How to add and enable captions and subtitles to Twitch streamings

Closed captioning on Twitch ensures inclusive and accessible content for the entire community of millions of people tuned in around the world.

Many streamers on the platform are increasingly using them to reach a more global audience.

If you are a streamer, we tell you how to add subtitles to your live streams, the advantages and the most frequently asked questions about this topic.

But first, we show you how to enable closed captions while watching a stream.

Let's get started!

How to enable closed captioning on Twitch as a viewer

As a viewer, it is very easy to activate Twitch closed captions, just click on the CC button in the video player.

This CC button is only present when closed captions are available in a live stream or video.

closed captions to twitch

You can also give it the style you prefer.

To do this, click on the gear and then click on Closed Captions Options.

add closed captions to twitch streamings

Once there, you can give it the color you want, a background color, font size and type, among others.

Choose the best option and enjoy your favorite streaming with subtitles.

how to add subtitles to twitch broadcasting

Advantages of using subtitles on your Twitch streams

Before telling you about the advantages, let us briefly remind you what closed captions and subtitles are.

Closed captions are the presentation in text form of all the audio on-screen, including sound effects, music, lyrics, and any other sound, such as creaking doors, barking, shouting, or any different sound heard in the audio track.

If you also have a YouTube channel, remember that you can also create your YouTube subtitles in ScriptMe.

add subtitles to twitch

As for subtitles, they are a translation of the audio of a video for viewers who do not understand the language or like to read it on screen for different reasons.

The advantages of using subtitles in your Twitch streamings are:

  • Improve the viewing experience for all viewers. Most significantly for those who are hearing impaired. Or watch the content without sound because they are in a public place, in the silence of the night or in any other situation in which they choose to be silent viewers.
  • Give accessibility to the content. Closed captioning makes it possible for viewers worldwide to understand the content of materials produced in non-native languages.
  • Encourage more significant interaction with the content. Subtitles help everyone to grasp better, understand and respond to the content because, in addition to the auditory experience, they are complemented by the visual element.

Today there are new social viewing styles; streamers, for example, prefer to watch with subtitles. Understanding these new realities will allow you to reach a wider audience, be inclusive, and your content will be much more professional and engaging.

How to enable captions on my stream on Twitch

captions and subtitles to Twitch

If you are a content creator, it is easy to add subtitles on Twitch; you can do it through the extensions with this sequence of simple steps:

  1. Click the "Add" button next to the extension to add to your library.
  2. A pop-up window will appear, guiding you to enable the extension as a "Video Overlay".
  3. At the top of your dashboard, click on "My Extensions" to see which extensions are installed and enabled.
  4. You will find a subtitle extension, which you can click to enable.
  5. Select "Set as overlay 1", and a pop-up window will appear to confirm it is active.
  6. Click on the gear in the "Active Extension" box to open the pop-up screen again.
  7. Now click on the link to the captioning panel and log in to Twitch.
  8. To start closed captioning, click "Enable" for closed captions.

That's it, and the captions will appear as soon as you start streaming live; when you finish your stream, you can turn off the captions and exit the panel to stop them.

There are two other methods for transmitting captions and subtitles:

  1. CEA-708/EIA-608 embedded in the elementary video stream as described in ATSCA/72 (SEI user_data). This is a format commonly used by television broadcast encoders. There are two other methods to stream captions and subtitles:
  2. CEA-708/EIA-608 transmitted via RTMP onCaptionInfo script/AMFO tag. This format is most common among Internet streaming encoders and media servers, including Elemental Technologies and Wowza.

When transmitting via RTMP, the payload must contain an ECMA matrix with two pairs of elements:

  • A string named "type" contains the character "708".
  • And a string called "data" containing a CEA-708/EIA-608 payload encoded in base 64.

FAQs about Closed Captions on Twitch

Here is a selection of the most frequently asked questions about subtitles on Twitch.

How can I know if a stream has closed captions enabled?

It is very easy to know when the closed captions option is available in a live stream or video; you will see a CC button; with this button, you can enable or disable closed captions.

Can I adapt the subtitles to my needs?

Yes, it is possible to change the display settings by clicking on the settings icon in the video player.

In the "Player Options" menu, select "Subtitles" You will see the preset display options and tabs in which you can adjust each setting individually.

With these settings, you can change the subtitles' font type and colour, screen position and background colour.

Are they stored separately somewhere?

If you wish to offer captions to your audience, you must transmit caption files in an accepted format embedded in the stream, or along with the stream, through the encoder.

Can I enable closed captions only once for all my streamings?

Yes, your settings will be saved and used to display the subtitles every time they become available in a stream, or if you rewatch a past stream.

You can read the official Twitch guide here.

Conclusions; captions and subtitles to Twitch

We have told you how to add subtitles on Twitch; it involves a sequence of steps (not as short as we would like) but is easy to do.

With subtitles, your content will be more accessible to everyone, anytime, anywhere; they will be able to understand and interact with you and the community.

ScriptMe is an automated transcription, subtitling and translation service. It will be very easy to cut and design your subtitles with precision, choosing the perfect colour, font and background to match your projects. Contact us, and we'll tell you more!

Emil Nikkhah
Hi, I'm Emil Nikkhah.
For over 25 years, I have successfully built several television post-production companies.
Frustrated by the high cost and slowness of manual transcription and subtitling in this industry, we decided to create ScriptMe, a powerful software for automatic transcription and subtitling.
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