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Figure 1. Subtitles - Docked To Bottom
Figure 1. Subtitles - Docked To Bottom

SRT Subtitles is a simple, popular file format for applying subtitles to videos for national language translation, hearing impaired aid or other purposes. See the Subtitles Tools section for details about third party tools for editing, converting and extracting SRT files.

Video Mill can read SRT Subtitles files and apply them to a video using the Marquee system.

Marquee Style for Subtitles

You can use any Marquee Style you want for visual presentation (font, colors, etc). In most cases for Subtitles, you will want to use a Marquee Style that docks the Marquee to the bottom (or top) of the Media Screen (as in Figure 1).

How to Apply Subtitles

Follow these steps:

  1. In the Screens3 Options, check the Show Video Subtitles checkbox. When not using Subtitles, it is best to keep this unchecked to avoid Subtitles overhead processing.
  2. Obtain the video's Subtitles file (must be .SRT format). Place the .SRT file in the same folder where the video resides -- or in a Common Subtitles Folder if you have designated one in the Options. The Subtitles filename must match the video's filename exactly (ex. MyVideoName.MP4 must have an associated MyVideoName.SRT file).
  3. Pick a Marquee Style to use for Subtitles. Go to Tools > Marquee Styles > Subtitles > Subtitles Style .
  4. Now just play the Media Item.

SRT file format
    See Listing 1.
  1. Subtitle number - Starting at 1. Must be sequentially ordered.
  2. Start/end times - Display Start time --> End time. (hh:mm:ss,mls).
  3. Subtitle text - Can be multiple lines of text. Indent any line with spaces if desired.
  4. End Subtitle Marker - Blank line. Separates each subtitle.

See Limitations section at bottom of page.

Listing 1. SRT format - example
00:00:08,000 --> 00:00:11,000
What would you do if I sang out of tune

00:00:12,000 --> 00:00:16,000
Would you stand up and walk out on me?

Note: Subtitles uses the Marquee system. So you cannot use a Marquee on a video that is showing subtitles.

Menu Locator: Media List Editor > Tools > Marquee Styles > Subtitles Style .

  • Pick New Subtitles Style - Pick a Marquee Style from your own created styles. The default Subtitles Style is shown in Figure 1.
  • View Subtitles Style - Pops up a view dialog with the details of the Subtitles Style.
  • Reset Subtitles to Factory Default Style - Factory Default Style is a simple style (shown in Figure 1). It has: White text; Microsoft default font at 28 point size; and a black text background mask with low opacity (so that the text is readable when the video background turns to light colors.

Subtitles Style

Subtitles can use any Marquee Style. You can change the Default Style any time with the Tools > Marquee Styles > Pick New Subtitles Style menu item (see above). In most cases, you will want to use a style that docks the Marquee to the bottom of the Media Screen. The Subtitles in Figure 1 shows the default style: White text on black background. Docked at the bottom of the video.

You can make a custom Marquee Style to customize the following:

  • Font - Font family, size, style, color, and a background color.
  • Location - Dock to top, bottom, etc., or align to a screen location.
  • Other Formatting - Border, text drop shadow, background transparency, padding, margins, more.


Font size and maximum line length

Based on the Font Size that you pick for the Subtitles Style template, you need to test to find the maximum number of characters that can be displayed across the screen. This maximum will change with different display resolutions (720p, 1080p, etc). Any Subtitle lines that exceed that limit can be split into two (or more) lines in your SRT file.

HTML formatting ignored

HTML tags in subtitles, which the SRT specification allows, are ignored by VideoMill (ex. <b>Bold text</b>, <i>Italic text</i>, etc.). ALL text is rendered based on the Subtitles Style template being used. However, you can leave the html tags in the SRT file. They won't cause an error.

So for example you cannot bold a partial part of a subtitle like this.

	<b>The quick brown fox</b> jumps over the lazy dog.
	The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.

Skipping a subtitle by video start position

If you start the video in the middle of a subtitle time span, it will be skipped (not displayed). For example, if the subtitle time span is (00:00:10,000 --> 00:00:20,000 ) and you start the video at the 15 second mark, that subtitle will be skipped.

SRT file text encoding

These file encodings work: UTF-8 (recommended), ANSI, DOS.

These file encodings do NOT work: Unicode, Unicode (big endian). When using these, the subtitles will not appear.

Text coordinates

Specifying screen position as (X1,X2,Y1,Y2 as defined in the unofficial SRT specification) is NOT supported. The Subtitles Style template specifies the screen position of all subtitles.

Subtitles Tools

SRT Editor: Here is a FREE simple online SRT Editor. It has basic capabilities like setting: text, time, add, delete, shift all times. There are many more editors with varying capabilities. An SRT Editor can provide time shifting of all subtitles automatically and renumber all subtitles if a new one is inserted in the middle. For quick edits, you can also use your favorite text editor since it is just a file of text.

Converters: There are many converters available (many free online) that allow conversion between different standard subtitle file formats such as: srt, stl, scc, ass, xml, ttml, txt, vtt, dfxp, smi, csv, sub, sbv, lrc. Do a web search for 'convert to srt'.

Extracting from videos: SubRip is a free program for Windows that will extract SRT files from videos (that contain subtitles).

For popular movies: There are third party Websites that provide free or low cost SRT Subtitles for popular movies.