Open Caption vs. Closed Caption: A Comprehensive Comparison

When it comes to on-screen subtitles, the choice is between the Option Caption vs. Closed Caption for every content creator. This blog provides complete guidelines to distinguish between both types and select the best one for your video content.

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Updated on Jan 31, 2024

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We live in a world where everybody is hooked to digital screens. We consume video content for education, entertainment, news, and communication. As per studies, 66% of people consider videos their primary source of information. Captions are a necessary element of any video.

With captions, you can understand any foreign or local content. Be it movies, music videos, documentaries, online educational courses, and OTTs, captions are everywhere. Captions can be open or closed; however, most creators consider closed captions as the standard part of video content. This blog will discuss the introduction, examples, and advantages of open and closed captions.

What Is an Open Caption?

The Open Subtitle or caption is permanently attached to an audio/video file. The user can't choose to turn it on/off and make any changes in file formats. That's because once you add captions to videos, they are burned into the file.

open caption

Benefits of Open Caption

The burned-in subtitles offer you the following benefits:

  • The open subtitles are automatic and quick.
  • The audience doesn't need to learn about caption file format and how to turn it on.
  • They're suitable for cinemas and theaters.
  • They can be useful for social media videos, as some users prefer to watch them on mute.
  • The creators should add these subtitles to MP4 or other videos for deaf/special people.

Open Caption Examples

Although they're less common, you can find open subtitles:

  • While watching a movie in a foreign language at your nearby cinema, the media player supports hardcoded subtitles, which no user can change or turn off.
  • Specific Facebook videos use open subtitle file format for MP4 videos.

What Is a Closed Caption?

The closed caption can be turned on or off as per user choice. The captions/subtitles are "Off" by default. The interface gives a CC icon or remote-control option to turn them on. In this regard, you can refer to them as soft subtitles. They're the most popular caption style, as significant streaming platforms support closed captions.

With close captions, users can decide about their viewing experience; they can change the captions' language, writing style, font, and display position. You can also add external optional subtitles on CC-supported programs. It lets you add subtitles to Facebook videos for social media marketing and content creation. As a newcomer, you can also learn to add subtitles on TikTok.

closed caption

Benefits of the Closed Caption

These are the advantages of Closed Captions:

  • They empower the audience by offering customized experiences.
  • Closed Caption errors are easier to fix. Since you use an external file to add subtitles to the video, you can remove the errors in the text file without removing the original video.
  • You can use CC to add subtitles to YouTube videos.
  • If you don't like subtitles while watching a movie/show, you can turn off close captions.

Closed Caption Examples

You can find examples of closed captions everywhere around you. However, the most common ones are:

  • Since YouTube is the world's most famous video streaming platform. Everybody has seen and benefited from its Closed Caption feature.
  • The subscription-based platforms like Amazon Prime and Netflix offer the CC option. You can turn them on via the remote control or the main screen option. You can also add subtitles to MP4 Videos on these platforms.

What Are the Differences between Open and Closed Captions?

As discussed earlier, open and closed-type captions are fundamentally opposite. Both offer different user experiences, content compatibility, and applications.

Here is a summary of the differences between open and closed subtitles

Features Open Subtitles Closed Subtitles
Option to Turn On/Off ×
Turned on by Default ×
Provision for Editing, Style Changes ×
Multiple Format Support ×
Ideal for Deaf/ Special People ×
Search Engine Identification ×
For YouTube and OTT platforms ×
For Cinema ×
Burned in the Video ×
File Error Resolution ×

Bonus: How to Add Captions in Videos?

When adding subtitles files for closed captions, we recommend you use EaseUS VideoKit software. It provides high-quality automatic subtitles without any time lag and changes in video resolution.

The tool utilizes advanced AI modules to analyze all nuances (dialects, emotions) in parent audio/video files. After this, it delivers accurate subtitles encapsulating the true message of the main file. It also allows you to edit SRT files, add text effects, select subtitle positioning, and export subtitle files. As an all-in-one solution, it offers a comprehensive range of audio and video editing features.

EaseUS videokit main interface

✨The key features of the EaseUS Video Kit are:

  • Provide AI-supported speech-to-text conversion
  • Offer professional quality sound and video editing
  • Support 1000+ video formats
  • Use AI to remove background noise and vocals from any video

EaseUS VideoKit is compatible with Windows 7/8/10/11 and macOS 10.13 and later. If you're a Windows or Mac user, download the latest EaseUS VideoKit to add high-quality close captions to all video/audio formats.


In the global world, we understand any foreign educational, entertainment, and informational content with subtitles. There are two basic types available: Open Captions and Closed Captions. This article compares both captions' definitions, examples, benefits, and differences.

Please read this article to learn about their usage and select which style suits your content. To add high-quality external articles to any video, try EaseUS VideoKit. If you find this content helpful, please share it with your contacts.


FAQs about Open Caption vs. Closed Caption

These are the most sought-after questions about option caption vs. closed caption debate. If you have any other queries, please comment below.

1. What does open caption mean at the movies?

Since you can't turn on or off the captions at cinema halls, they are considered open captions. The captions are embedded in the main file and can't be edited by users.

2. Should I use open or closed captions?

The usage depends upon your requirements. You should use closed captions for YouTube, OTT, and smart TV content. For cinema and specific Facebook videos, you can employ open captions.

3. What is the difference between open captions and embedded captions?

There is no difference between open and embedded captions. Both captions aren't editable, offering no control to their users.

4. What is the difference between closed captions and subtitles?

Both are editable texts and can be turned on and off per user requirements. Still, there is one slight difference: Captions are ideal for people with hearing problems, while subtitles are for people watching content in a foreign language.

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