Video Production/Editing a subtitle file with a text editor

< Video Production

Opening Editing and Saving Subtitle Files from a Text EditorEdit

Video creators and distributors are starting to create subtitle files for their videos. These are transcripts with timecodes included. They are very useful as they can be played on a computer linked with the appropriate video file, so that the subtitles are displayed. They can also be used to create subtitles for DVDs. These subtitle files can be selected as needed when viewing a video, and do not need to be 'burnt on' to the video image as subtitles have been traditionally.

Translators can also use a simple text editor like NotePad, Word Pad, Text Edit etc to open, edit (ie translate) and save the timecoded transcription file to a different language version.


In Windows the simplest way to do this is with the NotePad program. You can open it in the Applications section of the Programs Menu.

Open notepad


When you have opened it you can select and substitute each line of text with the translation. Be careful not to alter any of the numbers listed in the first 2 lines of each caption.

00:00:48,105 --> 00:00:51,573
But on the other hand, if you say
that there will be a screening

00:00:51,574 --> 00:00:56,656
it's a whole different thing and a lot 
more people come.


00:00:48,105 --> 00:00:51,573
Maar als je vertelt dat er
een video vertoond wordt 

00:00:51,574 --> 00:00:56,656
dan is het iets heel anders en veel 
meer mensen komen er op af.

When the translation is finished you can save the file once more with a different name. Be sure to select from File Type, "Text Documents *.txt" - and give the file a *.srt extension as shown below. Then, for example, if the original is called and you have translated it to dutch you could call it It's good to include as much information as you can in the title of files to make it easier for internet distribution.

Subtitlefrom text pad.jpg

Other platformsEdit

The same theory applies if you are using Word, or Word Pad, or a Mac Text Edit or similar programmes. Just make sure you save as a text file, with the language indicated in the name, and with the .srt extension.

The file can then be emailed to whoever needs it, or it may be possible to upload it to the page that the original was downloaded from.