Everything wrong with Captions in Premiere Pro 13.1.2. Let get captioning fixed asap!
Captions in Premiere Pro 13.1.2* have several problems.
(*Windows10. May be different on Mac.). Here is a thread of all of the problems I've found in captions so far. While there are several threads already that point out individual issues, I'm hoping that bringing all of the issues together in a single mega thread will help get captions Adobe's prompt attention. Here we go!
NO BURN IN: Exporting a video through Media Encoder doesn't burn in captions even if the "Burn Captions Into Video" option is selected in Premiere Pro's Export Settings. The captions only get burned in if the video is exported directly through Premiere Pro.
DUPLICATES: If a captions file is duplicated in the project window, any changes done to the duplicate don't appear in the Program Monitor. In order to have changes appear, Premiere Pro needs to be restarted.
SELECT ALL: The Captions window is missing the standard CTRL-A keyboard shortcut to easily select all captions at once. This strange omission makes it unnecessarily difficult to select all the captions in a clip to make global appearance changes.
LEADING CONTROL: Captions need an easy way to control the space between lines, such as a Leading control that can work on individual captions, or all of the selected captions at once. (See illustration “Captions 1”) The current "Set Vertical Position (%)" option only works on a single caption at a time and requires the user to manually select the text in the second line. This takes far more time and effort than it should for something so simple.
DEFAULT LEADING: The default leading in captions is far too large and therefore ugly. The default leading between caption lines should be reduced to an aesthetically pleasing amount (See “Captions 2”)
KERNING CONTROL: The Captions window is also missing a way to control the spacing between characters in a caption. A Legacy Titler-style Kerning control is needed for Open captions.
MOTION SETTINGS: Copy/pasting the Motion settings of one captions clip to another in the Timeline does not work.
OFF-CENTER: By default, captions are off-center to the right by 5 pixels. When using captions in a narrow format video (1x1, 4x5, etc.) in which captions can stretch out to the edges of the frame, this error can become apparent. This incorrect centering can also become apparent in any sized video when captions line up with another title or graphic that’s centered on screen. (see “Captions 3”)
SPACING: If a two line caption is turned back into a single line, the space between the last character of the first line and the first character of the second line becomes incorrectly large. Even if characters are added or removed from the caption, the larger gap remains (see “Captions 4”)
MULTI-MOVING: It’s possible to select and even Shift-select multiple captions in a captions clip. So why isn’t it possible to do anything whatsoever with this selection? At the very least, Premiere Pro should let editors move a selection of captions up or down the captions clip for retiming purposes. Imagine having a video with 100 captions, only to have the client request that something be added or removed halfway into the video. This currently requires the editor to manually correct the timing of all captions beyond the change one by one… by one… by one… by one… This is sheer insanity and needs to be fixed ASAP!
BIGGER HANDLES: Captions and handles remain the same tiny size in the Timeline, no matter how much the video track is expanded. This makes it all too easy for users to accidentally move the captions clip itself when trying to retime a caption/handle. Captions and handles should grow accordingly when increasing the size of the video track they’re on. (see “Captions 5”)
Do you know of any captioning issues I missed? If so, please add them to the list!
Please vote and comment to help get Adobe’s attention on this matter!
In this day and age of Facebook/Instagram videos, open captioning has become a must. We need captioning tools that work properly asap!
We have completely redesigned the captioning workflow in Premiere Pro version 15.0. You will see many dramatic workflow improvements. Please update to the latest version.
Learn all about the new captions workflow here: https://helpx.adobe.com/premiere-pro/user-guide.html/premiere-pro/using/working-with-captions.ug.html
Nate Kan commented
First comment I've ever made here, mostly because I'm working on a project with lots of billingual subtitles involved and Adobe's limitations have set me back repeatedly.
-As someone mentioned, the subtitles are not perfectly centered and manually re-centering individual subtitles is tedious (and sometimes impossible when the X-position is mysteriously at 0% so you can't shift any further left).
-No way to lock the captions sequence in place to avoid shifting all captions at once.
-When editing text in the Captions window, keystrokes like Home and End don't take you to the beginning or end of your text but the *entire* list of captions, sending your view to the top or bottom of the list. And as someone pointed out previously, CTRL+A does not select all when making global changes (would be nice if we could save settings as styles much like we would for text as graphics).
As another suggestion for those working with captions, I use Aegisub (Free) to time them, export as SRT and then import to Premiere to finalize the visual results. Based on the strengths of that program other than simplicity, I found other things lacking in Premiere's captions window like the only Right-click option being "Select All." Some from Aegisub's right-click options:
-Add Subtitle Before/After the current subtitle and Before/After at current video time
-Join (concatenate) or Join (keep first)
-Make times continuous (change start time of next subtitle or end time of previous subtitle).
-Split Lines Before/After current frame
Juan Menendez commented
@Steven Probets It's absurd. I'd understand if it was a new feature but it's been broken for years.
My recommendation for everyone on this thread is to just export your project and subtitle it using Da Vinci Resolve. Their captioning tool, while it still has issues, is much more robust. It even has CPS which it calculates automatically and is super helpful.
Plus Blackmagic actually listens to its users and implements changes. Hopefully in a couple years Resolve is good enough to Edit on standalone and we can get rid of the Premiere scourge once and for all.
