How To Find The Transcript Of A Youtube Video?

In the vast online content landscape, YouTube has become a powerhouse of information and entertainment. The rise of video content brings with it a growing need for accessibility and research, where having access to a transcript can be invaluable. You should learn the answer to “how to find the transcript of a youtube video?”

For those with hearing impairments, researchers needing precise quotes, or learners who prefer text-based content, transcripts play a crucial role. You can try transcriptal.

However, the challenge lies in finding these transcripts, especially for older or unofficial videos where built-in options might be limited. This comprehensive guide addresses this challenge, providing users with an in-depth exploration of various methods to locate YouTube video transcripts efficiently.

How To Find The Transcript Of A Youtube Video | Steps


So, how to find the transcript of a youtube video? Want to turn those catchy YouTube videos into text? Whether boosting accessibility, fueling research, or craving a handy reference, transcripts are your gateway. But navigating YouTube’s transcript jungle can be tricky. Fear not! This 3-step guide will equip you to hunt down any video’s hidden words.

Step 1: Check the Video Description.

Often, the easiest solution is right there! Look for a link labeled “Transcript” or “Show transcript” under the video description. Click on it, and voilà! The transcript will appear on the right side of the screen.

Step 2: Utilize the Three Dots Menu.

If the video lacks a clear transcript link, head to the three dots (…) beneath the title. Select “Show transcript” from the menu. This option reveals the automatically generated captions you can review and download if they suffice.

Step 3: Leverage Community Contributions.

YouTube allows viewers to contribute their transcripts. Click on the three dots (…) again and choose “Open transcript editor.” If community contributions exist, you’ll see them listed. Choose the one that best suits your needs and download it.

What Are Built-In Transcript Options?

Built-in transcript options on YouTube include automatic captions and community-contributed transcripts. Automatic captions are generated by YouTube, enhancing accessibility, while community-contributed transcripts allow viewers to contribute and improve transcript accuracy. Both options are accessible within the YouTube interface, providing users with readily available transcriptions for videos.

1. Automatic Captions

YouTube’s automatic captions are a boon for accessibility, offering a quick way to access transcriptions of spoken content. However, the accuracy of these captions can vary, especially in instances with complex terminology or multiple speakers.

Users can navigate to the video settings to access automatic captions, select the “Subtitles/CC” option, and choose the language. To download these captions, the user can access the same menu and select the “Download” option. While automatic captions provide a good starting point, improving their accuracy might require adjustments.

Users can explore the language settings to ensure the system recognizes specific accents or dialects accurately. Additionally, enabling speaker identification can enhance the overall accuracy of the automatic captions.

2. Community-Contributed Transcripts

YouTube encourages collaboration through its “Contribute subtitles or captions” feature, allowing viewers to contribute transcripts to videos. This feature fosters community and inclusivity, making content accessible to a broader audience.

However, the quality of these community-contributed transcripts can be variable, as it relies on user input. While some contributors may provide accurate and detailed transcripts, others might not invest the same effort.

Users can visit the video’s settings to access these transcripts, explore the “Subtitles/CC” menu, and select “Contribute subtitles or captions.” The availability of community-contributed transcripts can significantly depend on the video’s popularity and its viewers’ engagement.

What Are External Transcript Sources?

External transcript sources refer to platforms and services outside of YouTube that provide transcripts for videos. These include dedicated transcription services like Transcriptal,, Rev, and Temi, third-party transcript repositories like NoTube Transcripts and Subscene, browser extensions, and tools to extract transcripts from YouTube videos.

1. Dedicated Transcription Websites and Services

Dedicated transcription services like Transcriptal,, Rev, and Temi offer professional solutions for users seeking more accurate and reliable transcripts. These platforms often employ advanced algorithms and human editors to ensure the highest accuracy in their transcriptions. Users typically need to upload a YouTube video to the platform to use these services.

The service then processes the video and provides a downloadable transcript. While costly, these services offer quick turnaround times and accuracy guarantees.

