The following guidelines set standards for video content creation at Yale. For more information, please contact Dan Renzetti at the Office of Public Affairs & Communications.


To comply with the university’s accessibility policy, all Yale videos must be presented with open (burned-in) or closed captions. Captions include dialogue, speaker identification, and descriptors for important music and sound effects. Captions can be added to your videos with your editing software or with third-party captioning tools.

Captions should adhere to the CEA-608 standard, as this is what most digital platforms currently use. Export closed captions as a sidecar file supported by your target destination platform.

Tips on how to effectively caption your video can be found on the Described and Captioned Media Program’s Captioning Tip Sheet.

Dialogue Transcription

Several third-party tools can assist by automatically transcribing speech to text:

  • Premiere Pro (included with Premiere Pro): With Premiere Pro 15.4 or later, you can automatically generate transcripts and add them to your sequences.
  • YouTube (free): YouTube’s automatic transcriptions can be exported as an SRT for further editing in other applications, or you can continue editing with YouTube’s captioning tools.
  • Simon Says and Trint: These paid services offer automatic transcription for video or audio you upload, and provide robust tools which let you edit your transcript and convert to captioning blocks which can be sent over to your editing software of choice.
  • Rev: Another paid service similar to those above, but supplements with human captioning for accuracy. As a result, transcripts take a bit longer to deliver and are a bit more expensive.

Formats for Digital Platforms

The list below can be used as reference to see what captioning file formats are supported by popular digital platforms when exporting sidecar closed caption files:

  • Facebook: SubRip (SRT)
  • Instagram: No caption file support (open captions only). Some auto-transcribe features are available for IGTV/Stories exclusively.
  • LinkedIn: SubRip (SRT)
  • Twitter: SubRip (SRT) (via Media Studio)
  • Vimeo: SRT, WebVTT, DFXP/TTML, SCC, and SAMI supported. Vimeo recommends using WebVTT.
  • YouTube: Several file formats are supported.

Action and Title Safe

All Yale videos must contain all critical graphic and text elements within the action and title safe zones specified by SMPTE ST 2046-1:

  • Action Safe: 93% of the width and height of the image frame (7% from frame edge).
  • Title Safe: 90% of the width and height of the image frame (10% from frame edge).

Example of image safe zones


When exporting video files, the aspect ratio of your export must match the primary aspect ratio of your edit. In general, you should not have letterboxing or pillarboxing burned into your export (this does not apply to occasional clips which might have a different aspect ratio from your primary footage).


Videos must only use content (music, sound effects, still images, and video) which you have all necessary permissions and follow all license terms and conditions for. Copyrighted content may not be used in any Yale video without permission from the creator.

Many websites supply paid or free stock media for use in your videos:

Graphics Package

The Office of Public Affairs & Communications offers a video graphics package for Yale- affiliated content creators. Using these graphics in your videos is not mandatory, but they can facilitate the creation of your videos and provide them with a streamlined look that incorporates Yale’s visual identity. The package includes several graphics templates for lower thirds, text elements, full-screen graphics, and an outro animation.

If you wish to have these graphics sent to you or your department, please contact Lee Faulkner (, Digital Assets Manager, Office of Public Affairs & Communications.