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How to Add Captions and Subtitles in Premiere Pro | 101 Guide

Learn how to add captions and subtitles in Premiere Pro with our comprehensive 101 guide. Easily grow your reach and improve accessibility.
Ortal Hadad
Content Specialist & Blog Editor
Last Updated:
March 5, 2024
Reviewed by
Ortal Hadad

Captions and subtitles ensure your content is as accessible, engaging, and as SEO-friendly as possible. But adding them to content can feel like an additional, time-consuming step in the content-creation process. 

Premiere Pro’s dedicated caption workspace makes creating, editing, and harnessing captions easier than ever. The best part? Captioning becomes a natural part of your workflow. 

Since Premiere Pro comes with many features, tools, and shortcuts, it can take time to get your head around a new area of your workspace. This article explains exactly what you need to know about captioning in Premiere Pro. We cover how to transcribe and caption your content, how to customize the text's look and feel, and some top tips for optimizing your captioning workflow. 


  • Premiere Pro’s captions workspace makes transcribing your content or upload a pre-existing transcription easy. 
  • You can customize your captions’ font, color, placement, and more. You can even animate your captions for more flair. 
  • Premiere Pro makes adding subtitles or captions a quick process. 
  • Riverside recordings export seamlessly as Premiere Pro timelines, so you don’t need to break up your workflow. You can also upload your Riverside transcription directly into Premiere Pro. 

Does Premiere Pro have subtitles and captions?

Premiere Pro offers speech-to-text and captioning features to help you add value to your content. Besides just adding captions to your videos, you can personalize how they look and feel.  

There are a few different ways to add captions using Premiere Pro. You can choose between the automatic transcription tool, creating your own captions manually, or importing pre-made captions. 

From the captions panel,  you can create your own caption blocks, add custom text and change up the color, size, position and background color of your text boxes. 

It’s also worth mentioning that just like Riverside, Premiere Pro now also includes text-based editing. This means you can use your transcriptions to edit your recording directly.

How to add subtitles and captions in Premiere Pro

Before we start, let’s outline the differences between subtitles and captions first. 

Captions (whether open or closed) reflect all audio in written form. This means they convey dialogue, sound effects, music, or background noise. Subtitles, by contrast, only display dialogue. 

Read more: Closed Captions vs Subtitles: The Difference & When to Use Each 

How to add captions and subtitles automatically in Premiere Pro

The easiest way to add captions on Premiere Pro is by using their built-in automated captioning feature. This automatically converts your audio to text and creates a caption track you can edit, adjust and move around. 

Here’s a guide to adding subtitles and captions with Premiere Pro’s automatic caption tool: 

Step 1: Open the Premiere Pro Captions workspace

You need to open the captions workspace to generate a transcript with Premiere Pro’s built-in speech-to-text software. Switch to the Captions workspace by heading to the top right of your window and hovering over Workspaces > Captions

Step 2: Generating a Premiere Pro transcription

Next, click on ‘Transcribe Sequence’

You’ll need to select the language of your audio. You can also choose what portion of your recording sequence you want to transcribe. Premiere gives you the option to transcribe a specific in-point-to-out-point section, or you can transcribe your whole sequence timeline. 

If you’ve got more than one speaker in the video, it’s a good idea to turn on speaker recognition to differentiate between who is talking. 

If you want to create subtitles rather than captions, you can tell Premiere Pro only to transcribe clips that you’ve tagged as ‘dialogue’. 

To tag a clip, select it in your Premiere Pro timeline and then categorize it as Dialogue in the essential sound panel. 

When you’re happy, click ‘Transcribe’. Premiere Pro will then automatically generate a transcription of your audio. 

Step 3: Edit your Premiere Pro captions

Once the transcription is ready, it’ll appear in the top left-hand portion of your captions workspace. You can play your audio and follow along with the transcription to check for any mistakes. Simply click on the transcription text to make edits or changes directly in-line. 

Step 4:  Create a Captions Track with your transcript

Next, click on the ‘Create Captions’ button. Premiere Pro will automatically add captions to your timeline. 

How to import captions or subtitles into Premiere Pro

If you’ve already got a transcription file ready, you can easily import this into your Premiere Pro project. 

For example, if you’re recording on Riverside, you receive automated Ai transcriptions straight after recording. It’s as simple as downloading your captions in an SRT. format. (You can learn how here). You can also try our free transcription tool.

Riverside also offers a Premiere Pro integration, so you can seamlessly export your recording into an Adobe Premiere Pro timeline. 

No matter where you download transcriptions from, follow these steps to import them into Premiere Pro:

Step 1: Once you’ve created your Premiere Pro project, click ‘Create Captions’ and then ‘Import Caption from File’ Create Blank Track’. 

Step 3: Drag your .SRT file into your project. 

Step 4: You may need to align your captions with your recording. You can do this by adjusting the length of your captions track to match the audio. 

