Subtitling videos: The ultimate guide to subtitling
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Subtitling videos: The ultimate guide to subtitling

Last modified on 6 February 2024.

Subtitling is a vital element of contemporary video content. It not only broadens accessibility to a broader audience but also improves the viewing experience and aids in conveying the message more effectively. In this comprehensive guide, we will explain the significance of subtitling, when to employ it, how to carry it out, and what to watch out for to ensure the finest subtitling experience.

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The significance of subtitling

Subtitling goes far beyond being a mere textual representation of spoken words. It assumes a vital role in reaching out to a diverse audience, irrespective of language or hearing impediments. Below, we outline several key reasons why subtitling is indispensable for your videos:

#1 Accessibility

Subtitling guarantees that individuals with hearing impairments can comprehend the content. It also provides opportunities for viewers who may not grasp the spoken language entirely, including non-native speakers or individuals in noisy surroundings.

#2 SEO benefits

Subtitle texts can be indexed by search engines, enhancing the discoverability of your videos in search results. This can boost your online presence and attract a larger audience to your videos.

#3 Enhanced engagement

Subtitling keeps viewers engaged with your videos for longer durations, as it captures their attention and clarifies the message. This enables viewers to comprehend the content better and increases the likelihood of them watching your video to its conclusion.

When should I subtitle my video?

It is advisable to subtitle your videos whenever possible, unless it is genuinely unnecessary. There are various scenarios where subtitling proves to be particularly advantageous:

  • Social media and online platforms
    On platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn, subtitling is crucial since viewers frequently scroll through content without sound, necessitating subtitles to capture their attention.
  • Instructional videos and tutorials
    Subtitles aid in comprehending intricate instructions, simplifying the process for viewers to follow the steps.
  • International audience
    If you aim to reach a worldwide audience, it’s advisable to contemplate subtitling in multiple languages.
  • Documentaries and educational content
    Subtitling enriches the educational aspect of content, facilitating the assimilation of vital information.
  • Audio issues
    Occasionally, video sound quality may be subpar, necessitating subtitling for an optimal viewing experience.

How to add subtitles to your video

There are several methods to subtitle your videos, and we will discuss two popular approaches:

Automatic subtitling with Triple8

Triple8 is a robust subtitling software that automatically transcribes spoken language into text. Here’s how to use it:

  • Upload your video to Triple8.
  • The software will process your video and generate subtitles automatically.
  • Review the subtitles and make any necessary adjustments.
  • Download the generated SRT file and add it to your video.

Subtitling with an SRT File

An SRT file is a text file that includes time codes and corresponding subtitles. It enables manual creation and editing of subtitles. You can use an SRT file to add subtitles to platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and more.

What is an SRT file, and when do I need it?

An SRT file is a commonly used text format for subtitles. It includes time codes specifying when each subtitle should appear and disappear during a video. You require an SRT file when you wish to create subtitles manually or when adding subtitles to platforms that offer SRT file support.

Tips for subtitling your video

Subtitling demands precision and attention to detail in order to deliver an optimal viewing experience. Here are some guidelines to assist you in subtitling your videos:

  1. Ensure accuracy
    Accurate subtitles are vital for conveying the message correctly. Pay close attention to correct spelling, grammar, and subtitle timing.
  2. Keep it concise and to the point
    Subtitles should be brief and appear at the appropriate moments. Ensure each subtitle fits within the screen and remains easily readable.
  3. Avoid unnecessary text
    Steer clear of unnecessary details in your subtitles. Keep the text relevant and focused on the core content of the spoken words.
  4. Consider different languages
    To reach a global audience, contemplate adding subtitles in multiple languages. This will enhance the accessibility and engagement of your video.
  5. Check legibility
    Verify that subtitles are easy to read on various devices and screen sizes. Select a legible font and appropriate colour contrasts.

How to add subtitles

Here are instructions on how to include subtitles on various popular social media and video editing platforms:

#1 Subtitles on Facebook

To add subtitles on Facebook, follow these steps:

  1. Post a new video or go to an existing video on your Facebook page.
  2. Click on the [three dots] and select “Edit Video” (for new videos, wait until the video is ready to play).
  3. Navigate to “Captions” and click on “Upload SRT files.”
  4. Choose the SRT file from your computer and click “Save.”

Add subtitles in multiple languages to a Facebook video

Repeat steps 3 and 4 for each language you want to add subtitles in. Continue until subtitles for all desired languages are added.

Removing subtitles from a Facebook video

If you want to remove subtitles from your Facebook video, follow these steps:

  1. Open your video and click on “edit video” via the [three dots].
  2. Go to “Subtitles” and click [X] next to the SRT file.

