YouTube Video Shortcuts, or “Where are the Captions?!?”

Recently I captioned some videos for a friend. About a week later I went to check on them again and discovered that I could no longer see the captions, just a “blank grey box” where there used to be text. Horrors! What had I done? No, what had YouTube done?!?

I thought it was a settings issue in Firefox and played around with everything from my script blocker to my ad blocker – NOTHING! I cleared the cache, I sought out obscure registry issues, I switched to IE (gag!), but nothing changed. I checked my other laptop and discovered…THE SAME PROBLEM!

I  then started scouring the internet and tried any number of queries in about 6 different search engines until I finally stumbled upon a lonely, unappreciated, un-applauded comment in a little-known forum. It was a YouTube issue! Apparently YouTube had recently done something, and it happened to change the caption default settings and made them invisible/unreadable by setting the font as “clear.”

Now, I expect there is information somewhere in YouTube about this, but none of my varied queries in Help got me to wherever that place might be. No, that would be too easy!

I have, since then, discovered a variety of sites with general information about YouTube keyboard shortcuts, but most don’t mention the caption settings. So here, for those who would like to know about most of the settings, I offer what I have found.

NOTE: Not all of these shortcuts work for every person and their particular computer, so try them out and see what works for you.

First click on the page/video, or just start playing it.

To change caption settings, press the associated letter to cycle through choices.

Captions chart

YouTube caption keys

Seek and sound chartYoutube seek keys



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