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How to Use Smart Chapters

Smart Chapters are an automatic table of contents created through Optical Character Recognition (OCR), which identifies content within the video rather than from uploaded PowerPoint or Keynote presentations. In this article, you will learn how to add, remove, and edit smart chapters from your Panopto videos. This feature is ideal for making longer recordings such as scheduled remote recordings or meeting imports easier to navigate.  It also easily allows entries to be generated when slides are recorded as screen capture, such as when recording with Panopto Capture. 

  • Creator access to Panopto

1. Hiding Smart Chapters

1.1 To remove all smart chapters from your video, complete the following steps. To edit or remove individual entries, please see step 2, below. 

1.2 Open the video from which you want to hide the smart chapters in the editor. On the
Contents tab in the left-hand navigation, move the toggle next to the Hide Smart Chapters message to the left (Fig. 1). 

1.2.a Note: the toggle will then appear grey and the option will return to Show Smart Chapters.

1.3 The Smart Chapters that were automatically added will be hidden from the table of contents. Note: if you select this on accident, and want to add the Smart Chapters back to your video, simply move the toggle back to the left as done in step 1.1., above. 

2. Editing and Deleting Individual Smart Chapters

2.1 Edit a Smart Chapter: If there is a mistake, you can edit it as you would any other table of contents entry. All individual edits and deletes will be preserved when showing and hiding smart chapters. Hover over the table of contents entry you want to correct, and click once on the text. This will make it editable. Make your edits, and then hit enter (Fig. 2). Note: Alternatively, you can also select the three vertical dots that appear to the entry's right and select Edit from the drop-down menu that appears.

The Smart Chapters section of a Panopto video in the Editor. On it, a smart chapter listing has been selected and the text is made editable. This is highlighted by a red box.
2.2. Remove a Smart Chapter

2.2.a Hover over the table of contents entry you want to remove. Click the three vertical dots to the right of the entry, and on the drop-down menu that appears, select Delete to remove the entry (Fig. 3).

The Smart Chapters section of a Panopto video in the editor. On it, a smart chapter's "more" menu, which appears as three vertical dots,  is expanded and highlighted by a red box. On the drop-down menu that appears from it, the Delete option is highlighted by a red box.
3. Adding Smart Chapters

3.1 If you remove smart chapters, and you would like to re-add them, open the video in the editor. Select the Contents tab from the left-hand navigation, and move the toggle button to the right of the Show Smart Chapters option, which will change to Hide Smart Chapters if smart chapters are enabled (Fig. 4a).

The Captions tab in the editor. The toggle button to the right of Enable Smart Chapters is turned on and highlighted by a red box.
3.1.a. You may see Generate SmartChapters, with a Generate button, instead of the toggle option. This will appear if your video was created after you changed the folder-level smart chapters setting or if your local Panopto administrator changed the site-wide setting to enable smart chapters. Select the Generate button to create smart chapters for your video (Fig. 4b).

The Contents tab in the Panopto Editor. To the right of "Generate Smart Chapters," the "Generate" button is highlighted by a red box.
3.2. Smart Chapters will automatically load the table of contents using OCR. Smart Chapters will be denoted with a unique icon (Fig. 5). Note: In this case, smart chapters identified prominent text on the captured screen.

The Smart Chapters of a Panopto video. The Smart Chapter icon, which looks like lines with a lightbulb, to the left of a smart chapter listing is highlighted by a red box.
3.3.  On occasion, smart chapters may not include a table of contents entry that you would like to have added. In this case, you can create a manual table of contents entry. Navigate to the point in your video where you'd like to add the entry, type the entry name in the Enter a table of contents entry textbox, and hit enter. Your new entry will appear with its correlating time stamp in the table of contents (Fig. 6).

The Smart Chapters of a Panopto Video in the Editor. On it, the text box with "Enter a table of contents entry" is highlighted by a red box.
4. Optimizing the Smart Chapters Experience
4.1. In some cases, you may have a video that shows This video has no Smart Chapters, and that does not allow you to enable smart chapters for a video (Fig. 7). The smart chapters feature is configured to find titles within a video while ignoring noise and false positives. The following steps may help the feature identify the titles accurately.

The "This video has no Smart Chapters" screen.
4.2.  Ensure your text renders well in the video: Smart Chapters' quality will vary based 
on the quality of the video it receives. Ensure that the text in your videos shows clearly
4.2.a If using Panopto Capture: Video quality may reduce if your computer is too busy or low on resources to record at high quality.
4.2.b If using a Desktop Application: As with Capture, video quality may reduce if your computer is too busy or low on resources to record at high quality. Additionally, depending on your text size and video quality, you may be able to increase the quality settings on your application to improve the quality of text in your video.
4.3.  Ensure your titles are prominently displayed. For best results:

4.3.a Titles should be at least 15pt font on a high-quality video.

4..3.b Titles should be larger than the body text.

4.4.  Title-only slides: Smart chapters tailors its algorithm to a video by looking for slides 
with a title and a text body. If you have a slide that contains only a title, smart chapters 
will recognize it best if it has some slides with a title and text body to calibrate itself to 
4.5. Duration of text on screen: Smart chapters will ignore text that appears on screen 
for under five seconds. For best results, the text should be displayed on the screen for 
at least five seconds. 
4.6. Number of slides: If your video does not have enough slides with clear titles, smart 
chapters will not be generated. For best results, please ensure there are at least four 
title slides in your recording. 
4.7. Disable Capture PowerPoint as a Secondary Source: If you are using the Panopto 
desktop application, make sure that the checkbox next to Capture PowerPoint, 
underneath Secondary Sources, is deselected if you want to use smart chapters. 
Otherwise, Panopto will use the PowerPoint slide titles instead of smart chapters for the 
table of contents. 

For more information on how to use Panopto with Canvas, please visit our Canvas documentation.


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