Edit TikTok captions like a pro

TikTok captions are often part of the reason why some videos go viral. Learn how to edit good TikTok captions and why they’re so important.

Using TikTok captions

Good TikTok captions can often split the difference between a video going viral or not. Let’s dig into what TikTok captions are, why they’re important, and how you can use them.

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What are TikTok captions?

TikTok captions are sections of text added to your TikTok content. They can be used to give context, provide clarity, inform people, make them laugh, or to offer classic subtitles for those watching without sound. They can be added automatically or manually – we’ll show you how to do both today. 

Do your TikTok captions matter?

Yes! Besides adding humor and information, they also make your TikToks much more accessible. 1 in every 20 Americans are currently Deaf or hard of hearing – adding captions instantly opens up your content for them. It also makes your videos easier to understand for people who don’t share your first language.

Beyond the topic of accessibility, 80% of people who use captions don’t have a hearing impairment. It’s become the norm to scroll in silence – how many times do you see ‘Sound ON!’ in the video description? – and that’s no different when it comes to TikTok trends. Having captions helps protect your content from being lost in the shuffle. 

Using TikTok captions

How to edit TikTok captions in-app

So, we’ve established what TikTok captions are and why you should be using them. But how do you use them? Let’s run through the process of how to add and edit your own captions within TikTok:

  1. Film or upload your TikTok video in-app, then hit the button that looks like a check mark. You’ll be presented with a menu on the right-hand side. Expand it, then click the ‘Text’ option.
  2. Add your text. Type it in as usual, then select the font type, color, and border options.
  3. Click ‘Done’...but you’re not done just yet! Your captions will now be laid on top of your video, appearing as a sticker.
  4. Tap on your captions to edit. You’ll be able to set a duration for how long the chosen caption sticker lasts for each clip, and you can also add ‘Text-to-speech.’ This is a nifty tool that reads your captions aloud – it can be used to inform, and sometimes even for comedic effect.
  5. Click the ‘Next’ button and complete the upload process as usual, previewing it to make sure everything looks ship-shape.

Can you edit TikTok captions after posting?

Unfortunately, there’s no way to edit TikTok captions once they’re out there. However, if you wrote the wrong thing, noticed a typo, or thought of something better, don’t sweat it. Delete the video and re-upload it with the correct captions, and you’re good to go.

Using TikTok captions

How to edit TikTok captions with a third-party app

TikTok’s caption options are great, but what if you want to get the job done in a different way? Well, you can hop over to one of many third-party TikTok caption apps.

Third-party apps offer more accurate manual and auto-caption options than TikTok does, making placement a breeze. People often use apps like InShot and CapCut to caption their videos, then upload them to TikTok afterward. You can also carry out other video editing tricks in these apps, which can make your TikToks even more vibrant. 

How do you add auto-captions to TikTok?

As we touched on before, auto-captions make your videos more inclusive and accessible – they’re like subtitles on Netflix or a DVD, in that you can switch them on and off.

To activate TikTok auto-captions, select the ‘Captions’ option in the editing stage of your video – it’s tucked away on the right-hand side. This will automatically transcribe the speech from your TikTok into text.

Once your auto-captions have been generated, you can even edit them by hitting the little pencil-shaped icon. This is a good habit to get into, because while TikTok auto captions are intuitive and smart, mistakes can happen. Double-check before you post!

Thinking of new TikTok captions

Remember that auto-captions are best suited for tutorials or dialogue-heavy content, for which the speech is essential. They’re not used in the same way as regular captions, which are often written to highlight something, or jump on a new TikTok trend or meme. Auto-captions are usually there to make the experience more inviting and informative.

TikTok auto-captions are only available in certain territories. You can double-check if they’re available to you in the editing phase.

What are some examples of good TikTok captions?

Strong TikTok captions can help push your content into the spotlight. Let’s take a look at some examples.

Fast-paced speech

Content creator Simone Cioé gets through a load of gear review and walkthrough videos. He also talks super fast! His captions offer viewers an easy way to follow the action if they’re struggling to keep up with all the knowledge he’s dropping. 

@simonecioe Tutti i prodotti nel link in Bio! ✌🏻 #accessori #regalinatale #ideeregalo #videomaker #fotografo ♬ All I Want for Christmas Is You - Mariah Carey

Fielding questions

Allison Anderson travels the globe solo, and one of the questions she often gets is: ‘How do you take such incredible photos of yourself if you’re traveling on your own?’ Allison used this question as a caption to springboard into how she sets up her amazing shots. You can see why people ask, though – the photos are stunning.

@photoallison You don’t necessarily need someone behind the camera to create content! #femalephotographer #solotravel #solofemaletravler #traveltiktok ♬ i wanna thank me - hailey marie

A statement

Sometimes, your captions don’t need to say much. Sometimes, telling the world that you’re painting your bedroom to look like Spongebob SquarePants’ window is more than enough.

@mieczyslaw.rry tiktok doesn’t let me make videos longer than 1 minute for some reason 💔💔 #painting #spongebob ♬ Brazil - stiles stilinski 😉

You can use short, sharp TikTok captions to pull people in when they’re scrolling through the ‘For You’ feed. Here are some examples of TikTok captions that tend to go viral:

  • Watch till the end!
  • This is not a drill!
  • Anyone else… or just me?
  • So many regrets
  • Me rn

So, what are you waiting for? Get out there, shoot some content, and nail those captions.

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