DISCUSS: New Captions Workflow in Premiere Pro

Adobe Employee ,
Oct 20, 2020 Oct 20, 2020

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UPDATE: January 29, 2021

Since the innitial post back in October of last year we have made a ton of progress and some of the details originally posted here are no longer acurate.  I have updated the post to be more accurate to the state of things today.  

 

Here are some important changes to be aware of

  • The Premiere Pro beta is now version 15 (starting January 26, 2021)
  • The captions workflow in on by default - no need to enable it
  • The beta menu has been removed (because you don't need it anymore - the advanced beta features are always on)
  • Applications for speech to text early access has closed and those who have been accepted should have recieved an email.  The email you used to apply needs to match the email (Adobe ID) you use to log into creative cloud. If you did not recieve an email stating that you have been accepted, or if you are logged into creative cloud using a different email you will contininue to see the message stating that speech to text is coming soon.
  • Broadcast closed captions are now supported CEA 608/708, OP47, Teletext, EBU Subtitles.
  • Exporting is working (burned-in, sidecar, embedded) and queue to Media Encoder is working too now.

 

Thanks to everyone for testing and for all your awesome feedback! - Francis

 

The captioning workflow in Premiere Pro is getting a complete makeover and you can be the first to try it out!  We have a new text panel for editing and viewing your captions as text.  Captions now have their own track on the timeline so they can be edited just like video.  Styling uses the power of the Essential Graphics panel so you can make fantastic looking captions. 

 

Best of all – we will be adding speech to text and auto captions powered by Adobe Sensei – coming later.

 

Captions banner image.png

Some important things to know before you start testing this feature

  1. Just like any beta software, we do not recommend using this for mission critical projects since features are likely to change over time. 
  2.  The Premiere Pro beta has been updated to the next major version – 15.  This means your projects will NOT be backwards compatible with the current shipping version of Premiere Pro – 14.x.  All projects created in Premiere Pro Beta, even if you don’t use captions, will be saved as version 15. 
  3. Opening existing projects in Premiere Pro Beta will ask you to save a copy of your project in the new project version. Take extra care with Team Projects since you do not get a version update warning and you can mess up the project for your entire team!
  4. If you have existing captions in a project that gets upgraded, we will convert from the old style captions to the new style.  We will do our best to match the styling, but do not guarantee a pixel-perfect transition. 

 

So, if you’re good with all that, read on . . .

 

Enabling the Feature:

  1. Update to the latest Beta version - you're done.  It's on by default now

 

Quickstart Guide: 

Download this sample project to follow along PR New Captions Workflow quickstart.zip

 

  1. Open the sequence The climber - start here and familiarize yourself with the spoken dialog.
  2. Open the Text panel from the window menu and make sure it’s showing the Captions tab.
  3. Locate the SRT file in the project panel The Climber - subtitles.srt
  4. Drag the SRT file into the sequence and drop it anywhere. 
  5. A new caption track is created, and all the caption items are placed at the correct time.
  6. Place the playhead over one of the caption items to select it.  This should activate the Essential Graphics panel into editing mode.
  7. Change the Style in the Essential Graphics panel by choosing a different preset from the Style dropdown.
  8. Notice the font, size, color, and background have been updated.
  9. Play the sequence and watch the captions follow along in the Text panel.

 

Play around with visual styles in the Essential Graphics panel and try editing the text in the Text panel.  Read on for more detailed info on the various pieces of the workflow.

 

The Text Panel
Open the Text panel from the Window menu.  This is where you interact with text and it has two tabs – Transcript and Captions

Text Panel - Captions tab.png

  1. Text panel – open from the Window Menu
  2. Transcript tab – This is where you can create automatic speech to text transcriptions, navigate the transcript, and create automatic captions.  This is only available to those who been accepted into the eary access program for speech to text.  All others will continue to see the "coming soon" graphics.
    S2T Apply for early access.png
  3. Captions tab – Navigate and edit caption text.
  4. Search – find characters, words and phrases in your captions.
  5. Next / Previous search result – use to navigate search results.
  6. Replace / Replace All – used to replace search results with new text.
    Replace text.png
  7. Add Caption – this will place a blank caption at the playhead in the current sequence
  8. Caption number – a sequence number to count your captions
  9. Timecode – TC start and stop of the current caption item.  This is not editable.  To change the timing of the caption, edit it in the sequence.
  10. Caption text – the text of the caption itself.  Double click to edit.

