Using your YouTube subtitles file and Google Sheets to make a video contents jump list

I recently did a Q&A session as a Hangouts On Air. As the recording is quite long I wanted to provide a quick way for people to jump to particular questions. Both YouTube and Google+ make this a lot easier by detecting time codes in your description or post text and converting them to links that take you to that part of the video.


[See this post]

You can just listen back to your YouTube clip and take a note of the timecodes you want to highlight, but I wanted a quicker way. One option is to download the subtitle file automatically generated by YouTube and scan the text to find the parts of your video you want to highlight. To make this easier for me I created a Google Sheets template where I can read through the subtitle text and create bookmarks at specific parts:


[View in Google Sheets]

Making your own video jump list

  1. Make a copy of this template
  2. On your YouTube channel find your video and in the edit mode click on Subtitles/CC and then the subtitle file you want to use:
  3. In the Subtitle edit page click on ‘Actions’ and download the .sbv file (only .sbv works with this template)
  4. Open the downloaded .sbv file in a text editor, select all the text and copy.
  5. In your copy of the Google Sheet template click in cell B2 and paste all the text you copied in the previous step.
  6. In the rows you would like create a bookmark add your text in column C:
  7. Once you’ve added all your bookmarks you can copy/paste your list starting in cell E2 into your YouTube video description or G+ post which has your YouTube video link in it:

You should now have a video description like this or a G+ post like this. As YouTube/Google have done all the hard work creating the hyperlinks in the text you can also copy/paste to other places, for example, this Google Sites page. As well as improving navigation to your YouTube video if metrics is your driver you’ll also get extra view hits each time a jump list item is used :).