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How to download the Text Transcription from your YouTube Video

Hey everyone,  it’s Shaun from Digital Life Concepts.

Today, I’m gonna make a video showing you how to download the video transcription from your YouTube video directly from the YouTube user interface.  Let’s get started. Super easy way to do this and I’ve actually gone through quite a few methods tonight trying to figure out the best one or at least the easiest one, so let’s go with it.

You want to go to Video Edit or Video Manager. You select the video that you want to edit and you go to Subtitles and CC ,  you can see two files here, one says English and one English automatic. 

 Now depending on how long your video is and how long ago you upload it, it may take a bit of time for YouTube to have automatically generated a transcript file. So if you not seeing you not seeing the automatic one,  just give it a bit of time.

Now what you want to do is download it. Select the Automatic English ( or whatever language you need)
the automatic transcription /CC is not quite accurate,  I start my videos with,

“Hi,  I’m Shaun from
Digital Life Concepts and today we’re gonna do whatever”

The program that is interpreting this heard,  ” Hi,  everyone it’s John from
Monday July”…  so as you can see it means that it needs a bit work,… now here’s where you can do.

There is a couple different ways and I’m gonna start where the way I learned first, then the one that I’ve just discovered and actually recommend. You pick which works best for you. 

Method One

If you just need the file and you’re doing all the editing off of YouTube, here’s what you can do.

Go to actions in the subscriptions/cc section and right there you can see you’ve got three file extensions, download the SRT file, click on it. It’s
going to give you a captions file and ask you where to store it at. Save it to your desktop.  Go to the desktop,

Now, in order to open and edit this, unless you already have some sort of SRT
File Opener, you can use notepad.

How to open the SBV file with Notepad:  

  • Hit open
  • Select a program from the list
  • Select Notepad
  • Uncheck “Always Use”
  • Hit ok.

Once you do that hit control+A and a copy, open a new text document and paste the text in it.  To get rid of all the funky formatting stuff that you don’t need, you go to edit (Ctrl+H) replace.  Replace 0-9 and the symbols, the idea is to get just the text. While you’re doing this, leave the replace field blank because you want to replace it with nothing and get rid of the formatting and the notation (–>) which is the Double Dash and lesser than symbol. 

So what you end up having is all the text in its ugly, horrifying state.

You can go through, edit it, clean it up however you want. Then you can save it to a new doc and use it as a base text in your blog, you can upload it in the description of your video and of course you can re-upload it as a subtitle file which is what we’re going to do now.

So the way to do that, once you’ve got this text all fixed up, you have to save it as an .SRT file.  Since we’ve copied this from our captions file which IS  an .SRT , you could, theoretically copy/paste it all back over to the original file so you don’t have to worry about rewriting the subtitle format, but that can be extremely time-consuming and can put your CC file out of sync with your video.

I know cuz I just spent the last two and a half hours, literally doing it line by line and
it’s,  it’s ridiculous,  not to mention that you have to go back to your video and check what you said if you didn’t
script yourself.

In order to save your edited transcript: 

  • File save as
  • Go down to and select the “all files”  
  • Name it “caption” ( or something) 
  • then add dot SRT (
  • Hit save and now shazam!
  • you have a srt file!

There! Now you can upload this document back into YouTube as a Subtitle File.

Now, here is what I found and I consider a better method. 

Method Two

I went through, did the line by line thing and I ended up having to open YouTube to about 10,000 times and that was
just really ridiculous.

So what you can do is Pre-edit the file right here in the video caption interface on YouTube. Go through the entire list, get started by cleaning up the text in the captions before you download it. You will still have to do some editing, but not nearly as much and it will take much less time. You’re gonna end up editing the text anyway, but this pre-edit saves you a bunch of time.

Now that you’ve got this pre-edited and published and then you can download this file,  pre-edited and now you can do the same thing that I
just explained. You can open it up with notepad, transfer all the text over to whatever your regular editor is. Clean it up and add what you need and viola!

Hopefully this will save you some time and give you some cool ideas.

I would like to know which method works best for you, so please leave your pick in the comments, love to hear your opinion!

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Shaun Bennett
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