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Subtitle video and audio recordings

Video and audio must be accessible to everyone under the Act on the Accessibility of Digital Public Services. Offer alternatives if a recording consists only of audio or video.

Video and audio files that people and search engines like

  • Films must be subtitled if they are to be published on the website.
  • Recordings of live broadcasts must be subtitled within 14 days from the broadcast date.
  • Subtitles must be able to be switched on and off by users.
  • Text versions of video and audio files are good for users dependent on screen readers.
  • Videos without sound should be accompanied by a text version describing the content.

Videos must have subtitles

Recorded digital video must have subtitles (text descriptions or text strips). People who cannot perceive or understand sound or cannot access the visual content of video recordings can, in many cases, benefit from the content if it is in text format. 

Read more about what to consider when subtitling video

The law requires: Subtitle the audio in recorded movies (Webbriktlinjer, in Swedish)

Captions should be closed

Open captions are visible to everyone. For closed captions, the user can decide whether to display them.

Feel free to offer a separate text version 

A transcription (a document that contains all of the recording's subtitles) or another text description of the content allows people using screen readers or Braille readers to absorb the content at their own pace. 

A transcription of the film is also good for search engine optimisation because it provides an opportunity for search engines and other tools to interpret the content.

Videos without audio should also be accompanied by a text version describing the content.

The law requires: Use audio description or offer alternatives to video recordings (in Swedish)

Text live transmissions 

The law exempts live transmissions, but if the transmission can be accessed retrospectively it counts as a recording after 14 days and is not exempted. This means that the recording must be subtitled after 14 days. 

Audio recordings

For audio recordings, such as podcasts, a text version should be provided. This is important in order not to exclude users who are not able to understand the recording.

Inform the user that there are different options 

For example, users who find one presentation through a search engine need to be informed that the other version exists. Alternative presentation formats can be of great importance for searchability, but only if it appears that they are alternative presentations of the same thing. 

You can do that by inserting a link to alternative formats (or making it accessible in other ways) in the places where the video occurs. By linking to the video from the text version, you will also enable the user to find the video.

The text should be called text version for clarity and consistency.