Users should consider their specific needs, such as budget constraints and urgency when choosing a dedicated transcription service. Some services might offer free trials or basic plans, allowing users to assess their suitability before committing to a subscription.

2. Third-Party Transcript Repositories

Third-party transcript repositories, such as NoTube Transcripts and Subscene, allow users to find and share transcripts for various videos. These repositories often rely on user submissions, making them a collaborative effort.

Users can search for specific videos by entering titles, channels, or relevant keywords. However, the quality control measures in these repositories may vary. While some maintain high standards, others might not have stringent validation processes, potentially leading to inconsistencies in the accuracy of the provided transcripts. Users should approach third-party repositories with a discerning eye, aware of the potential variations in quality.

3. Browser Extensions and Tools

For users looking for a more straightforward approach, browser extensions and tools like “Get Transcript for YouTube” and “DownSub” can automatically extract transcripts from videos.

These tools often provide a user-friendly experience, requiring minimal effort from the user. However, privacy concerns are associated with browser extensions, as they might access user data. Users should carefully review the permissions these extensions require and consider the trade-offs between convenience and privacy.

While these tools offer a quick solution, they might have limitations regarding accuracy and reliability, especially for videos with complex language or technical content.

What Are Other Advanced Techniques?

Other advanced techniques for obtaining YouTube video transcripts include using the YouTube Data API and Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software. The YouTube Data API allows developers to access video metadata, including transcripts, while OCR software, like Tesseract and Adobe Acrobat Pro DC, can extract text from video subtitles or captions.

1. Using YouTube Data API

For users with technical proficiency, the YouTube Data API offers an advanced method of accessing video metadata, including transcripts. This option requires programming knowledge, making it more suitable for developers or individuals comfortable with coding.

The YouTube Data API provides comprehensive access to various aspects of a video, allowing users to retrieve precise information. While this method offers a high level of control, it comes with challenges.

Users need to adhere to YouTube’s API usage policies, and the learning curve for API implementation can be steep for those unfamiliar with programming. Despite the challenges, the YouTube Data API remains a powerful tool for users with specific technical requirements and the ability to navigate the intricacies of API integration.

2. Optical Character Recognition (OCR) Software

Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software presents another advanced technique for extracting text from YouTube subtitles or captions. OCR software, such as Tesseract and Adobe Acrobat Pro DC, can analyze image-based subtitles and convert them into editable text.

However, the accuracy of OCR can be affected by the quality of the subtitles and the complexity of the video content. OCR is particularly useful when dealing with videos that lack downloadable transcripts.

Users should be aware of the limitations of OCR, which might require additional post-processing to ensure the accuracy of the extracted text. While this method demands a certain level of technical proficiency, it offers a solution for scenarios where other options fall short. Now you know the answer – how to find the transcript of a youtube video?

Comparison And Choosing The Right Method

Choosing the right method to find transcripts for YouTube videos involves carefully considering various factors, including accuracy, cost, accessibility, and privacy. Each method has advantages and limitations, making it essential for users to align their preferences and needs with the most suitable approach.

1) Accuracy

1. Built-in Options

Built-in options, such as automatic captions and community-contributed transcripts, often serve as the baseline for transcript accuracy. At the same time, a convenient feature, automatic captions, may lack precision, especially in cases involving technical jargon or multiple speakers. 

On the other hand, community-contributed transcripts can vary significantly in accuracy, depending on the diligence of contributors. For users prioritizing accuracy, built-in options may fall short of meeting their requirements.

2. External Sources

Dedicated transcription services are renowned for their commitment to accuracy. Platforms like Transcriptal,, Rev, and Temi employ advanced algorithms and human editors to ensure the highest quality transcripts. 

Users opting for these services can expect reliable and error-free transcriptions, making them suitable for research or professional purposes. Third-party transcript repositories, however, can be more unpredictable. 

While some maintain rigorous quality control, others may lack consistency in the accuracy of their transcripts.

3. Advanced Techniques

Advanced techniques, such as the YouTube Data API and Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software, offer various accuracy levels.

