How to add chapters to YouTube videos

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  • April 6, 2015

Adding chapters to online video makes everything easier. Your users get a better experience and you, as a creator, get instant feedback on what parts of your videos your audience is most engaged with. This post does not touch on the measurement benefits of video chapters. Instead we will save that for future posts on video analytics. In this post, I will walk you through how to add chapters to your YouTube videos using a free Vinja account and embed the final version onto your website.

The final product looks and behaves like this:

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Find the video(s) you want to use

For this demo, I am going to start with this Michelle Phan interview from Code Mobile 2014.

I can easily find it onusing the built-in YouTube search bar at the top of the right-side column.

Pro tip: If you know the YouTube URL, just paste it in the search field and only that video will appear in the results.


To select this video, I drag it over to the left side of the screen where it becomes part of the project.

Pro tip: If you are using multiple videos, you can still drag them over and sequence them as needed.


Create chapters

Once the video(s) you want to use are in the project, click on the compose tab to bring up the preview editor.


The first thing you want to do is click the orange create chapter marker below to create your first chapter. Every time you click this while the video is playing it will create a new chapter at that point in the video. I prefer to let the video play through once or twice and add the chapters I need before editing the chapter names on the left side, but that is just a preference.

Pro tip: You can increase or decrease the speed of the video play up to 2X, which can expedite this process.


From here, you can fine-tune the chapters. Move around in the video by dragging the orange time market and to adjust the start-end of each chapter you can either drag the markers under the video or you can double click on the timestamps in the list on the left to manually enter a new one. You can also edit the names of the chapters to something more informative. If you created chapters that you didn’t want, you can delete them here by clicking on the trash can symbol, or in the list on the left side.


Publish your video

Once you are satisfied with your video click on the publish button at the top of the screen. You can always go back and adjust your chapters or make changes. You can view your newly chaptered video by clicking on the view live button that appears once the video finishes publishing.

Embed your videos

Embedding is easy once the video is finished. On the customize tab you can copy both the project link and the embed code to paste into your web page. You can also customize the player and preview the video on different devices.

Screen Shot 2015-04-03 at 10.46.03 AM

Vinja’s responsive player will keep the video looking and performing excellently no matter what viewport your users are using.

Bonus: Publish timestamps back to YouTube

If own the video you just chaptered (that is, you have sign-in credentials to the YouTube channel it’s on), Vinja also lets you post your newly added chapters (time stamps and titles) back into the video description

To do this click on the small YouTube icon next to your project in the compose tab. With that, your chapter titles will be indexed by Google on YouTube or any other site(s) you embed you Vinja Video.


I hope you found this tutorial useful! If you have questions or want to showoff your chaptered videos, drop them in the comments below.

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