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Multiple caption tracks visible for accessibility

231 Votes
Community Beginner ,
Jan 24, 2023 Jan 24, 2023

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In the previous version of Premiere Pro, I was able to add multiple captions and make them visible in order to have English/Spanish on screen. But in the latest version (Version 15.0.0) only one track of captioning is available.

This makes it hard for those of us who are working on making our videos accessible to multiple audiences. Please bring back the ability to have multiple tracks of captioning visible at the same time.
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correct answers 1 Pinned Reply

Adobe Employee , Jan 24, 2023 Jan 24, 2023
This is not a bug, it's as designed. We specifically limit the visibility to one track at a time to avoid accidentally burning in multiple tracks. Also, when exporting to a format that only supports one captions stream like SRT or STL, we need to know which is the active track in order to export the correct track.

But I understand why you might need two tracks visible at the same time.

Multiple speakers:
If we could automatically identify speakers and designate a style associated with them, wo...

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Community Expert ,
Jan 24, 2023 Jan 24, 2023

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Oh yes please, this is useful both in interview situations with multiple talking heads as well as multiple language needs.

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 24, 2023 Jan 24, 2023

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I have a series of sketches that rely on having two voices on screen (a cut away to another person interrupting while the first person is speaking etc) - when I import these into 15.0.0 I lose the ability to output them as two lines.

And of course I can't produce any new ones. Luckily I have ver 14.9 so I can still work - but it seems very surprising that you would now allow only one track given that it was so easy to do multiple tracks before.

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Contributor ,
Jan 24, 2023 Jan 24, 2023

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Absolutely need this. We always caption with two languages on at the same time.

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 24, 2023 Jan 24, 2023

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Absolutely maddening that this isn't a feature!

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 24, 2023 Jan 24, 2023

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Just a note to point out that 15.1 doesn't fix this.

Can we have a comment as to whether Adobe is actually working on a fix?

I've never worked professionally on another NLE can anyone suggest a system that handles captions like Premiere used to?

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 24, 2023 Jan 24, 2023

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Thank you for the reply, Francis. I can speak on the questions of multiple languages.

We don't always post our videos in a location where the captioning can be turned on/off or switched to different languages, so we need to have it visible and in both languages. The majority of videos I've created since Adobe removed the option for me to have multiple captions have been ones where I need to have multiple languages because they are in large areas like schools.

Currently, I have to export the file with one set of captioning, import that video, mute/hide all other layers, activate the second set of captioning, and export that file for the final version. It's a time-consuming process, especially when trying to be efficient in a workflow.

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 24, 2023 Jan 24, 2023

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Fyi, to everyone else also frustrated by this, there is a workaround: create one sequence with a subtitle track and then add that sequence to another sequence (nesting sequences). This is a little burdensome but it’s workable.

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Engaged ,
Jan 24, 2023 Jan 24, 2023

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To answer your question Francis... yes, for the sake of translating captions, it would be very helpful to be able to turn on a second track of captions in the original language for reference!

I understand the reasoning behind forcing only a single captions track to be visible, but it would be handier for users to have the option to see more than one.

Perhaps a keyboard modifier could be added for this? Ctrl+clicking the eyeball icon on a second captions track could enable it while also keeping the previously enabled track visible. This would keep the current behaviour intact (enabling a new track automatically hides the previous one, which is desirable and handy for users in most cases), while also giving users that really need to see more than one track at a time an easy way to do so.

What do you and others think of this proposed solution?

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 24, 2023 Jan 24, 2023

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I can understand why Adobe might have reduced the earlier capacity to enable multiple simultaneous caption tracks, thinking about the most common captioning applications. But, as has been written elsewhere by others, there are good reasons to RETAIN the ability (which is surely already present in the overall program design) to enable multiple caption tracks, perhaps as suggested by Pierre below, with a special key combination to force enabling multiple tracks as needed. The applications mentioned--mutiple language subtitles on one screen, or multiple participants needing subtitles with different formats or in different screen locations--are obviously important and necessary for some applications. Other uses include other sorts of notations on video (which can currently only be handled with the legacy title functions). But most important for those of us who use premiere to prepare videos for analysis of conversation and interaction is teh ability often to have carefully synchronized captions, linked to multiple participants, some of whom frequently OVERLAP one another in time. This can only be handled, I believe, with the easy fix being proposed here.

The idea of having an automatic feature to recognize different speakers and caption them in different styles is attractive, but, I think, a bit of a pipe dream at the moment, for two reasons. First, the speech recognition currently available just doesn't do an accurate enough job with captions, sometimes with at best) laughable results--although I am not one of the people enabled to try out the current beta versions for Premiere. Second, even if it did work well enough for some purposes in, say, English, there are many languages out there that need to be captioned which simply offer no such voice recognition options (and won't for some time to come).

So, finally, I vote strongly for RESTORING the ability to have (at least as a non-default option) multiple visible captions simultaneously, using the new improved caption workflow. The "nesting" workaround that Danny mentions does work, and that is what I have been using recently, but it is awkward and unnecessarily cumbersome when all the work required to achieve the desired result already has to be done first, and teh nesting trick must be resorted to wimply to render the desired result, in several steps.

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 24, 2023 Jan 24, 2023

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I can't add much more as John H and Pierre B have explained most of what I need. I just wanted to add my voice to the request for multiple layers.

And no, anything ‘auto’ about placing captions would likely not be useful. For my use the timing, placement and style of the captions are pretty critical. I would prefer a fairly simple – I hope – ‘switch multiple tracks on’ button, rather than rely on an auto system.

There is also the problem with all my previous projects, they aren’t so much broken as useless.

