How to Create Chapter Points in YouTube Videos

Figure 1. Marking the target times for you chapter marks.

Figure 1. Marking the target times for you chapter marks.

So you’ve posted a one-hour webinar on your brand’s YouTube channel; great. Now anyone in the world can share in the presented knowledge. There’s just one problem; few viewers will want to watch it from start to finish, and most would prefer to jump to specific sections of interest. Fortunately, YouTube provides a simple way to make this happen, as I’ll describe in this tutorial. I’ll demonstrate using a webinar that I recently annotated.

First, open the video in YouTube and identify the times you want to link to. Since my handwriting is so atrocious, I just took a screenshot of the agenda and typed in the times, which you can see in Figure 1. The agenda starts 1:28 into the video, and the specific agenda items start at the times shown. If you’re using an agenda page like I did, note the start and stop time of the agenda.

While you’ve go the video open, copy the URL of the YouTube video. Then login to your YouTube account, open the Video Manager, and choose Annotations in the Edit drop down list as shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2. Inserting annotations into the video.

Figure 2. Inserting annotations into the video.


YouTube opens the video in the annotations workspace shown in Figure 3:


Figure 3.


From here:

1. Drag the playhead to where you want to insert the markers your viewers will use to navigate through the video. These can be anywhere; in my webinar, the Agenda, which I described for about 60 seconds, was the ideal spot.

2. Click Add annotation on the upper right. There are five kinds; I used a Note for mine. This will create a movable text box.

3. Type in the desired content. “Go here” is pretty bland, but I was short on space.

4. Click and drag the text box to the desired location in the video frame.

5. Customize the font size, color, and background.

6. Customize the start and end times for the note. As you can see in the figure, my discussion of the agenda started at 1:30 and ended at 2:31. Since I had multiple links, I made sure to use the same start and end times so they all appeared and disappeared simultaneously.

7. Click the Link check-box.

8. Choose Video in the link to drop down list. YouTube could make this a bit more straightforward if they created a list item called “Link to timecode in same video” or something like that, but we’ll work with what’s there.

9. Paste the URL for the YouTube video in to the address box. You’re telling YouTube to jump to a point within the same video.

10. Enter the time to jump to from the list you created (see Figure 1). Then, repeat as necessary for all agenda items, or other links. As you can see in the figure, I created links to all content blocks and links back to the agenda from the ends of those content blocks.

11. Click Publish to update the YouTube video, and that’s it. The notes will appear in your video pretty much the way they look when creating them in the annotations workspace.

At least, they will in those environments where the notes actually appear. Specifically, I ran some quick tests to see where the notes appeared and where they didn’t. In a browser, they appeared when playing back via Flash and when using YouTube’s HTML5 video player. However, they did not appear when playing back the video on an iPad or iPhone, at least at the time of this writing.

Now that I know how to use this function, in future webinars I’ll try to get to the agenda page a lot quicker than 90 seconds, because many viewers will be gone by then. I’ll also take a little more time to discuss each agenda item so folks watching the video-on-demand version can better understand what’s presented in each content block.


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