What File Formats and Caption Styles Are Available, and How Can Clients Select The Best Options For Their Needs?

Selecting The Best Caption Styles and Format For Your Needs Can Be Challenging

Captioning has become a vital tool in various fields today, from online videos to broadcast media, educational resources, and even corporate presentations. However, with the different file formats and captioning styles available, clients may find it challenging to select the best options that meet their specific needs. In this article, we will discuss the most common caption formats and styles and provide tips on how clients can choose the most suitable options for their projects.

Captioning has come a long way since the days of teletext and closed captioning for the hearing-impaired. Today, captions are used in various fields and for various purposes, including education, entertainment, and corporate communications. Whether it’s an online video, a broadcast program, or a presentation, captions can help improve comprehension and accessibility.

However, with the different caption formats and styles available, choosing the best option for a specific project can be overwhelming. Clients need to understand the differences between the various captioning files and styles and choose the most suitable option based on their needs.

Caption Formats

Captioning files come in different formats, and each has its strengths and weaknesses. Here are the most common caption formats available:

SRT (SubRip)

SRT is one of the most popular caption formats and is widely used for videos uploaded to platforms such as YouTube, Vimeo, and Facebook. SRT files are simple text files that contain the timing information and the caption text. SRT files are easy to create and edit and are supported by most video players.


VTT is another popular caption format used for web-based videos. VTT files are similar to SRT files, but they support more advanced features such as cue styling and positioning, making them a better option for online videos that require more advanced captioning styles.

DFXP (Timed Text Markup Language)

DFXP is an XML-based caption format that supports advanced features such as styling, positioning, and metadata. DFXP files are commonly used for broadcast and streaming media and are supported by most video players.


Captioning Styles

In addition to caption formats, there are different captioning styles available, each with its strengths and weaknesses. Here are the most common captioning styles:

Pop-On Captions

Pop-on captions, also known as roll-up or scrolling captions, are a popular captioning style used for broadcast media. Pop-on captions appear one or two lines at a time and scroll up from the bottom of the screen. This style is ideal for fast-paced programs, as it allows viewers to read the captions quickly.

Block Captions

Block captions, also known as paint-on captions, are a popular captioning style used for online videos and educational resources. Block captions appear as blocks of text on the screen, one block at a time. This style is ideal for longer captions that require more screen real estate.

Caption Encoding

Caption encoding is a captioning style that involves embedding captions into the video file. This style is commonly used for broadcast and streaming media and is ideal for ensuring that the captions remain synchronised with the video.

Choosing the Best Caption Format and Style

Now that we’ve discussed the different caption formats and styles, how do clients choose the best option for their needs? Here are some tips to help clients select the most suitable caption format and style for their projects

Consider the Audience

Clients need to consider their target audience when selecting the best caption format and style. For example, if the audience is primarily online, a VTT or DFXP caption file may be the best option. If the audience is older and prefers traditional broadcast media, an SRT file with pop-on captions may be more suitable.

Consider the Content

Clients also need to consider the content they’re captioning. For example, if the content is educational and requires longer captions, block captions may be the best option. If the content is fast-paced, such as a news program, pop-on captions may be more suitable.

Consider the Platform

Different platforms support different caption formats and styles. Clients need to consider the platform they’re using to ensure that their caption file is compatible. For example, YouTube supports SRT and VTT files, while broadcast media may require a DFXP file.

Consider Accuracy

Clients should also consider the accuracy of their captions. While automated captioning tools have improved significantly, they may still produce errors. Clients who require highly accurate captions may consider using a professional captioning service, such as Way With Words Captioning services, to ensure that their captions are error-free.


Example of Highly Accurate and Professional Captioning Services

Way With Words Captioning services is an example of a company that provides highly accurate and professional captions. They offer a range of captioning services, including video captioning, subtitling, and transcription services. Way With Words Captioning services have a team of experienced and skilled captioning professionals who provide high-quality captions. They also offer excellent customer support, and their team is available to assist clients with any questions or issues they may have.



More Captioning Resources


Captioning Key – This website provides guidance on creating high-quality captions for videos and includes resources such as captioning standards, guidelines, and best practices.

National Captioning Institute – The National Captioning Institute is a non-profit organisation that provides captioning services to the media industry. Their website includes information on captioning technologies, standards, and research.

Additional Services

Video Captioning Services
About Captioning

Perfectly synched 99%+ accurate closed captions for broadcast-quality video.

Machine Transcription Polishing
Machine Transcription Polishing

For users of machine transcription that require polished machine transcripts.

Speech Collection for AI training
About Speech Collection

For users that require machine learning language data.