I had to go back to one project after upgrading and it was impossible to output it without remaking the subtitle tracks. Luckily I still had 14.x on a machine which saved the day. So an option to revert to old behaviors would be good – not least because all the different layers appear in the new project, suggesting that the system sees them.

Without wanting to sound snide I'm curious about the thought process that led to removing multiple layer output (note: NOT multiple layers, just the output) *without* giving the option to reverse that - and I totally understand how this would be a non-default option, but I'm at a loss to understand the lack of a switch.

So, I support the 'force show' keystroke as suggested by Pierre - it could even be labelled 'The Pierre option'. (Just a thought.)

Thanks for the opportunity for the conversation.

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New Here ,
Jan 24, 2023 Jan 24, 2023

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I also would very much like the ability to have the resizing capability for caption tracks we had in previous versions. I personally need to caption almost all projects in 12 languages and to now make sure all my timing is correct, as well as still see my native language for reference is now severely hindered. My work flow and production is being limited and is making me hate my job - please Adobe fix this.

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New Here ,
Jan 24, 2023 Jan 24, 2023

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I am among those who greatly needs to be able to have more than one track visible at the same time. In working with foreign languages, this is really indispensable, as people have been underscoring.
Can a distinction be made between active tracks (only one at a time for export) and visible tracks (multiple)?
My preference would be to be able to burn in two tracks at the same time, if needed, but my most pressing need is to be able to have more than one track visible at the same time.

Thanks, and thanks for the great improvements to the captions workflow!

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Explorer ,
Jan 24, 2023 Jan 24, 2023

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Just throwing my hat in the ring for the necessity of this feature. If the worry is preventing people from burning in two tracks by mistake, couldn't that be solved with a checklist dialogue box? As in, check next to which tracks you want to burn in? Thanks!

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Explorer ,
Jan 24, 2023 Jan 24, 2023

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Very common in places like Taiwan to have both Chinese and English on the screen. So yes, please make both tracks visible.

Alternatively, it would be great if two different languages on two lines in the same track could be edited separately, for instance different fonts and font size. This was possible in the old system.

It's still possible to copy and paste different a different font from a second track, keeping the formatting, but that is cumbersome.

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Explorer ,
Jan 24, 2023 Jan 24, 2023

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It seems like a pretty unanimous vote that people want this option, Adobe.

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New Here ,
Jan 24, 2023 Jan 24, 2023

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Kind of weird isn't it? Why bother giving us the eye icon for visibility (giving me control) if you're going to essentially auto-disable the other one (taking away my control)?

Let the mistake making happen in my hands. If I publish a video with two tracks burned in it's my fault (or maybe I want it that way). You never babied us Adobe, don't start now! This is incredibly un-intuitive 😞

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New Here ,
Jan 24, 2023 Jan 24, 2023

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I have to chime in here, I really need to be able to have 2 tracks visible at the same time. I'm a professional, please treat me as such and don't baby me. I can make my own mistakes and learn from them myself thank you very much

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 24, 2023 Jan 24, 2023

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I second that, I want to make that choice when I need to. Thank you

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Jan 24, 2023 Jan 24, 2023

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Really frustrating after creating two tracks and realising you can't export both. Need to deliver for a client today...

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New Here ,
Jan 24, 2023 Jan 24, 2023

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This is really frustrating, I can't understand why you should decide for us after it was possible in the version before.
Multiple subtitles are necessary for multiple languages. For example in Switzerland english speaking movies are subtitled in french and german.

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New Here ,
Jan 24, 2023 Jan 24, 2023

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Just started using Premiere and this is currently what's holding me up. How has this not been fixed yet lmfao.

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New Here ,
Jan 24, 2023 Jan 24, 2023

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Ditto on multiple language, multiple speakers, and adding multiple still formats that need captions... Fortunately for me I'm still completing the final project in iMovie, so I exported it three times with three different caption Styles, and then spliced it together. Frustating.

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New Here ,
Jan 24, 2023 Jan 24, 2023

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"avoid accidentally burning in multiple tracks" really? Sorry I thought PremierePro was a professional program made for professionals who can manage more than one track and decide what to render. We need multiple caption tracks for many reasons as other fellows comment. Multiple lenguajes burned in, multiple speakers, align different captions to the frame... and because I'm a professional and I think I can handle it, thank you

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New Here ,
Jan 24, 2023 Jan 24, 2023

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I work with 9 languages. Would be really nice to be able to do a sidecar export of all my languages as an SRT at once instead of having to go back and export everything individually.

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New Here ,
Jan 24, 2023 Jan 24, 2023

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Our company does anime subtitling and our workflow is stuck on Final Cut 7. Adobe's design choice to prohibit multiple subtitle tracks means that we're stuck on FCP7 that much longer.

Our use-case is that we not only need to subtitle spoken dialogue, but also any incidental on-screen kanji text pertinent to the story (such as a classroom chalkboard, a road sign, a book cover, etc). Many of our clients' shows are heavy on such. We place spoken dialogue at the bottom of the screen, and the subtitle for the on-screen text appears at the top of the screen simultaneously.

On a related note, it would also be a MASSIVE boon if Adobe could provide a subtitle export format that includes a subtitle's position. SRT does not. This is extra important to us because (in addition to the above example) our clients also require us to reposition subtitles in close-up shots so that the text doesn't obscure the face or lips of the character speaking. I would suggest implementing TTML export since that is a well adopted W3C standard by now (Premiere 2020 even used something close to that within the .prproj files). And the position data doesn't need to be pixel perfect, just the basic nine-square positions is good enough.

In the meantime, our entire company remains stuck on a 12-yr old NLE because it's the only thing we've found that can do overlapping subtitles and export to a format that preserves positioning.

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