How To Create Subtitles For A Video

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How To Create Subtitles For A Video

The importance of creating subtitles for a video

Are you looking for a simple and complete guide on how to create subtitles for a video? You have landed on the right page. In an age where we can enjoy videos and content from all over the world, the importance of having subtitles in a video has grown exponentially. Just think of Netflix and it’s possible to enjoy a movie or a TV series in the original language with the help of subtitles in dozens of different languages.

In this, Italy has never been a particularly avant-garde country: while in Portugal, for example, children have grown up for generations watching subtitled programs on TV, the Bel Pease has become the home of dubbing (of excellent quality, nothing to say) which limits the possibilities of learning a foreign language simply by listening to it.

For this reason, now that the possibilities are endless, creating subtitles for a video is a must and, fortunately, easy to do: for your short film, film, project, corporate film, commercials, and much more, add suitable subtitles. And professional is the right move to give internationality and visibility to your product. In this guide, we’ll tell you how to make subtitles in a few simple steps.

The thousand ways to add subtitles to a video

Given that it is important to have them, now let’s see how to create subtitles for a video in a simple and intuitive way. The choices on how to make them are not lacking: there are multiple ways to create and synchronize a text with a video and all are extremely easy.

In this guide, we explain how you can create subtitles in a thousand different ways. Don’t take us literally though, it’s not really a thousand, but enough to give you the idea that there are many suitable and professional tools to subtitle a video. Which one is right for you depend a lot on manual skills and experience.

To create subtitles, in fact, you can use ad hoc programs to create subtitles, use the classic video editing programs or hire any video production company all equipped with a “Text” function. Yet another method is via the Youtube editor options.

Let’s go in order and see how to add subtitles to a video with dedicated programs. Are you ready? Let’s go!

Create subtitles through special programs

The technique behind each program to create subtitles for a video is always the same: it involves inserting lines of text that are synchronized with the speech of the video. To do this, you could simply use a text editor, such as Text, and write the dialogue lines with the timing accurate to hundredths of a second. An extremely long and tedious job, but luckily there are programs that facilitate this.

Here are some useful programs for creating subtitles for a video:

  • Subtitle Edit– To add subtitles to a video, this program is among the best for many reasons: first of all, it is available for both Windows and Mac and Linux; it also allows you to create, edit, synchronize and even translate your subtitles into different languages. This is possible thanks to the support for Google Translator, which makes the task much easier if you need to make multiple versions of the same subtitles. Furthermore, the program supports practically all video formats.

How to create subtitles with the Subtitle Edit program.

  • VisualSubsSync– Another very good program for creating subtitles, VisualSubSync has the greatest advantage of representing the audio as a wave trace, through which the text/video synchronization will be much faster and more intuitive. It also allows you to check for errors and, in addition, it incorporates speed indicators, another useful tool when creating subtitles.
  • Subtitle Workshop– Third option to add subtitles to a video is this very user-friendly program, equipped with all the aforementioned tools and capable of supporting any format and useful feature for your subtitles. Subtitle Workshop also allows video preview, so that subtitling a video is an even easier and affordable experience.

We have suggested these three programs because we believe they are the best, but we could go on: Aegisub Advanced Subtitle Editor, SubEdit Player, DivXLand Media Subtitler, etc … The list of programs capable of creating subtitles to a video is very long and they are all otherwise valid. It is up to you to decide which one you are most comfortable with. If you’d rather use an editing program to embed subtitles to your video,

Create subtitles with an editing program

So far we have explained to you how you can create subtitles for a video and the result of those programs that I have shown you is a file of type .srt, .sub, .vtt, or another similar format. You will have, that is, two separate files for video and subtitles, easily loadable and viewable with many players, such as VLC and so on.

However, if your need is to have subtitles directly embedded with the video (forced sub), then a good way is to create them directly through video editing programs, such as Adobe Premiere, Final Cut, Sony Vegas, and so on. To better understand how, in this example, we will use Final Cut, but the other programs have the exact same functionality.

To create subtitles for a video with an editing program follow the steps below:

  • Open a new project and upload the video you want to subtitle.
  • Go to the Titles & Generatorssection, then to the Titles sub-section.
  • For classic text, search for Basic Title and drag / double click to insert it into the timeline.

Creating subtitles with Final Cut: step 1.

  • Now that you have your text strip inserted in the timeline, you will find the text editing box in the top right. Type here the subtitle you want to insert and modify it as you see fit: size, font, color, shading, a distance of the letters, position on the box, the parameters you can change are so many. Tip: To make your work easier, once you have found the setting you prefer, save this format (rename it, for example, “Subtitles”), so that to create a new subtitle, all you have to do is select that format and save money. A long, long time.

Creating subtitles with Final Cut: step 2.

  • Go back to the timeline and, finally, arrange the subtitles by synchronizing them with the video they refer to. Drag the text to the position where it should appear and increase or decrease its duration as needed. To help you follow the waveform of the file. Remember not to write too much for each strip of text, 2-3 lines at the most: in fact, you have to leave time for the viewer to read and too much text does not help the operation.

Creating subtitles with Final Cut: step 3.

Once finished, all you have to do is render and export the video to find the subtitles directly integrated (sub forced) on the video. A somewhat slower method than the one described above, because you have to synchronize every single piece of text by hand, but it’s certainly not an impossible job.

Last step of this simple and complete guide on how to create subtitles for a video: let’s analyze how to do the same operation with the YouTube editor.

Create subtitles with the YouTube editor

The latter system for creating subtitles is very convenient and practical, albeit limited as regards the control over the text itself: it is not possible to change the size, font, or other. It also requires some preliminary precautions: first of all, you must have a YouTube channel, so I suggest this option if your intent is to subtitle videos you intend to upload on this platform, otherwise, it could be more time you spend uploading the file (a depending on the connection) than anything else.

Once the video is uploaded, however, you will be able to create subtitles directly on YouTube thanks to the editor built into the platform, which offers some useful tools to facilitate the work. Here’s what you need to do to create subtitles with YouTube:

  • Enter YouTube Studio – Video, select the file you want to subtitle.
  • Scroll in the left bar to “other functions“.
  • Here select “Translation and transcription“.

Creating subtitles with YouTube: Step 1.

  • Now that you are in the Subtitle Manager, select “Add New Subtitles“.
  • Select the language you want to subtitle in, which will then be available in the video options.
  • You can now choose whether to upload a file, transcribe (original language only) or create new subtitles. Choose “Create New Subtitles“.

Creating subtitles with YouTube: step 2.

  • Now you can appreciate why we are suggesting this system for creating video subtitles: the YouTube editor already analyzes the waveform and automatically inserts text spaces near what it detects is like a speech to be subtitled. It’s not very precise, but modifying, extending, reducing, or deleting these spaces is a clicks operation. Write in the spaces to create subtitles.
  • To add a new subtitle, just click on the + sign at the top left.
  • Once finished, you can download the .srt, .vtt or .sbv fileusing the ” actions ” button .

Seen? With a few simple steps, even YouTube allows you to create subtitles, with a considerable saving of time among other things!

Creating subtitles with YouTube: step 3.

Create subtitles for a video: Last summary

We have reached the end of this simple and complete guide on how to create subtitles for a video, a perhaps boring but important operation to allow your works to get the visibility and interest they deserve. To create subtitles, therefore, you can make use of special programs such as those listed above, or create them directly integrated through video editing. Finally, if you don’t own or want to download any of these programs, you have the option of using the YouTube editor, which allows the same operations and with extreme ease.

Now that you have a complete overview, all you have to do is get to work and start translating or subtitling your video.