Thilly Thursday – Shaddap You Face

My daughter was howling over this. Join us!

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


Google: “We are the Borg. You will be assimilated.”

Once upon a time there was a bright young search engine – minimalist and quick compared to the bloated home pages up until that time. People loved the speedy loading and breadth of search results and people flocked to use it. Of course, having a catchy name helped.

Then, just like other search engines had done, it decided to offer more services like email, then they made it possible to put pictures on the home page, then other features were added, and it all snowballed! Online word processing and spreadsheets (and more) were developed, and since Microsoft had assumed the “too big to fail” mantle and had become impersonal, unresponsive and expensive, many were willing to live with fewer software features and flexibility than the Office Suite offered because it was a sight better than M’s unchanging dinosaurs, Wordpad or Notepad.

But wait, there’s more! They got YouTube, too, then started a really easy to use free blogging platform, and, and, and…but now they had to figure out how to juggle all of that. So, without asking their users whether they wanted such a thing, they came up with this really “cool” idea (they thought), which was to tie everything together and change the way things looked and were managed.

Now, if you happen to already have Gmail and YouTube and Blogger, it might seem OK, but More

Google’s over-reaching grasp – an escape plan…

Read the new Google privacy policy? What happened to “Don’t be evil”? I used to like them and still use many Google products (so far…) but they’ve become over-reaching, tracking us, and I don’t like the way they are forcing us to combine things (i.e., must have Gmail to have a YouTube account, etc.). Why be concerned about tracking? Read this (few words, many images, plenty info):, and have you heard about “search engine bubbling”? Read this:

I’m beginning my efforts to independence.

First change: my new search engine is Nice, clean, simple interface, no tracking (full privacy!), great search results.

Second: After researching, I migrated my blog from Blogger (Google required me to be signed into a particular Gmail account just to access it!) to WordPress, though I will miss a few features for a while.

Actively seeking alternatives to other stuff. Will keep you posted.

Member of The Internet Defense League

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