YouTube Video Text Search extension for Chrome

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 27, 2017
Google Chrome, Google Chrome extensions

Invideo for YouTube is a browser extension for Google Chrome that adds video text search options to the video streaming website.

While you can use the search on YouTube to find videos, search results are limited to matching video titles, descriptions and other data that is entered when a video is uploaded to the site.

The search does not take into account any audio that is part of the video, even if subtitles or closed captions are provided.

The ability to search inside YouTube videos can be quite handy at times: to skip straight ahead for instance, or to check out all parts of the video that match the entered search term.

YouTube Video Text Search

search in youtube videos

Invideo for YouTube adds video text search capabilities to YouTube. The extension is available for Google Chrome, and works only on the new version of YouTube currently.

The extension should work in other Chromium-based browsers -- Opera and Vivaldi for instance -- as well, and may also work in Firefox.

The extension works in the following way:

  1. It displays an "Open Invideo" button underneath the video on YouTube if it is available. If it is not, you get a "cannot transcribe this video" notification in the same spot instead.
  2. A click on the button opens a search field, and all text of the video.
  3. You may enter a search term to filter the text, so that only parts of the video that match what you are looking for are listed.
  4. A click on any line jumps directly to it.

youtube video tags

The extension creates a tag cloud as well which you may switch to by clicking on the keywords button. It displays tags using different sizes to highlight the most frequently used words of the video.

So, how good is the search? It depends a lot on whether video transcripts are available or not. I ran a quick test on a few dozen videos and the result was that Invideo for YouTube worked on most videos I played on YouTube after installing the extension.

It worked well on most video types but failed for most music videos for instance. It did fail quite often when I played non-English videos but I'm not sure if that is caused by the extension, or by YouTube failing to detect and auto-generate the transcription.

Closing Words

Invideo for YouTube adds text search options to YouTube that finds video text when you run it. It needs a bit more of work to reduce the number of videos for which it does not work though.

software image
Author Rating
2.5 based on 3 votes
Software Name
Invideo for YouTube
Software Category
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  1. 1 said on March 30, 2019 at 1:36 pm

    One can do it without an extension:
    Just click on More (three dots) on YouTube video and then Transcript
    Then just use Ctrl+F in your browser to search for the text.

    Thanks for the extension though!!

  2. Dashakol said on February 11, 2018 at 3:37 pm

    You don’t need a plugin for this!
    Simply click on 3 dot menu at the bottom of video and open the transcript.

    1. 1 said on March 30, 2019 at 1:33 pm

      Yes, and then Ctrl+F it!

  3. ihc said on November 28, 2017 at 12:29 am

    Man this extension is very awesome.
    After hitting the green button I’m able to watch it go like a Karoke machine, then I can cut and paste

    Also I noted if I Right-Click my popup context menu dialog give many options on the “Selected” text

    copy to note (yes, another plugin doing it)
    block element (umatrix, I get why it’s here but … )
    search for (default queued SE)
    search with (Goes to ALL my other search engines)

    I got perfect results with this (safe for work) video ! This thing is awesome!! I hope everyone else has as much luck as I did

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