Closed-Captioning Transcript Preferences

I received an email from a web designer who designs web sites and tries to make them more usable and accessible. He wants to add closed-captioning to all sites with video and also include a transcript.
He wants to know what is the best file format for the transcripts: rich text format (.rtf), Adobe Acrobat (.pdf), or text (.txt). Do you have a preference or know others who may have a preference? I don’t have a preference – I recommended either .pdf or .txt since .rtf doesn’t appear often. Anyone?


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  1. Valid, semantic HTML. Why is this even in doubt?

    • Meryl on August 3, 2008 at 7:53 am
    • Reply

    From a reader:
    “Standard-based HTML is perfect. It can be parsed by any browser and prints as well without any need for a reader or conversion. Is he also going to provide audio description?”

  2. (In case you didn’t know, Joe Clark is big in the web dev world for Accessibility in design, now setting his sites on captioning standards)
    They could easily be served as html, or added as captions to most video formats, without requiring an external link.
    An html transcript would be indexed by search engines, benefitting the host, as well as the transcript reader.

  3. I prefer standard html as well.

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