 

The Caption track - working with captions in the Sequence

We have completely reimagined the way captions work in Premiere Pro. If you have used captions previously in Premiere Pro, this is totally different – much better we think. Please tell us what YOU think by leaving a public comment below.

Timeline with caption track.png

Create and delete caption tracks

There are a few ways to create a new caption track.  You can drag an SRT file onto the Sequence or use the “Create new captions track” button in the Captions tab of the Text panel. To delete a caption track, right-click on the caption track header and choose “delete track”

 

Drag an SRT file on the sequence

Dragging an SRT caption file onto the Sequence will automatically create a new caption track at the top of the Timeline.

 

Keyboard Shortcuts

To see all the keyboard shortcuts available for captions, open the keyboard shortcuts menu from the Premiere Pro menu and search for "caption".  Here are some notable ones.  There are many other which do not have default assignments.

  1. Add a captions track - option/alt + command/ctrl + A
  2. Add a new caption segment at the playhead- option/alt + command/ctrl + C
  3. Go to next caption segment in the timeline - option/alt + command/ctrl + UP
  4. Go to next caption segment in the timeline - option/alt + command/ctrl + down

 

Captions tracks

Caption track area.png

  1. Caption track setting – the CC button

This can hide the caption track area or solo just the active caption track if you have more than one.  It is useful if you want to declutter your timeline. It does not turn off the active caption track from rendering in the program monitor, however. 

  • Hide all caption tracks
  • Show all caption tracks
  • Show active caption track only 

 

  1. Active Track/Visibility – the eyeball icon

This will enable/disable Program Monitor viewing of the Caption track selected. Only one Caption track can be active at a time, so when you make one track active, the other tracks will automatically be disabled. You can also choose to disable all Caption tracks. Inactive Caption tracks will dim making it easier to note your active Caption track. 

 

  1. Label

By default, this will show the caption track format (eg Subtitles, CEA-708, CEA-608, etc.) You can right-click the Caption track header and choose Rename to choose a custom name (same functionality as A/V tracks)

 

  1. Right-click the caption track header

Additional caption tracks can be added by right-clicking in the caption track header – choose “Add Track”. You can also delete or rename a caption track in the same way.

  1. Caption tracks area

Caption tracks will always be at the top of the sequence. Additional caption tracks are added on top. This will continue until you have reached 25% of the Timeline vertical space, then the tracks will stop “growing” and scroll bars will appear to the right. Caption tracks will never take up more than 25% of the upper space of the Timeline. This is dynamic, so if you increase or decrease the Timeline panel height, the 25% will adjust accordingly.

 

  1. Track Lock

Lock the track to prevent editing.  This functions the same as A/V tracks.

 

  1. Track Targeting

The Caption track header has a ‘Toggle the track targeting for this track’ button with same functionality as A/V tracks.

 

  1. Sync Lock

The Caption track header has a ‘Toggle Sync Lock’ button with same functionality as A/V tracks.

 

Editing timing of caption items on the track

You can use all the familiar editing tools that you are used just like editing video and audio.

Edit-example.gif

  • Select (one or many) You can select multiple Caption track items by Shift-selecting each item or marquee/lasso select items or use Select All (which will also include other items in tracks like video, audio, etc.)
  • Trim
  • Ripple Trim
  • Razor/Add Edit: You can add an edit/razor a Caption item as you would with any Timeline item and Track Targeting is supported. The difference is that when you razor a Caption item, both items will have the same text which you can then modify in the Text panel
  • Copy/Paste: paste of Caption item(s) follows Track targeting which allows you to copy and paste captions items between tracks.

 

Styling with the Essential Graphics panel

Open the Essential Graphics panel from the Window menu.  This is where you choose things like font, size, color and position. Make sure you have at least one caption selected. This will activate the Edit tab of the Essential Graphics panel. If you have created and stylized text in Premiere Pro before, the following should be very familiar to you. However, for captions we are adding small enhancements such as zones, and vertical text alignment.

