Something in which YouTube or video in general has always seemed inferior to me compared to articles written in the media or on blogs is in the least facility to find the exact minute of the content I am looking for. If I go to see a video clip, I probably want to see it in its entirety, but if I’m looking for a tutorial, I care very little about the presentation and the ending, but I do care about the specific moment where the problem to be solved is solved.
This, which in written tutorials was very simple with the keyboard shortcut “Control + F” or “Command + F” on Mac, YouTube does not exist beyond that miracle called chapters, which partially offers us information about what we are going to see in a certain section of the video. However, from Google Spain they have shared a trick to find exactly the moment a word is said. Let’s see how it works.
In @YouTube you can find the exact moment a word is said in a video with subtitles:
↗️ Click on the 3 dots below and select “Open Transcript”
↗️ Press Ctrl+F and the word you want
↗️ Click on the time and you will jump to that fragment
— Google Spain (@GoogleES) January 14, 2022
It’s not Ctrl+F applied to audio, but almost
Turns out YouTube has a (somewhat hidden) feature that allows you to see, in each video, the transcript of the subtitle text or the automatically generated subtitles. The requirement is, of course, that YouTube has recognized a language in the video and has generated the text.
If there is a transcript, we can do Ctrl+F, and we will be able to search for the word we want among all those in the browser window, including those in the transcript. Once we find it, we can click on the minutes listed next to words and phrases so that YouTube takes us to the moment of the video in which the term that we are interested in talking about is said.
Thus, this function is not as if we could do Ctrl + F in audio, but it is something similar, because Google’s voice recognition to do the subtitles allows us to find almost any word said in the text. Let’s see an example with the great video analysis of the Oppo Find N from our colleagues at Xataka.
The first thing we have to do is look for the button with the three dots (…) that we see next to the “Save” button. Once we find it, we click on it, and secondly, on “Open transcript”, as shown in the image above. Once the transcription box is displayed, we can search for the word we want, and YouTube will play the video for the moment where the person pronounces it. This video shows how it works:
We have tested the feature on both videos with author-uploaded subtitles and those with auto-generated subtitles, in Spanish and English, and the results have been very good. Things are not always expressed as we search for them, but using keywords it is very easy to take advantage of this function.