Content available with subtitles

A diverse range of subtitled video content is now available on BBC Online. Most of the programmes on BBC iPlayer now have the option to turn subtitles on. In addition, you'll find that web-only video - including exclusive clips, behind the scenes coverage and interviews - for a number of programmes has subtitles included.

Subtitled content is also available on video-on-demand services provided by most other broadcasters, as well as on video-sharing websites such as YouTube.

Areas in this guide:

Turning on subtitles for online video players

The following example is for BBC iPlayer, but the process is the same for ITV Player, 4oD and Demand 5. At the time of writing, subtitles were not available on Sky Go (see the Help section of the Sky website for updates).

Choose the programme you'd like to watch and press the 'play' button.

Turning subtitles on

Once the video has started playing (after the channel identification or advertisements have finished), the 'S' button will appear on the right-hand side of the bottom bar, as shown. Press the 'S' button to turn subtitles on and off.

Turning on subtitles for YouTube

On YouTube, the word 'subtitles' is generally used to denote foreign translations of dialogue. Subtitles that duplicate what is spoken in the same language and indicate other noises onscreen are referred to as 'captions' or 'closed captions' (CC). You can choose to turn subtitles on each time you watch a video, or set it so that subtitles are on by default.

For an individual video, choose the video you'd like to watch. If the toolbar is not visible, hover the mouse anywhere over the video player. Click on the 'CC' button (you may first need to click on the button with an up arrow to show the 'CC' button) to turn subtitles on. You may also have other options available by clicking on the small arrow that appears beside the 'CC' button, including turning on automatically generated subtitles and changing the language.

To change the font size, click on the video player and press '+' (plus) or '-' (minus). To see the subtitles in transcript format, click on the 'Interactive Transcript' button immediately below the player.

To turn on subtitles for every time you watch a video on YouTube, you need to have an account. Once you are signed in, click on the 'Playback Settings' tab, then click on 'Captions'. To show subtitles for every video for which the producer has supplied subtitles, tick the box next to 'Always show captions' by clicking on it. Tick the box next to 'Always show automatic captions' as well, to show computer-generated captions for most other videos.

For further information about viewing and creating subtitles, see the YouTube Help section on captions and subtitles.

Back to How to guides - I can't hear very well

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.