How to create your own subtitles?

Have you ever wondered how people write subtitles/captions to movies? The other day I was watching a pretty new movie(obviously pirated print) and unfortunately I couldn’t find subtitles anywhere on internet, so I thought, how about I write one and upload in internet. After few minutes of browsing I realized that they are pretty easy to make, all you need is patience to listen every word carefully and of course you should be quick enough to type what you listen. I have neither of the above qualities and got exhausted just after 20 minutes through the movie :-), so I had to quit. Here I am, writing a step-by-step guide to create subtitles for any videos or audios.

If you are using windows, you will need a text editor( I used notepad) and a software called DivXLand Media Subtitler which you can download here.

Step 1: Writing what is said 

Movie and text editior

Simultaneously listening and writing

Open video or audio for which you want to create subtitles in your favourite player( you will have to rewind, pause multiple times). Simultaneously open a new text document in notepad and start writing what is said line-by-line as shown in the image (Only one line appears on the screen at any moment). If you want to split a caption into two lines, inset a ‘|’ character(without quotes) in the position where the line should be split. When you’re done writing all spoken words, save this as a plain text document (Other formats might not be ideal for the subtitler software).

2. Synchronizing the text file

Here we will synchronize our text file with the audio. Go to ‘file -> open text or subtitle..’, open the above text file. Open you video by ‘file -> open video file..’ . Hit the play button and let the video play, and when the selected text is about to spoken, in default mode press and hold the Apply button until the line is spoken completely. The next line will be automatically selected for sync. Various other modes are available, you can read about them here.



 3. Saving 

After synchronizing the whole text file, you can save it as a subtitle file from ‘file -> save..’. It supports most of the popular formats, including SRT, SSA, SUB, SMI, etc. . It is recommended to always save the subtitles in SRT (SubRip) format to ensure maximum compatibiliy. And you have created your own subtitles!!   


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