How To Customize Subtitles On Facebook Videos

Facebook videos have captions. Unlike YouTube closed captioning, Facebook doesn’t automatically generate captions for a video. If a video has captions, you can turn them On. The person uploading the video has to add subtitles. If they don’t, there is no way to get captions for it. This is probably why you don’t see a lot of subtitles on Facebook videos. These are videos people share from their cell phones. It’s unlikely anyone would add subtitles to a video of their birthday party. That said, Facebook does support subtitles. Here’s how you can customize subtitles on Facebook videos.

You can only customize subtitles on Facebook videos from the web. The settings aren’t available on the mobile apps so you have to sign into Facebook in your browser.

Open Facebook, click the little arrow at the top right and select ‘Settings’ from the dropdown menu. On the Settings page, select ‘Videos’ at the very bottom.

Enable Show Captions

By default, Facebook doesn’t show subtitles on videos. If a video has subtitles, you need to show them for that particular video. If you want subtitles to be turned on for all videos, when available, open the dropdown menu for the ‘Always Show Captions’ option. Select ‘On’, and Facebook will show subtitles for videos when they’re available.

Customize Subtitles

You can customize subtitles on Facebook videos. By default, subtitles are white on a translucent grey background. They are fairly easy to read. You can change the color and size of the text, the color of the background and its opacity.

Click the edit button next to the ‘Captions Display’ option. Open the dropdown next to the attribute you want to change and select an option from the available presets.

The background and text colors are limited to eight basic ones. The background opacity can be set to 0, 25, 45, 75, and 100. The text size can be set to 125, 150, 175, or 200%, or to 75 or 50%. You can basically make the text appear larger or smaller.

The Facebook mobile apps do not support subtitles on videos. You won’t see a difference there. There isn’t even an option to turn subtitles on. This is, for the time, a web only option.

The more disappointing thing is, that if you cast a Facebook video to your Chromecast, the subtitle settings do not persist. You will see subtitles if you’ve turned them on from video settings but they will be in the default black and white. It doesn’t matter if you’re casting from your browser or from the Facebook mobile app. The custom subtitles will only appear in your browser and no where else.

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About Kelli Smith

Kelli Smith
Kelli runs customer support and creates content for Skillcrush, a digital skills training and education platform with friendly instructors, an active student community, and laser focus on helping you achieve your career goals with technology. She has an MBA and successfully ran an international company and her own freelancing business before pursuing her passion for tech by taking advanced web development classes. Kelli loves listening to tech podcasts at 2x speed, looking for cute Corgi photos online and teaching and performing country line dancing—as a true Texan living in Finland would do. Say hi on Twitter.

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