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How to Download YouTube Transcripts as Text for Free with Top YouTube Transcript Generators

You can download YouTube transcripts as text by using transcript generators, subtitle generators and even web browser extensions, all for free, as explained below.

Sometimes a YouTube video is valuable because of the spoken content.

This is especially true with talking head videos.

You may already know that YouTube provides a transcript for such videos. You may also wonder how you could download YouTube transcripts as text.

Here are some ways to do it.

Why Download YouTube Transcripts as Text?

Here are some of the reasons why you would want a YouTube video transcript.

Reading a Transcript is Much Faster

Most videos have padded content. The creator opens the video with a long introduction which usually isn’t really needed. With a video transcript, you can cut to the chase and consume the important parts of the content.

Save on Bandwidth

If you have a limited Internet plan, you don’t want to waste bandwidth watching videos. You may just want to download the transcript and read it offline. Especially if you’re unsure about the quality of a YouTube video.

Eliminate Distraction

You’ve got to agree that YouTube is a highly distracting platform. You set out to watch a video, and your eye may catch other interesting videos. Out of interest and curiosity, you’re likely to click on any of them. You end up being dragged down the rabbit hole and frittering away your time.

You can avoid this by grabbing the transcript of the video and exiting YouTube.

You Don’t Understand the Accent

You may not understand the accent of the speaker in a video. In this case, a video transcript may be useful to make sense of what is being said.

Foundation for an Article

Some videos contain quality content. This is because they’re well-scripted. You may want to use the content as the basis for an article. A transcript would provide you with an outline you can expand on.

How to Download YouTube Transcripts as Text

Here’s how to get a YouTube transcript manually.

Step 1- Visit the YouTube video and click on the 3 dots below it.

Step 2 – On the drop-down menu, select Show transcript.

Step 3 – Select and copy the transcript

On the right panel, select and copy the video transcript.

You can then copy and paste it into any text editor, such as Notepad.

The disadvantage of this method is that the pasted text comes with timestamps.

You can get rid of these time stamps manually by deleting them one by one. This would be a tedious task.

However, you can use a timestamp remover to solve the problem.

How to Copy a YouTube Transcript Without Timestamps

If you would like to copy a YouTube transcript without timestamps, then you would have to use a YouTube transcript generator.

You can find many free online YouTube transcript generators. One such tool is called YouTube Transcript.

All you have to do is paste the YouTube video URL. Then hit Go.

Download YouTube Transcripts as Text for Free - Youtube transcript generator

A transcript will be displayed alongside the video. Copy and paste it into any text editor.

Download YouTube Transcripts as Text for Free - Youtube transcript online tool

The only disadvantage of this tool is the text is displayed without any punctuation marks. But you can always add full stops and commas if you wish.

Use a Subtitle Downloader

You may also use a YouTube subtitle downloader to download YouTube transcripts as text for free.

Downsub is one such YouTube transcript generator.

At the site enter the YouTube URL and hit Download.

Downsub  YouTube transcript generator.

After your request is processed, you’ll get a few download options.

Choose TXT if you don’t want any timestamps on your transcript.

Downsub YouTube transcript generator. Download transcript as text file.

You’ll get to download a transcript that looks as follows:

This is one of the easiest ways to copy a YouTube transcript without timestamps.

YouTube Transcript Extension

If you watch many YouTube videos, you may want to install a browser extension that helps you get a transcript of a YouTube video.

One such transcript is YTScribe which works with Chrome.


Search for YTScribe at the Chrome Web Store.

Go ahead and install it like you would any other Chrome extension.

As soon as the extension is installed, you can see a Get Transcript link below any YouTube video.

Click on it and you get three options to get your YouTube video transcript.

You may download your transcript with or without timestamps or download it as a text file.

The punctuated transcript option is still under development.

YouTube Transcript Extractor

The other Chrome Extension you can try is the YouTube Transcript Extractor.

Install the extension like you would any Chrome extension.

Next, you would want to pin the extension so that its icon appears in the top right-hand corner of the browser.

When you click on the icon, a box pops up asking if you want to extract the YouTube transcript.

Go ahead and click OK.

The transcript will be copied to the clipboard.

You can then paste it into any text editor. You get an unpunctuated version of the transcript.

Convert YouTube Transcript to Word

It would be convenient if you could convert a YouTube transcript directly to a Microsoft Word file.

This would enable you to easily format and edit to create a document or even as part of an ebook text.

As of now, there isn’t a tool or web extension that converts a YouTube transcript to Word.

The only way you can get a YouTube transcript into Microsoft Word is by manually copying and pasting it.

You’ll see from the screenshot below that the text aligns itself on the Word document when pasted.

Copy a Transcript from YouTube to MIcrosoft Word

The same thing happens when you paste it on Google Docs.

Copy a Transcript from YouTube to Google Docs

How to Copy a Transcript from YouTube on a Mobile Phone

Time was when you could only get a YouTube transcript out of a text version on a computer.

YouTube has now made transcripts available for YouTube videos on mobile devices.

To access the transcript tap on the down arrow ahead.

How to Copy a Transcript from YouTube on a Mobile Phone

Upon tapping, you’ll be given the Show Transcript option.

How to Copy a Transcript from YouTube on a Mobile Phone 2

Tap on “Show Transcript” to access the transcript.

How to Copy a Transcript from YouTube on a Mobile Phone 3

You’ve learned methods you can use to download YouTube transcripts as text. Now, choose a method that suits your requirements and give it a try.

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