A Simple, Inexpensive Way To Create Subtitles Or Captions On Your Movies

The Mac is a movie making machine. With iMovie and Garageband, Mac users have plenty of power to create movies with effects and transitions which can be sweetened and enhanced with multitrack audio production.

What about subtitles and captions?

Putting those into a movie is easier said than done, but Mac users have choices. One that caught my eye and seems particularly good for those new to subtitles and captions is the cleverly named iCaption. I wonder why Apple didn’t trademark that?

Those new to subtitles and captions need a familiar way to drop them into videos. iCaption does that with the standard video timeline which makes it almost child’s play to make sure the caption goes where you want it to be seen.


Toolbar options are self explanatory and include New, Open, Save, Movie, Preview and more. Transport controls are placed right below the movie frame. The real work comes in the timeline editor.

Select a spot on the timeline to insert a caption, either visually or via timecode. That makes the captions and subtitles location very precise.

iCaption also visualizes the audio within the timeline, can automatically determine subtitle duration, and it’s trivial to adjust all subtitles times by an offset value (good when editing on the fly). As an added value, iCaption also supports YouTube .sbv and SubRip .srt files for soft subtitles.

Well done. Solid, dependable, and simple to setup and use. Now, take a look at the image in the photo above and tell me the name of the movie.


  1. I like being able to see the timeline so you can locate when the relevant dialogue begins and ends. But what really makes captioning software work is the ability to control the video –slow it down, pause, back it up, etc., so that you can understand exactly what was said and capture it accurately.

    By the way, love the nod to Night of the Living Dead! But how do you caption those zombies? “Uggghhhh.” “Rrgggghhh.”

  2. iCaption is great. Modestly priced and with just the right feature set. It needs one thing: Audio scrubbing. That would make it almost perfect.