Essential graphics panel.png

Styles

  • Create Master Text Styles for consistent styling across the entire captions track. A style saves all the settings made in the Essential Graphics panels, including font, alignment, color and more. Setting a Master Text Style to one caption applies it to all captions on the track. You can have different styles for different tracks.
  • Sync from Master Style and Push to Master Style: When changing the look of a caption you may want to push this change to the entire track for consistency, that’s were Push to Master Style comes into play. Or you might want to revert an edit to a caption back to the Master Style. Then use Sync from Master Style.
  •  

Text

  • Font: Set font, font style and font size.
  • Paragraph Alignment: For horizontal alignment use Left align text, Center align text, Right align text and Justify. We have now also added Vertical alignment with Top align text, Center text vertically and Bottom align text. This defines how a caption grows when adding additional lines. As an example, there is a good chance you will want a caption to be bottom aligned, this way a single line caption and the second line of a two-line caption will always be in the same vertical position.
  • Tracking: Loose or tighten the space between characters.
  • Leading: Loose or tighten the vertical space between lines.
  • Faux Styles: Bold, Italic, All Caps, Small Caps, Superscript, Subscript, Underline.

 

Align and Transform

  • Position captions with zones: You can choose from different zones to position your caption in different areas on screen, e.g. bottom center.
  • Fine tune position: Through Set Horizontal and Set Vertical Position you can add an offset to your zone setting.
  • Change the text box size: If you want to shrink or expand the text box size you can do this through Set Horizontal Scale and Set Vertical Scale. This will affect text wrapping and paragraph align settings.


Appearance

  • Fill: Change the color of your captions.
  • Stroke: Add single or multiple strokes. The Graphics Properties menu under the wrench menu gives you more control over stroke styling.
  • Background: Add a background box. You can choose the color, add additional padding and change the opacity.
  • Shadow: You can add a shadow and fine tune with controls such as opacity, angle, distance and more.

 

Transcribing the dialog into captions

You have three options for transcribing your audio and creating captions: speech to text, use a third-party service, or do it by hand.

 

Speech to text

  • Text Panel > Transcript tab
  • Only available for those who have applied and been accepted to the speech to text early access program.  Other will not have access to this feature.

 

Use a third-party service

If you already have a workflow that uses a third party transcription service, you can bring in that file.  SRT is the best option.

  1. Import the SRT file into your Premiere Pro project just like any piece of media
  2. Drag the SRT from the project panel into your sequence and let go anywhere
  3. A new caption track is automatically created, and the captions are placed on the track

 

Do it by hand

For short sequences, doing it by hand may not too much trouble.

  1. Open Text panel from the Window menu
  2. Go to the Captions tab of the Text Panel
  3. Press the “Add Captions Track” button – a new captions track is added to your current sequence
  4. Place the playhead at the beginning of your first piece of dialog (hint – use the waveforms in the audio to help align)
  5. Press the “+” button near the top of the Captions tab of the Text Panel to add a blank caption
  6. Double click on <Type your caption here> to go into edit mode
  7. Type out the caption text
  8. Trim the end of the caption in the timeline to align with the end of the spoken dialog
  9. Repeat for each caption you wish to add
  10. See the other sections on Working with captions in the Sequence and Styling with the Essential Graphics panel for more details on editing and styling.

 

Exporting your sequence with captions

There are three options for exporting captions: burned in, sidecar file, or embedded into the video file.  

  1. Make sure the caption track you want exported is visible by toggling the eyeball on (Toggle Active Captions Track).
  2. Choose File > Export
  3. Open the Captions tab in the export settings and choose burn in, sidecar or embedded
  4. Burned in and sidecar are supported with any encoding preset
  5. Embedded is limited to pro codecs like MXF OP1a, DNX, and Prores and requires that the caption track format be set to one of the broadcast standards like CEA-608
  6. Click Export
  7. Sidecar files will be saved next to the video file with the same name
  8. Queueing to Media encoder is supported too

Captions Export - Burn in.pngCaptions Export - sidecar.png

 

Happy captioning!  Once again, we welcome your feedback.  Please leave comments below.

 

 

TOPICS
Feature request, Feedback

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Enthusiast ,
Oct 22, 2020 Oct 22, 2020

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SUBTITLES.jpgHi,

Here is my comment about new captions. First of all this is really nice from Adobe to redesign and refresh the caption editing. I'm agree with some of the feedbacks concerning the Enter Key and other stuff. I'm not a great fan of  "This concept should go one step further:  Rolling the edit point between two side by side captions could simulteneously remove words from one caption and add them to the other."  as Pierre Louis said but I may be wrong. I see the concept behind it when you have created a long text and you decide to cut it in two captions instead of one but I'm afraid of how you can control it. Once again I may be wrong.

