Panopto is our video streaming and lecture capture software that allows you to record audio, video, and your computer screen to create educational videos. It also has an auto-caption feature that may help with creating captions for videos. It may not be the perfect tool for your own captioning job, but this new feature allows a lot of users to be able to caption their own videos with ease.

Panopto’s first pass at auto transcribing is still less than ideal so you should proofread the auto-captions and edit them when needed. If the editing job is very large (because the video is extremely long, and/or the automatically-produced captions are extremely inaccurate), Panopto still might not be the right tool for the job. If that’s the case, be sure to contact Academic Technology so we can discuss different options for you.

This speech-to-text feature will listen to the audio track and automatically produce captions that are synched to the correct time points in your video. You can view these captions and edit them as necessary. For step-by-step instructions on auto-captioning in Panopto follow the steps below.


  1. Create or upload your video into Panopto as you normally would. The captioning process occurs after the video is uploaded and processed.

  2. In your assigned Panopto folder, click on the Edit button next to the video you want to caption.


  3. On the left-hand side, select the Captions tab, and pull down the Import captions menu. Select Import automatic captions.


  4. You will now see the automatically generated captions appear along the lefthand side of the screen.


  5. You can edit each caption by clicking inside the text box. These automatically generated captions will be around 80% accurate, but all users will need to review these captions and edit where necessary. The captions will also lack punctuation and capitalization.


  6. If you need to edit the time that a caption appears, click on the pencil icon for that particular caption. A pop-up window will appear where you can alter the timecode.


  7. You may listen and watch your video as you edit the captions, clicking the pause and play buttons as necessary.

  8. When you are finished editing your captions, click the Apply button at the top right-hand corner.

Artificial Intelligence isn't perfect

Panopto uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to automatically generate captions. Sometimes the AI engine does not have the necessary vocabulary to accurately convert the spoken words into text. We find this issue most often in courses with specialized jargon (e.g. STEM courses). If you find this to be the case with your video, please reach out to accessibility@swarthmore.edu. We will set you up with an alternate captioner to improve accuracy.

Download the Captions File

  1. After you've applied the captions and would like to download the captions file, hover your cursor over the video session and select Settings.


  2. Choose Captions from the menu on the left and then select Download File.


  3. Open the downloaded file using Notepad, Word, or another text editor and optionally delete the text that includes timestamps.