  • YouTube Data API: When used correctly, the YouTube Data API provides access to detailed video metadata, including accurate transcripts. However, the accuracy is contingent on the quality of the automatic captions generated by YouTube. The API can yield highly accurate results for users with the technical know-how, but it requires a nuanced understanding of programming.
  • OCR Software: OCR introduces a different dimension to accuracy. While OCR software like Tesseract and Adobe Acrobat Pro DC can extract text from images, its precision is influenced by factors like subtitle quality and video complexity. OCR can be surprisingly accurate for straightforward videos, but post-processing may be required for optimal results.

2) Cost

1. Built-in Options

Built-in options are generally cost-free for users. Features like automatic captions and community-contributed transcripts are intrinsic to the YouTube platform, allowing users to access transcripts without additional expenses. This accessibility makes built-in options a favorable choice for users with budget constraints.

2. External Sources

Dedicated transcription services often come with costs attached. While some services offer free trials or basic plans, users seeking premium features or expedited services may incur charges. 

The pricing structure varies among services, with factors such as transcription accuracy, turnaround time, and additional features influencing the cost. Third-party transcript repositories are typically free, but the trade-off is the potential variability in quality.

3. Advanced Techniques

The cost associated with advanced techniques depends on the specific method chosen.

  • YouTube Data API: Accessing the YouTube Data API is generally free, but users should be mindful of API usage policies to avoid unexpected costs. While the API is cost-free, other associated services or tools may involve expenses.
  • OCR Software: OCR software may require an initial investment if users opt for premium versions of tools like Adobe Acrobat Pro DC. However, some OCR software, including Tesseract, is open-source and free.

3) Accessibility

1. Built-in Options

Built-in options are highly accessible within the YouTube interface, making them user-friendly for individuals of all technical backgrounds. Automatic captions are easily toggled within the video settings, and community-contributed transcripts are accessible through the “Subtitles/CC” menu.

2. External Sources

Accessibility varies when it comes to external sources. Dedicated transcription services often have user-friendly interfaces, but the user’s comfort with technology may influence accessibility. Third-party transcript repositories may vary in platform design and ease of use, requiring users to navigate the respective website to find desired transcripts.

3. Advanced Techniques

Advanced techniques, such as using the YouTube Data API and OCR software, demand higher technical proficiency.

  • YouTube Data API: Accessibility depends on the user’s coding skills. Developers or individuals familiar with programming will find the API accessible, while others may find it challenging.
  • OCR Software: Using OCR software involves a learning curve. Users with some technical understanding may find it accessible, but those without programming experience may encounter difficulties.

4) Privacy

1. Built-in Options

Built-in options within the YouTube platform generally maintain a secure environment. YouTube handles automatic captions and community-contributed transcripts internally, minimizing privacy concerns.

2. External Sources

Privacy concerns may arise with external sources, particularly browser extensions and certain third-party platforms. Browser extensions, while convenient, may request permissions that users might find intrusive. Users should carefully review the permissions required and be cautious of potential privacy implications when using external sources.

3. Advanced Techniques

Privacy implications are inherent in advanced techniques.

  • YouTube Data API: Users implementing the YouTube Data API for transcript retrieval should be mindful of YouTube’s API usage policies. While the API does not necessarily compromise privacy, users should follow guidelines to avoid potential issues.
  • OCR Software: Privacy concerns may emerge when using OCR software, especially if it involves uploading videos or transcripts to external servers. Users should be aware of the privacy policies associated with their specific OCR tool.


In conclusion, pursuing YouTube video transcripts is a valuable skill that enhances accessibility and knowledge acquisition. This comprehensive guide has delved into various methods like transcriptal, catering to diverse user preferences and technical aptitudes. 

As users navigate these options, the hope is that this guide is valuable, empowering individuals to access and utilize YouTube video transcripts for various purposes seamlessly. I hope now you know “how to find the transcript of a youtube video?”

Whether opting for built-in options, leveraging external sources, or exploring advanced techniques, users now have a comprehensive toolkit for transcript retrieval.

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