Adobe Animate is a popular tool for creating sleek 2D animation videos. Whether or not animating is your field of expertise, one feature of Animate may be useful to you: captioning videos.
Here’s an easy guide to adding Adobe Flash Player subtitles to your videos using Animate.
Why use Adobe Animate to caption your videos?
Animate seems like an unusual option to add captions to your videos, especially since dedicated video editing programs like Adobe Premiere Pro are more practical to use. Still, if you’re in dire need of captioning your videos and don’t have any other program installed, knowing how to caption using Animate can come in handy.
Plus, Animate produces .flv or f4v videos, which you can use as interactive media elements on your website. This can give a unique twist to the user experience that can stand out even further with captions.
How to caption your videos in Adobe Animate
While Animate seems like a complex software at first glance, it’s actually simple to navigate and use for captioning. Learning how to use Animate for adding subtitles may even lead you to consider learning Animate for content creation.
1. Import your video
You only have to import the video if you’re simply adding captions to an already edited video. Animate supports video file formats that use either the FLV or H.264 encoder. However, if you plan to embed the video into a website using Adobe Flash Player, make sure that your video is either a .flv or .f4v file. Otherwise, you need to convert the video first.
To import your video to Animate:
1. Hover your mouse over “File” and select “New…”
2. Click “Advanced” and select “ActionScript 3.0.” Set the width, height, and frame rate to match your video, then click “Create.”
3. Mouse over “File,” then “Import,” and click “Import Video.”
4. Click “Browse…” beside “File path:,” navigate and select your video. Press “Open,” then click “Next >”. If you import videos that are not in an .flv or .f4v format, you will receive a prompt saying that the video is unsupported by Adobe Flash Player. Click “OK,” then click “Next >”.
5. You will see the “Embedding” section of the window. Click “Next >”.
6. Click “Finish” to complete the video import.
7. The video should now appear on the project canvas. If it’s off-center, click and drag the video to the center.
2. Transcribe the video
Transcribing your video makes the captioning process more streamlined. Dedicating a portion of your time to creating a transcript can prevent any bumps in your workflow due to grammar or spelling errors.
Transcriptions also provide other notable benefits, like:
- Providing your audience with a readable version of your video
- Repurposing your video into other forms of content (e.g., blogs, social media posts)
- Planning new future content
To transcribe your video:
- Place the windows of Animate and the text processor of your choice beside each other
- Play your video in Animate and type down the dialogue at the same time
- Rewind the video as necessary to correct any mistakes
- Replay the entire video and review your transcript
Transcription can take a while to do. If you’re unable to fit it in your schedule, consider using a free automated transcription service like FreeTranscriptions! Simply upload your audio file and receive a reliable transcript for your captioning needs.
3. Add the captions to your video project
Adding captions to your video should now be smooth and easy, as you just have to copy and paste each line.
Here’s how you add the captions:
1. On the project timeline, right-click your first layer – usually named “Layer_1” – and select “Insert Layer.” A second layer named “Layer_2” will appear.
2. Select “Layer_2.” On the tools bar, click the “T” symbol to access the Text tool and click any part of the canvas to create a text element.
3. Copy and paste your first caption text line.
4. On the tools bar, select the cursor logo for the Selection tool and left-click the text element.
5. Press the Properties setting on the right side of Animate. You can find font options here like font type, size, and alignment. Adjust the font options as desired.
6. Click the palette logo on the right side of Animate to access the “Color” setting. You can modify the color of the text here.
7. Select the logo below the Color setting to access the Align setting. This setting allows you to easily position the text element to the bottom center of the video.
8. Click “Align horizontal center” and “Align bottom edge” to snap the text element to the bottom center.
9. If you want to adjust the vertical alignment of the text, hold shift and left-click on the text element and drag it to the desired position.
10. To create the next caption, click the part of the video timeline where the next subtitle will appear.
11. Select the Text tool and left-click the text element on the canvas.
12. Copy and paste the next caption text line from your transcript. The new caption will inherit all the properties of the first one.
13. Repeat steps 10 to 12 until you’ve placed all the subtitles.
14. To set the end point of each subtitle, on the timeline, hold left-click on the part of the subtitle block where you want it to disappear until the start of the next subtitle block. Right-click the selection and select “Clear Frames.”
15. Repeat step 14 for all of your captions.
4. Preview and export the video
Before you export the video, you have to test the captions and see if they appear properly on the video. To test your captions:
1. On the menu bar, click “Control.”
2. Hover your cursor over “Test Movie.”
3. Click “In Animate.”
This will play the video and show you how the captions will appear.
Make sure that the following factors are in order:
- Spelling – Look out for any errors in spelling, capitalization, or punctuation
- Text length – The captions must not exceed the size of the video resolution
- Timing – Each caption must align with the audio and start and end properly
If there are any errors with the captions, make the necessary corrections through the font settings. When you’re happy with the results, hover your mouse over “File” and click “Publish” to export the video.
Adobe Animate is a simple and useful tool if you’re in a pinch or only want to add subtitles to your videos. Captions that you add to your Animate videos can appear as Adobe Flash Player subtitles on your website, which can enhance the viewing experience for your website visitors.
However, if convenience is your main concern with captioning, you can go one step further with a machine transcription service like FreeTranscriptions! You can skip the transcribing process entirely and make captioning a lot easier by having a transcript already on hand. Simply upload an audio version of your video and receive a reliable transcript that you can turn into a .TTML caption file.