Step 5: Customize your captions using the tools in the Essential Graphics panel. You can adjust your captions’ font, size, alignment, and more here. 

How to add subtitles or captions  to a video in Premiere Pro manually

If you want to type out your subtitles manually, here’s what you need to do: 

Step 1: Head to your Captions workspace. Then instead of clicking ‘transcribe sequence’, click ‘create new caption track’. Select ‘Subtitle’ as your format and then click ‘ok’

Step 2: You’ll now see a new subtitle track in your timeline. 

Step 3: In the Text panel in the top left-hand corner, click the ‘+’ icon to add a new caption line. Listen to the segment you want to add the caption line to, and type out the audio. 

Step 4: Repeat this process till you’ve transcribed and added captions to your whole video. You can then edit and adjust your transcripts as you’d like. 

Customizing and editing subtitles and captions in Premiere Pro

Harnessing the tools in the Essential Graphics panel, you can customize the look and feel of your captions/subtitles. Here are some ways you can style your captions:

Font: Select the caption that you want to stylize. If you want to change the font, head to the Essential Graphics Panel and select a different font from the drop-down list. You can also set your desired size, paragraph alignment, and the space between the characters. 

Position: If you want to play around with caption placement, you must head to the ‘Align and Transform’ options. Here, you can either manipulate where your captions appear using the ‘Zones’ box or by manually inputting your ideal horizontal and vertical positioning. 

Appearance: To change the color, thickness, background or shadow, you need to head to the ‘Appearance’ section in the Essential Graphics panel.

Animation: You can also add animations or effects to your captions for more interest. You do this by changing your captions into ‘source graphics’ (Graphics and Titles >  Upgrade Caption to Graphic)

Setting styles: If you want to set a caption ‘template’, you can create a track style in Premiere Pro. This will save you time next time you’re captioning a project. 

Creating this kind of ‘Track Style’ also helps to achieve consistency across all your captions tracks. Your ‘style’ saves all of the different settings you choose in the Essential Graphics panels such as font, alignment, color etc. Once you apply a Track Style to one caption, then this will be applied to all captions on that track. 

Exporting captions and subtitles in Premiere Pro

If you want to export your video with captions or subtitles, here’s how it works: 

Step 1: Head to File > Export > Media and then choose your desired file format. 

Step 2: Choose whether you want open or closed captions. Closed captions are in a separate file from your video and viewers can toggle them on or off.  If you want to export in this way, then you need to select ‘Create Sidecar File’. 

If you want open captions, choose ‘Burn Captions into Video’.  These captions are permanently visible on your video. 

Premiere Pro captioning alternatives

While Premiere Pro offers all the editing tools you need, it comes at a cost and it can be a little complex for beginners at navigate at first. If you're looking for a tool with a simpler interface, or you'd rather record, edit and caption your videos in one place, Riverside is an ideal choice.

Captioning with Riverside, a Premiere Pro alternative

With Riverside you can record videos in up to 4K video resolution, then seamlessly edit your content in our text-based editor. We use highly accurate Ai transcriptions available in over 100 languages. You can either download these as TXT or SRT transcripts, or at the tap of a button, add these captions to your videos in our editor. Top off your video by customizing your background, automatically fine-tuning your audio or create quick shareable video shorts with our Magic Clips tool.

Learn more, or start experiencing a seamless workflow with Riverside.

Best captioning practices with Premiere Pro

Use keyboard shortcuts 

Getting your head around all the different keyboard shortcuts is the best way to streamline your workflow. You can also create your own. You can explore Premiere Pro’s default shortcuts here


Make sure to harness all of Premiere Pro’s caption customization tools. Adding your personal touch to your captions ensures they feel like an intentional part of your content rather than a last-minute add-on. 

Edit & Check Your Captions 

Always check, adjust, and double-check your captions. You don’t want to publish a video alongside faulty captions. 

FAQs on Premiere Pro Captions & Subtitles

How do you add subtitles in Premiere Pro?

As we’ve seen, you can add subtitles to your content in Premiere Pro in one of three ways: manually, by uploading a pre-existing file, or automatically using the native speech-to-text tool. 

What is the easiest way to get subtitles in Premiere Pro?

You’ve got two options. The first is to use  Riverside’s AI-powered transcription generator to create your transcription and then upload this into Premiere Pro. Or, you can use Premiere Pro’s native speech-to-text feature to create your captions. 

Why can't I find captions in Premiere Pro?

If you can’t see the captions you’ve created, then you may need to enable them. Do this by heading to the ‘tool’ button and then clicking ‘Closed Captions > Enable’. 

What version of Premiere has auto-captions?

Most versions of Premiere Pro offer captions. There are different instructions depending on whether you’re using Premiere Pro 14.9 and earlier, or Premiere Pro 15.0 and later. 

How do I open the captions tab in Premiere Pro?

Opening your captions tab is easy. All you need to do is head to Windows>Workspace> Captions and Graphics 

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