Steven Probets commented
We are at version 14 of Premiere and I think the subtitling feature is probably the worst part of this software. We live in an age where accessibility is one of the most important aspects of media and this feature is riddled with bugs, user unfriendly, lacking essential features and basically need a complete redesign and implementation.
I wish Adobe would stop wasting time on pointless features like auto reframing and get the core features upto todays standards and bug free!
Juan Menendez commented
I've been having issues with subtitling in Premiere since 2017, it blows my mind that they haven't been fixed. Honestly it's my fault for thinking that Adobe would fix anything.
I tried using them for subtitling and the edges are not centered and there are little horns coming out of the letter M. Using ARIAL for christ's sake.
And the lack of kerning control is just wild, when was Word invented, 1995?? And you can't implement Kerning in 2020?!
Luke Magnay commented
Hi, stumbled across this trying to work out why my subtitles aren't increasing in size on the screen - but do in the Captions panel - nor on the rendered output. Had to close + re-open Premiere for the change to take effect. Still an issue in V14.0.3 B1 . Cheers
Gloria Lin commented
Open subtitling won't let you change font, etc. FIX THIS
Frank Koppelmans commented
All of premiere is wysiwyg, this should be the same with captions, when show always burn. Disable track will not show them so no burn!
Media 9 commented
Please Help!!!!Problem with open captions!! Review this
George Ramsay commented
Here's an example of how the 'Burn Captions Into Video' option fails to export properly. This is an older show from the 60's that were cleaning up for obvious reasons.
1)1st screenshot shows timeline with offending word removed
2)2nd shot shows media player playing clip with offending caption still in place.
This is with h264 on Premier 12.1.2 (2018)
George Ramsay commented
1) BURN IN- This feature has been a wreck since 2016. It never worked until 2019, however exported changes in captions don't appear. Its as if ME pulls the caption data from the original file and not whats on the timeline.
2)POP ON/ PAINT ON: POP ON 708 Captions tend not to appear or disappear when there are gaps in the captioning or at the start of a segment. This can be fixed by changing captions to PAINT ON. But it would be preferable to use POP ON captions. Again something that has not been addressed for years
Michiel Keller commented
Kerning is needed to not make crowded words. For example with helvetica neue. I need some kerning to make the words better readable. Please add this functionallity.
Leon Cheo commented
I tried the XML method you described but unfortunately it doesn't work. How did you get it to work? I'm using Premiere CC 13.1.5 and I get an import error (see attached)
Trevor Asquerthian commented
#1 seen with renders in CC2019 - e.g. if preview files set to AVCI100 then open captions not visible after render, change to QT ProRes and they are.
#2 still apparent in CC2020 (i.e. duplicating open caption in Project, adding to timeline, then editing text - 'marker' in clip shows change to text but open caption does not UNTIL CC is restarted.
Sam Jae commented
The most crucial problem on that list is number 1! I can not believe this has not been fixed. It has been almost two years since i've noticed this problem with no fix.
Rémy Huberdeau commented
Alex Elkins commented
Just so we're all clear... Adobe is a company with a revenue of $9 billion. Premiere has had the option to create open captions since 2015. It's now almost 2020 and they still haven't managed to find the resources to actually make captioning fully functional.
And just to re-iterate, this list isn't even a complete list of everything that is wrong with captions. There are MANY other problems in terms of stability and general functionality.
Avid and Blackmagic are both doing this far better with far fewer resources.
Pierre Louis Beranek commented
I fully agree Peter Baker! It would have been so nice if Adobe focused its energy on fixing what's already there (i.e. captioning) rather than spend precious resources on new AI gimmicks that don't even work, such as the new auto aspect ratio formatting. I tried using it on what is probably the easiest case scenario: a 2 minute talking head interviews video with zero camera movement. Complete failure! Adobe's Sensei technology adds dozens of position keyframes to locked off tripod shots (to try to adjust for the slightest head movement of the speaker)! It's nuts. I have to keep turning my 16x9 sequences into 1x1 and 4x5 manually as I've done until now. And as of PP2020, I have to continue dealing with the dozen + glaring shortcomings in captioning.
Guys, please get your programming/development priorities in order! Thank you!
Peter Baker commented
I have encountered all these problems. Adobe, thanks for all the great new "nice to have" features in 2020 Premiere Pro, but Subtitle work is Bread and Butter work to many of us. In fact, it would be great if one of your programs had a Audio to SRT captions facility, that you could import into Premiere Pro with rock solid accuracy. Why do we have to mess around with 3rd party companies like TRINT and GoTranscript? Reliability is paramount. Sometimes subtitling works, sometimes it doesn't export, or gltches, it's annoying! PLEASE Adobe, assign a team on the job!
Steven Probets commented
The subtitling in Premiere is not fit for purpose. It need a huge overhaul. Especially in this day and age wee accessibility is so important.
Alex Elkins commented
Adobe: just start again with captioning. This implementation is a complete and utter disaster.
All of these (and plenty more) bugs aside, the fact that subtitles exist as a single piece of media rather than as clips that can be easily edited is a design flaw. Seriously, just copy what Blackmagic are doing in Resolve because it works brilliantly.