#2 Subtitles on YouTube

You can add subtitles on YouTube in the following manner:

  1. Log in to YouTube Studio and navigate to “Subtitles” on the left-hand side of the menu.
  2. Select the video to which you wish to add subtitles.
  3. Choose the language for the subtitles and click “Add”.
  4. Decide how you wish to add the subtitles:
  • Upload an SRT file and select “with timing” if you created it using Triple8.
  • Automatically synchronize: YouTube will determine the timing for the text you input.
  • Manually type the subtitles and also determine the timing yourself.
  • Automatically translate: YouTube automatically translates the audio to text for subtitles. Please note that YouTube does this word for word and not in contextual sentences like Triple8.

Add subtitles in multiple languages to a YouTube video

Repeat steps 3 and 4 if you want to add subtitles in multiple languages to your YouTube video. Do this until the subtitles of each language are added. Read more about learning a foreign language using subtitles soon.

Edit or remove subtitles from a YouTube video

If you want to edit or remove subtitles on YouTube, do the following:

  1. Login to the YouTube Studio and go to Subtitles on the left side of the menu
  2. Choose the video whose subtitles you want to edit or remove
  3. Go to the desired language and click Edit or the [3 dots] to remove the subtitles

#3 Subtitling on Instagram

If you wish to add subtitles to your Instagram videos, please note that Instagram does not currently offer the capability to upload SRT files or automatically generate subtitles for your videos. To post videos with subtitles on Instagram, your video must already have subtitles embedded in it. However, if your video lacks subtitles, you need not worry.

Triple8 offers a convenient and straightforward solution for this. Simply upload your video to the Triple8 editor, and within 5 minutes, you can download your video complete with subtitles. Afterward, you can post it on Instagram, and there you have it – your Instagram video will now feature subtitles.

#4 Subtitles on TikTok Videos

Just like Instagram, TikTok does not currently provide an option to upload SRT files or offer automatic subtitle generation functionality. To add subtitles to your TikTok videos, the same principle applies: you should upload a video that already includes subtitles.

To achieve this, you can rely on Triple8’s assistance. Simply upload your video to the Triple8 platform, wait for 5 minutes, and then download the video complete with subtitles. Once you’ve done that, you can post it on TikTok, and your TikTok video will feature subtitles.

#5 Subtitles on LinkedIn

To add subtitles to your LinkedIn video, you will require an SRT file. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Post a new video and click “edit” after uploading.
  2. Select “select subtitles” and choose the SRT file.
  3. Click on “ready.”

Once your video is uploaded, you will receive a notification. You can view the subtitles on LinkedIn by clicking on the “CC” button located at the bottom right of the video.

#6 Subtitles in Premiere Pro

When working in Premiere Pro, you have two options for adding subtitles to your video:

  1. Manual Method
    This involves typing and timing the subtitles yourself within Premiere Pro.
  2. Automatic Method
    You can upload an SRT file that has been automatically generated, such as using Triple8, and then import this file into Premiere Pro for use as subtitles.

Manually adding subtitles in Premiere Pro

Follow these steps to manually type and time subtitles in your Premiere Pro video:

  1. Open your video in Premiere Pro
  2. Click “New item”, then “Subtitles” and choose “Open captions”
  3. Drag the Open Captions to your timeline and extend the bar to where needed
  4. Double-click Open Captions and adjust the text in the Captions tab
  5. Click + for another text block.

No time or fancy manual captioning in Premiere Pro? Upload your video in the Triple8 editor and download the SRT file of your video within 5 minutes. You can import it into Premiere Pro using the steps below.

Import SRT file in Premiere Pro

If you already have the SRT file for your subtitles, you can easily add subtitles to your video in Premiere Pro within 1 minute. Here’s how:

  1. Open your video in Premiere Pro
  2. Go to “File”, choose “Import…” and click on the SRT file
  3. Drag the file from the Project to the timeline and position the subtitles at the correct timing to correspond with the audio

Editing subtitles in Premiere Pro

Are there any errors in the subtitles, or is the text not clearly visible? In Premiere Pro, you can readily modify both the text and the style of your subtitles:

  1. Open the video in Premiere Pro
  2. Double-click the subtitle bar and edit the text in the Captions tab
  3. Edit the font, colour, and style of the subtitles as desired in this tab

#7 Subtitles in iMovie

iMovie does not offer the capability to upload an SRT file, nor does it provide a built-in subtitling function. However, you can manually add subtitles in iMovie, although it can be a laborious and time-consuming process. If you already possess an SRT file, it can significantly streamline the task. If you don’t have one yet, you can create an SRT file in the Triple8 editor in just 5 minutes.

Manually adding and editing subtitles in iMovie

  1. Open your project in iMovie.
  2. Go to the “Titles” section and select the “default lower third” title style.
  3. Adjust the style of the title to your preference, including font, size, colour, and positioning.
  4. Insert the text for your subtitle and adjust its visibility based on the audio. Refer to your SRT file for the text and timing information of each subtitle line.
  5. Repeat steps 1 to 4 for each new sentence or subtitle.
  6. Once you have added and timed all your subtitles, export your iMovie project as a video file. The subtitles will be automatically rendered into the video.