Subtitle Edit

SE, or Subtitle Edit, is a free tool for editing video subtitles. It provides easy synchronization of subtitles that are out of sync with the video, among other features. You can visually adjust the start and end position and speed of a subtitle. It also supports importing Blu-ray SUP titles or VobSub sub/idx binary subtitles and OCR to text srt subtitles. Moreover, it offers conversion of SUP to SRT, SUB to SRT, and DVD to SRT. To run Subtitle Edit, you need to have Microsoft .NET Framework Version 4.8 or a later version installed.

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Subtitle Edit screenshot

How To Use Subtitle Edit

Although video editing programs such as Premiere Pro are improving, they often come with a high price tag and can still make it challenging to create and modify captions. This can deter many people from including subtitles in their videos.

However, Subtitle Edit offers a solution. This free and open-source software allows you to create and edit video subtitles, as well as translate them. Let’s dive into how it functions.

How to Create and Adjust Subtitle Using Subtitle Edit 

Adding captions to your videos is crucial as it makes them more accessible and enhances their performance on social media platforms.

how Subtitle Edit looks when you open it
How Subtitle Edit looks when you open it

Upon opening Subtitle Edit, you are greeted with a simple and clean interface that avoids the appearance of cheap software. While basic, the interface is effective, and for video and subtitles, simplicity is often the preferred approach.

Creating Subtitles from Scratch

Import your video (or audio) by dragging it into the software. The media file will appear in the designated player, and you may need to install a compatible player if prompted.

Drag your video (or audio, I’m using video) into the software and it’ll appear in the video (or audio) player
Drag your video (or audio, I’m using video) into the software and it’ll appear in the video (or audio) player

In the image above, you can observe that three lines of captions have been typed in. To add captions, you need to play the video until the point where you want to add captions, then pause it and enter the text in the “Text” box. The text you entered will appear at the point where the video was paused. You can adjust the exact start and duration of the captions using the boxes located to the left of the “Text” box.

Overlap and Errors

Overlap and Errors
Overlap and errors

On the top left of the screen, you can see the three lines of captions that I have typed. In the above image, I purposely adjusted the duration to create a conflict between the captions. As a result, one caption appears before the other disappears. Now, in the middle left of the screen, you will notice a warning indicating the overlap in captions.

colours over captions

Returning to an earlier screenshot, you may have noticed the different colors over the captions. The blue color indicates the current selection and any changes being made. If there’s an issue, such as an overlap or exceeding the recommended character limit, it will be highlighted in a red-orange color.

The problematic section will be flagged in the column, making it easy to spot and correct. However, if Subtitle Edit is flagging lines that you don’t believe are problematic, such as detecting lines as too long when they’re not, you can adjust this in the “File > Settings > General” menu. This option, along with other essential settings, can be customized to suit your specific needs.

Creating Subtitles from an Existing Text File

If you have a text transcript that you’d like to create subtitles from, here’s how to do it.

File > Import > Plain Text.
File > Import > Plain Text.

Go to File > Import > Plain Text.

Click Open Text File and select your file
Click Open Text File and select your file

To open your text file, click on the “Open Text File” button and select your desired file. Once the file is opened, you will see the text displayed as one large paragraph. As an example, I have used some text generated from a Lorem Ipsum generator.

‘Auto-Split’ might work for you but if it doesn’t you can try changing it ‘one line is one subtitle’.
‘Auto-Split’ might work for you but if it doesn’t you can try changing it ‘one line is one subtitle’.

Auto-Split’ might work for you but if it doesn’t you can try changing it ‘one line is one subtitle’.

You can see a preview of your subtitles at the bottom with start/end times, duration, characters and so on. 

you can upload your audio or video if you want to, or make adjustments
You can upload your audio or video if you want to, or make adjustments

You’ll see that things now look much the same as they did in the previous demonstration of writing subtitles from scratch. So now you can upload your audio or video if you want to, or make adjustments in the same way as we did earlier.



When you’re happy with your subtitles you can export them to a variety of file types depending on the programme you’ll import them in to. Which to choose really depends on your programme of choice. Here’s an example using an EBU format and you can see you get more options to tweak before you commit to saving. It’ll also give you one last chance to correct any potential errors it’s flagged up.


“Subtitle Editor” is a tool that helps you add text to videos. It has many useful features, like preset formats for different video programs and a direct link to Google Translate. With this tool, you can save time and money by translating your subtitles into different languages and then having them proofread by a professional. It’s a great tool to use for shorter films, especially if you already have a transcript. Although it’s easy to use, it’s worth checking out the user guides and videos to get the most out of it.

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