How to optimize YouTube captions for readability and style

A microdive into the world of UX

If you’re like me, you care about preventing form from getting in the way of function. Perfect to me is when there’s nothing left to remove, and so I noticed that the YouTube captions kept bugging me with their obnoxiously large blocks of black-bordered text.

See what I mean?

I get that it’s impossible to predict what kind of content users will upload, so YouTube plays it safe with this setting.

However, being a UX fanatic has engraved this classic internet PSA into my brain:

First task is to remove the black box surrounding the subtitles, then add a black outline to the text. I experimented with a bunch of solutions and found the best result:

In Settings > Subtitles > Options:

  1. Change Background opacity to 0%
  2. Change Character edge style to Drop Shadow

Make sure to do this while you’re logged in so that Google can save your settings.

Questions/Comments/Improvements? Let me know below!

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