How to Create Subtitles in Adobe Premiere Pro

In this video tutorial, we’ll cover how to add subtitles to your project in Adobe Premiere Pro.

In today’s social media landscape, ensuring your video contains proper and legible subtitles is a must in order to retain viewers. Let’s walk through the steps on how you can simply add subtitles to your video edit in Adobe Premiere Pro. 

What Are Subtitles?

Subtitles are a form of text on screen that helps the viewer read what is being said, rather than solely listening to the dialogue. Subtitles usually transcribe what the subjects on screen are saying, word for word, and sometimes they clarify what kind of music or sound effect has been played. Subtitles can also be referred to as captions. 

Subtitles in action
A sample of subtitles from my recent tutorial video about recording high-quality audio.

There are multiple reasons why subtitles should be included in a video or film. The primary reason you may be familiar with this is to assist the hearing impaired and ensure they can still understand the action in the video without needing to hear it. 

Secondly, there may be portions of the dialogue that are either in a different language or are just difficult to hear. Subtitles will include the translation or clarify what the subject said, in case it wasn’t clear. 

Most recently, subtitles have started to be included in most social media videos on YouTube, Tik Tok, and Instagram as a standard practice. Videos with captions get more engagement with their audience. If you’ve ever seen a Mr. Beast video, you’ll notice really quickly that they use a lot of subtitles in their style of editing. This is quick, engaging, and frenetic — to match his style of video. Audiences on these platforms also may be watching without volume and will rely on subtitles to understand what is being played. 

Creating Your Own

Now that you understand why you’d use captions in your videos, let’s get into how to do insert them. Luckily for us, Adobe Premiere Pro has made subtitles/captions incredibly easy to incorporate into a video. 

Text panel in Adobe Premiere Pro
The text panel will display caption/subtitle options, as well as options to edit other graphics in your timeline.

Once you have a video that is ready to subtitle, head over to the “Text” panel in your upper left window. This should be right next to Effect Controls and Audio Clip Mixer. Now select the “Captions” panel within the Text window. 

Captions panel
The “CC” button will create a new caption track in your timeline.

This should be empty, as we haven’t created anything yet. First, we’ll need to “Create a new caption track.” This will create a layer specifically for captions above your video editing timeline. Click ok on the pop-up box, as the standard options are what we’ll want to use. 

caption graphics layer
The highest layer in our timeline is now called “subtitle” and this is where the caption graphics will live.

Line your playhead at the start of the sentence you’d like to subtitle in the video, and then click the “+” icon to add a new caption segment. You’ll see a small clip placed in the subtitle section of your timeline. Type into the segment what you’d like the subtitle to say, and realign the clip in your timeline to match the dialogue. To make a new segment, realign your playhead and do the process over again. 

Creating a new clip of captions
The “+” sign will create a new clip of captions.
Editing the caption length
Edit the caption to your desired length, to match when it is being said on screen.

If you made any mistakes in your transcribing, you can easily edit the text from the captions window. This window has a few other handy features, like being able to split a captions clip, merge clips, and display exactly where in the video the captions start and end. Via the same window, you can also export the captions you created, in case you’d like to use them as an embedded file on YouTube, for streaming, or for another platform. 

You can easily edit the captions from the Text panel.

The Easy Way

Adobe Premiere has made subtitles easier than ever and can caption an entire video in mere moments with just a few clicks. 

Premiere Pro's transcribe function
Let Adobe Premiere Pro do the transcribing for you!

Instead of clicking “Create new caption track” at the beginning as we did before, we’ll click “Create captions from transcription.” This will use Adobe Premiere’s technology to generate a transcription automatically from the speaking voices in the video, without the need for tedious typing, and it will place the subtitles right into your video’s timeline. 

Turning transcriptions into captions
Now you can turn the transcription straight into captioning.

Everything will be synced up, neatly organized, and fairly accurate. I haven’t had any major issues using auto-captions in my work, but you should still do a couple of passes over the subtitles to ensure they’re accurate. 

With the transcription created, you can also browse through the video looking for keywords in the edit. Simply clicking on the word will take you right to the frame where that word started. 


Now that you’ve created captions, how are you going to make use of them? When you’re ready to export, there will be an option for how you want to include captions in the final export. “None” won’t include any of the subtitles you created. “Create Sidecar File” will create a separate file that can be uploaded to the platform along with the video so that captions can be toggled freely. “Burn Captions Into Video” will permanently add the captions on top of the video, without the ability to hide them later. Select which option works best for you and the platform you’re planning on sharing. 

Captioning options
Captions options when exporting a video.

Using subtitles is an important part of being an editor and creating videos for all audiences to enjoy. As you can see, creating captions can be as easy as a few clicks in Adobe Premiere Pro.

Looking for filmmaking tips and tricks? Check out our YouTube channel for tutorials like this . . .

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Anthony Najera

Anthony Najera is a freelance filmmaker based in Dallas, TX. He runs his own production company, "Colectivo Creative Media", which specializes in content creation, music videos, and corporate videos. He fancies himself a pizza connoisseur and loves talking endlessly about his passion for coffee.

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