Quick Tip: Searching YouTube Video for a Word

YouTube has auto-transcribed all videos for quite some time. This transcript includes links to time stamps, so you can use it to find any word said in the video.

more actions button

  1. Click the "More Actions" button near the Share and Like actions.
  2. Click Show Transcript.
  3. Use your browser's built-in page search (CMD-F or CTRL-F) to find a word.
  4. Click the time stamp… presto!

This does not change the URL in the navbar of your browser. If you want to share the video at that moment in time you'll have to right click the video and select Copy video URL at the current time or manually craft the URL by adding the timestamp to the existing URL like this: &t=10m5s.

This only works on desktop web version of YouTube. You can reach the transcript from the mobile app, but you can't search the transcript. If you want to try this on mobile, you can Request Desktop Version in Safari and it kinda works.

I've already used this a few times: Once finding a specific technique in a tutorial, and again to find and link a friend to a joke I heard in the audio-version of a podcast.

I suspect that the ability to search a video's words (And maybe images someday soon!) is going to transform the formerly linear nature of video1. If you can explore a long video or audio by search, catchphrases and unique words become the explorable landmarks in the content. Being articulate and having good vocabulary is now super power… it future-proofs videos because it means more people will be able to find your highest value moment inside your content. Almost like an atomic note…

  1. While longer videos have become more exportable, the TikTok/YouTube monetization juggernaut will continue to incentivize short videos. 

  • 2023-01-27 22:42:08 -0600
    rename: .markdown -> .md

  • 2023-01-10 06:32:53 -0600
    Quick tip: searching videos