtitles right? Squid Games and Money Heist would not be the same with voiceovers! Subtitles main purpose is to translate what you are watching into your native tongue and also help understand the movie or series if the actors are talking too fast.  

Types of Captioning

What are the 4 Types of Captioning?

4. Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing


SDH combines the benefits of closed cations and subtitles. These subtitles are intended for viewers that are both deaf or hard-of-hearing and do not understand the language spoken in the video. Sound effects like dogs barking, gunshot, and ringing phones will be added to the subtitles.

What are "Methods"?

There are off-line and on-line methods. 

• Off-line captions are created and added after a video segment has been recorded and before it is aired. Examples of programs that use off-line captioning are TV programs, movies, and educational media.

• On-line captions are created and displayed at the time of programs launch, and sometimes referred to as Real-time. Examples of programming that uses on-line captioning are sporting events, newscasts, and other events that do not have time to prepare off-line captions. 

What are the four types of captioning

What are the 4 Types of Captioning?


Each captioning type is a little bit different, but after reading this article you should have a good understanding of each captioning type and what their specific purpose is. With all this knowledge you can start looking for jobs and begin your captioning career!

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