 

 

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Contributor ,
Oct 22, 2020 Oct 22, 2020

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Hi Richard,

 

I think users being given all three options you present, A, B and C would be great!  B is preferable to me, but C seems to be your preference.  When there isn't a clear winner, the best option is always to give several options to the user.

 

Regarding you not being a fan of my 'roll-edit' suggestion, is it because you envision a better way of this working?  I'm always open to suggestions on how my ideas can be improved upon!  As I mentioned, the results wouldn't always be exactly what the user intended, but it would get the user much closer to the result they want vs not having a roll-edit option.  The way I see it, it would end up working like this:

 

Tool allowing 'roll-editing' between 2 captions in the

a) Text window = User always gets the exact result they want word-wise, but not necessarily timing-wise in the Timeline.  Minor adjustments may sometimes be needed in the Timeline.

b) Timeline = User always gets the exact result they want timing-wise, but not necessarily word-wise.  Minor word adjustments may sometimes be needed in the Text panel.

c) In neither the Text panel nor Timeline (as is currently the case) = Users always need to make adjustments in both the Text panel AND the Timeline, leading to more work for the user in 100% of cases.


Hopefully this helps clarify the overall value (dispite inherent limitations) of the roll edit tools I propose.  If you have any questions, please let me know.

 

If you're not a fan because you don't see this as something Adobe should spend resources on when other things need more attention, I definitely agree there are many things in Pr that need more attention than this feature I suggest, so improvements like this could be scheduled later.  After all, captions are not something most users do on a daily basis, whereas other things such as copy/pasting in the Timeline are done all the time, and should therefore take prescedence in the improvement queue (here's the issue with copy/pasting for reference: https://adobe-video.uservoice.com/forums/911233-premiere-pro/suggestions/41066920-new-shortcuts-to-c...)

 

Either way, I'd love to see an easy way to roll-edit captions in the Timeline and the Text panel.  One of the main reasons is this: like many people, I now edit videos in several formats: 16x9, 1x1 and 4x5.  Naturally, my 16x9 version can have longer captions than my 1x1 and 4x5 versions.  For those, I often have to cut captions in half and/or move words from one caption to another. 

 

Replacing the three step process of

1. Cut words from Caption A

2. Paste words into Caption B

3. Adjust cut point in Timeline between A & B

 

with the one step process of

1. Roll-edit cut point between A & B (in either the Timeline or the Text panel)

 

would be a great time saver!

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Enthusiast ,
Oct 23, 2020 Oct 23, 2020

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Hi Pierre Louis, I think it a good idea in fact. I think I had misunderstood something in your explanation. I think it would be a great time saver for one reason....the new auto transciption feature that I can't use right now, but just saw Jason's demo. And for this particular reason, there will be a question. How about autogenerated long sentences. How long this text block will be. How auto return to line is decided ?

I have seen a red rectangle around my transciption like an area around it in the program monitor and is this the largest zone for one sentence ? like a frontiere ? Can this be decided by the user. 

I'll hope I'll have the realy access for autotransciption soon to get further elements.

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Explorer ,
Oct 27, 2020 Oct 27, 2020

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I love that :

"Users being given all three options you present, A, B and C would be great!  ... the best option is always to give several options to the user."

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New Here ,
Oct 23, 2020 Oct 23, 2020

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Have support to Brazilian Portuguese?

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 09, 2021 Feb 09, 2021

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It has support for Portuguese, but it only says "Portuguese". I don't really know if it is Brazilian or European.

 

Screenshot_5.png

I've been testing it on some short brazilian portuguese clips for Instagram and I'm not impressed. I mean, it helps a lot but I would say 50% of the sentences needed some correction.

MAYBE it is because it is calibrated to european portuguese.

maybe it just need some improvement yet

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 27, 2020 Oct 27, 2020

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THANK YOU for making improvements to this feature. I am having one problem - when I select all of my captions and attempt to change the horizontal size in the Align and Transform section of Essential Graphics, it converts all of the captions to say the same thing that the first caption says. I'm trying to increase the width of the captions and this seems to be the only way to do it.

