Sept. 27, 2020
Use this tool for downloading the captions or subtitles from YouTube in plain text or in VTT or SRT formats, in the language of your choice.
It can also be used for converting any subtitles, that you already have, from VTT format to text or SRT format.
Any of these inputs are accepted (in the given order of preference):
Please share if you liked this tool! You may use the sharing shortcuts provided on the left hand side of the screen.
youtube-dl, available here, is a very handy tool for handling videos on websites.
It can also be used to extract just the subtitles, e.g. from YouTube.
Let me put together a few handy commands that can be used for this purpose.
--list-subs to list all subtitles, i.e. the available languages and their formats:
youtube-dl --list-subs https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FlpstXNjImY
Now, if you pass the option
--all-subs, it will get all the subtitles. But, the video as well, which you might not want. To skip downloading the video, use, the very appropriately named
youtube-dl --all-subs --skip-download https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ye8mB6VsUHw
What if you wanted the subtitles only in a particular language?
youtube-dl --write-sub --sub-lang en --skip-download https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FlpstXNjImY
You can also provide the format you wanted using the argument
There can be a bit of a problem here. The above command works fine if a video has explicit (i.e. manually provided) captions or subtitles for the given language, but will fail if there are only auto-generated subtitles subtitles in that language. Solution? Add
--write-auto-sub to the command:
youtube-dl --write-sub --write-auto-sub --sub-lang fr --skip-download https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FlpstXNjImY
Lastly, if you just wanted the subtitles in plain text, you’ll have to open the video page in a browser and click on Open Transcript on the three dots on right hand side below the video and then, if needed, on Toggle timestamps.