What is a text alternative?
A text alternative enables you to obtain the information contained in a video without viewing it. There are two types of text alternatives, namely:
- A short text alternative
This type of text alternative essentially labels the video and briefly describes its content. By providing your video with a short text alternative, visitors to your site can immediately tell what the video is about. They can then decide whether or not they want to watch it. You could compare this to an image alt text, which describes the appearance and function of an image on a website.
- The complete text, also known as a transcript
A transcript is a written text in which the story presented in the video is told as completely as possible. In other words, you describe what the video shows, what sounds can be heard, what is said and by whom.
The scribit.pro method
Once you have finished creating audio description and subtitles for your entire video, you can download the files. The transcript of your video is the result of the combination of the written subtitles and the audio description. This file is generated in scribit.pro as a TXT file, so it can be easily edited afterwards. Within the scribit.pro accessible player environment, this text alternative can be displayed and consulted by the viewer.
After downloading the files, you will have a zip file with two TXT files. One file contains time codes, the other one doesn't. If you are posting the file on your website, we recommend that you use the version without time codes. There are a number of ways to further optimize these text files. For example:
Always check your text file carefully. Perhaps you spelled words phonetically when you were creating the audio description in order for them to be pronounced properly? In the text alternative, these words may look rather strange. Change them if you can.
Merge the individual subtitles pertaining to one speaker into one paragraph to make it easier to read.
If you were unable to announce a speaker in the audio description, you can add his or her name and position in your text alternative.
You can add a link to any interactive elements in the video. For example, if there is an option to press a button in the video, and you have described this option in the audio description, you could include a link in the text to the page where that action can be performed.
If you had little space in the video to describe the scenery, you could add such descriptions in the text alternative. They will not be read out loud during video playback but will still be available to the viewer. Make sure to indicate in the short description of your video that such additional information can be found in the text alternative.
Below this video, you will find the option to expand the text alternative. This text alternative contains the audio description as well as the subtitles in brackets. By providing this text alternative, you will enable people to read all information contained in the video, both spoken and displayed, without having to view it. Read the text alternative and imagine what the video will be like. Then watch it and judge for yourself whether the text alternative is accurate.