 

Thanks!

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 27, 2020 Oct 27, 2020

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** Ok, I figured out a workaround. If I create a Master Style with one of the captions, I can then select all of them and apply the master style. Still, it's a bug that should be squashed.

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Adobe Employee ,
Oct 27, 2020 Oct 27, 2020

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Agreed, and good catch! I filed a bug on this.

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New Here ,
Oct 30, 2020 Oct 30, 2020

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I was just coming on to report this same thing trying to increase the length of each line changed all the captions. Also, I find the master styles great but not clear on how to amend if I made a mistake setting them up or delete one of the presets.

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Contributor ,
Oct 27, 2020 Oct 27, 2020

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Hi Francis,

You wrote: "We will be adding the ability to split and merge captions in the caption panel which should give you a lot of control somewhat similar to what you are describing."

 

That's great news!  If this is a simpler for your team to implement vs a roll-edit tool as I suggest, then I think what you suggest should work just fine.  Changing the cut point between 2 captions would require 2 steps vs 1 (1. Join both captions 2. Split at new desired cut point. vs. 1. Roll to desired cut point), but in this case since it isn't something editors would be doing all the time, I think the 2 steps shouldn't be too much hassle, as long as the joint and split features are easy to access.  Hopefully this will be programmed so that the split in the Timeline occurs at the playhead, since this would also allow users to determine the exact location of the cut point rather than having it left to chance, as my suggested roll tool would.

 

For the best user experience, when changing the split point between 2 captions, capitalizations should be adjusted accordingly.  For example, if the user has captions "This job is difficult" + "But I usually like it", joining both captions should result in "This job is difficult but I usually like it", rather than ""This job is difficult But I usually like it"  Likewise, when splitting a caption, it would be handy to have the option to auto-capitalise the first word.

 

The ability to split a caption into two would be especially helpful if users are allowed to copy/paste an entire transcription into a single caption, even if it runs way off screen.  This would allow users to play back their video up to the point they want the next caption to start and then simply split the caption to send all of the remaining text to the next caption, and so forth. 

 

I've done a lot of videos where the client gives me a transcription of the interview segments they want.  With the current captions tool, my workflow looks like this:

  1. Copy piece of transcription from Word document.
  2. Create new caption.
  3. Paste text into new caption.
  4. Play back Timeline to find location of next caption.
  5. Adjust length of previous caption to playhead position.

Repeat steps 1-5 for every new caption.

 

It's slow and tedious, but it has worked so far since the videos I've done this for are very short.

The new workflow I'm hoping will be possible is this:

1. Copy entire transcription from Word document.

2. Create new caption.

3. Paste text into new caption.

4. Playback timeline to find location caption should end.

5. Split caption (between last word of current caption and first word of next caption).

Repeat steps 4 & 5 for every new caption.

 

Obviously 2 vs 5 steps per new caption would be a lot easier.

I'm looking forward to testing out the new captioning tools as they're rolled out!

 

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Explorer ,
Oct 27, 2020 Oct 27, 2020

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I think when you go through Word you will lose the TCs ...
There must be some other way to do this.

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Explorer ,
Oct 27, 2020 Oct 27, 2020

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I misunderstood and reversed the direction of the creation ... I use the same kind of method as well or placing a long segment and then creating cuts at the change of pharse (when I do it with the titrator).

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New Here ,
Oct 28, 2020 Oct 28, 2020

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Since there will eventually be speech-to-text support, are there any plans for an automatic timing option from text like with YouTube's subtitle workflow?

Also, will the intial release work with right-to-left languages? I was not able to get Arabic to appear correctly even after changing the proper settings in the graphics preferences and starting a new track.

I'm very happy with what I'm seeing so far and look forward to its implementation.

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Explorer ,
Oct 28, 2020 Oct 28, 2020

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Will new caption tool acept mixed text styles srt files? Many times srt files are prepared outside premiere by specialised corporations, many times they have mixed format - regular and italic. Old caption tool dont recognize italic, or if sometimes it does, after changeing font all mixed text becomes the same - italic or regular depends of users choice. We need to have abbility to change font without losing mixed type of srt. What will be the proper srt format for italic lines?

