Last modified on 24 February 2015, at 14:02

Commons:Timed Text

English: TimedText is a custom Wikimedia Commons namespace to hold closed captioning text, or subtitles, to be associated with other media, such as audio or video files. This page intends to explain the feature's concept and use.


Also see Commons:Video#Subtitles and closed captioning.

Timed Text can be used for any media that is presented in a time sequence:

  • Audio file
  • Silent video
  • Spoken video
  • Animation demonstrating a concept or how something works

Actual examples


Commons needs a means to find Timed Text files for specific languages; the following suffer from the Search function's limitations (such as: it does not show all matches; it includes non-matches; it needs regular expression support).

Search including some Timed Text .srt files in different languages:


Other methods to help user find Timed Text:

  • {{closed cap}} displays links to all the closed captioning files available for a file, can be placed on a media page and its talk page.
  • {{special|Prefixindex/TimedText:{{PAGENAME}}.|stripprefix|1|subtitles}} yields a link to all related timed text files (example).
  • Commons:Timed Text/search by lang displays search links for all Timed Text files for a given language, useful for Commons pages, Categories and Talk pages.

Finding videos that need subtitlesEdit

The category Videos needing subtitles groups together all videos on commons for which users or authors have requested transcripts.

Timed Text talkEdit

The TimedText talk namespace is for discussing the respective Timed Text pages, but it could also be used to link and categorize the Timed Text page.

Maintenance tasksEdit


Location of the [CC]-button

By clicking the [CC] button in the toolbar of the wikimedia html5 media player, you can select subtitles if they are available, or open the Subtitles editor to create subtitles for the video.

Create Subtitles from DVDEdit

To copy existing subtitles from an DVD you can use software such as SubRip

Create Subtitles with YouTubeEdit

YouTube allows users with an account to create subtitles out of any sound file. Keep in mind the speech recognition is still in beta phase and produces unexpected results sometimes. It is preferable to upload a transcript of the audio file to the YouTube video. This will reveal a much better result.

Steps to create the subtitles (a video tutorial of the steps can be found here):

  1. Upload the audio file. (The multimedia file must also include a video track but you are free to choose a blank one or any other)
  2. In the Edit-Tab of the uploaded video go to "Captions"
  3. Click on "Add caption"
  4. Copy and paste the transcript
  5. Wait some time and the captions are integrated into the video
  6. Download the .SRT file
  7. Copy and paste the contents of the .SRT file into the corresponding page of the video on Wikimedia Commons

General TipsEdit

Keep in mind to paraphrase not spoken sounds and encompass them with rounded brackets. E.g.

 00:00:20,000 --> 00:00:24,400
 (engine sound)


After the subtitles have been transcribed in the original language of the video onto a timed text file, they can be translated into other languages as follows:

  • Open the timed text file in the original language, say English for example, in edit mode and copy the whole of the page.
  • In the address bar replace "en" with the language code of your choice, say "fr", then paste the original text in the new page.
  • View the original video, then translate the text into your language.
  • After saving the new page, the video with the subtitles should load onto the page; you can view it to check the timing of the subtitles.
  • Add a box with links to the subtitle files onto the timed text talk page for your language, using the template {{closed cap|Video title.ogv}}. Also add a category link to the talk page [[Category:Timed Text in Language Name|Language Name]]. For example, see


This section needs expansion.

How to associate closed captions with multimedia files?

A possible categorization scheme is:

Category:File formats + Category:Media types
              Category:Timed Text + Category:Legend in German
                          Category:Timed Text in German

                                  + Category:Legend in French
                          Category:Timed Text in French

                                  + Category:Legend in English
                          Category:Timed Text in English

Related categories: Category:Files with closed captioning

See alsoEdit