Did you know that you can use specially crafted formatting tags to change default video quality, aspect ratio and cropping on YouTube and on embedded players?

Not many YouTubers know this but the option is there for you to use it.

So how do I use formatting tags on YouTube?

Go to your video manager, find the video you want to edit and click on the Edit button below the video for which you’d like to add formatting tags. You can add any of the following tags:

  • yt:quality=high Defaults to a high-quality stream (available based on the size of the viewer’s player and the size of the browser window)
  • yt:crop=16:9 Zooms in on the 16:9 area, removes window boxing
  • yt:stretch=16:9 Fixes anamorphic content by scaling to 16:9
  • yt:stretch=4:3 Fixes 720×480 content that is the wrong aspect ratio by scaling to 4:3
  • yt:crop=off Deactivates cropping effects on the video and re-establishes cropped areas

You can also add formatting tags while you are uploading your videos. The tags section is just below the “video description” field.

You may want to use yt:quality=high tag because internet speed is not an issue nowadays for a vast majority of people. If you are targeting developing countries with slow connections you might want to avoid adding that tag and let youtube decide what video quality they will serve to those viewers instead.

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Nenad Rajsic

Nenad is an IT consultant who helps SMEs with technology and online presence. He has years of experience with systems and networks, web design and technologies, SEO and social media marketing.

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