Italic „marker” at the begining and at the end of every line

<i>Hello,</i>
<i>Guys</i>

or

<i>Hello,
Guys</i>

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Adobe Employee ,
Nov 03, 2020 Nov 03, 2020

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We will support down to the sub-string level for Open Caption styling. 

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Adobe Employee ,
Nov 03, 2020 Nov 03, 2020

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Formatting such as this does work with the new captions workflow and you can test it out for yourself today.  I recomend updating to the most recent beta version.  In your specific example of how to make text italic - the first method is the one that works - you need the tags at the beginning and end of every line.

  

The following tags are supported in an SRT file:

<b>bold</b>

<i>italic</i>

<u>underlined</u>

<font color="blue"> blue text </font> (basic color names)

<font color="#FF0000">Red text</font> (Hex tag)

And you can do compound tags too.  <b><u>bold and underlined</u></b>

 

You can change font and other properties while maintaining specific styling of words or characters using the esential graphics panel.

 

Try this SRT file which has some formatting in it The Climber - subtitles - with special formatting.srt  It will line up with the sample project which is linked above in the original post. 

 

If you have any SRT files with formatting that are not working as you expect, we would be gratefull if you would be willing to share them with us so we can debug the issue.  

 

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Explorer ,
Nov 06, 2020 Nov 06, 2020

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Hi,
I've tested BETA 14.7 and italics are not loading. All captions after imported becomes regular. SRT file is made in Annotation Edit and has proper tags. The same srt file loads propely to Davinci Resolve - it has mixed style, partly italic partly regular. Please see attached file, you will find srt file in the link bellow:

 

https://drive.google.com/open?id=13qc0DzNGx_vw60-DQXvTY1oKpNRSl_um

 

 

PrPro_BETA_14.7.pngAnnotation Edit.png

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Adobe Employee ,
Nov 06, 2020 Nov 06, 2020

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Very good catch!

This is a known issue with returns in the text line. We are working on this one right now, actually and it will be in a beta build soon. I'll let you know when is released!

Thanks for your time!

Nate

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Explorer ,
Nov 06, 2020 Nov 06, 2020

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Another thing I just checked - the file you attached in the first post - The Climber - subtitles - with special formatting.srt , also doesn't maintain formating settings - it imports as regular and it doesn't maintain proper number of lines, all becomes one lined.

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Explorer ,
Nov 06, 2020 Nov 06, 2020

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My mistake, it only looks like that in TEXT PANEL which is quite misleading (in text panel all text is regular, has no other color, outlines etc). In Project Monitor it has all atributes it should have. I'm talking about yours srt, the one I've attached still doesn't maintain italics.

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Contributor ,
Nov 06, 2020 Nov 06, 2020

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Text in the Text Panel should definitely show bold, italic and underlined text formatted as such!  Colors/outlines, etc, probably not, but at the minimum those three basic formatting options should be shown to avoid confusion.

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Explorer ,
Nov 11, 2020 Nov 11, 2020

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In the latest release of beta, italic captions imports correctly, there is also ability to change font without losing "mixed" type of text 🙂 There is a bit of confusion with text panel that doesn't shows basic formatting such as: italic, bold, underlying, number of lines etc. The panel should definatelly reproduce such things as it does in legacy caption panel. Another thing is scrolling response of text panel. While scrubbing in timeline, text panel stays a lote behind time bar.

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Explorer ,
Nov 05, 2020 Nov 05, 2020

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I used and liked the previous CC use in Premiere 2020 and have now started a new track in the Premiere Beta. I didn't import the sample or its SRT but used my own movie. All was easy to follow until I came to this issue I saw addressed below (quoting): "When clicking on the '+' button to add a new caption, text entry should automatically be entered by default." In other words I stared at <Type your caption here> , clicked to paste in the text, and nothing happened. That followed with almost an hour of reviewing my path to this point, clicking, learning, trying, fooling around, etc. until I read in that comment quoted above, "double-clicking". I had not thought of that. Quickly tried and it worked. 

If you need a double-click, you could change the suggestion to

<Double-click and Enter your caption here>

Many of us will be pasting, not typing, especially until transcribing is available.

 

5-year movie plan: Wholeo 2024

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Adobe Employee ,
Nov 05, 2020 Nov 05, 2020

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This is really good feedback.  Thank you.  Others have also commented that hitting the + button should automaticaly place you into text entry mode which I think makes a lot of sense.    

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