Sublight – Search, Download, and Play Subtitles with Your Movies

Ads by Google

There are some movies where actions speak louder than words. Then there are some movies where words are all that matter. Most of us have pretty good ears, but even then subtitles help us understand some language nuances better. Clint Eastwood’s drawling sarcasm is sometimes hard to catch in those classic westerns. And if you are a fan of Chinese martial arts movies, then the subtitles are the only way to movie pleasure (that is, if you aren’t a Chinese!).

Many movies that we download for viewing on the computer don’t have hardcoded subtitles. Sometimes they are included in the subtitles download as a SRT or a SUB file. If not, there are lots of online sources where you can download subtitles in your preferred lingo. Then, there are several methods to include them with your movie. Including the subtitle file in the same folder and letting the media player recognize it is probably the simplest.

But there is a little piece of free software that takes away the pain of manual scrounges on the web and makes watching movies with subtitles as easy as a click.

Sublight is a must have freeware for movie junkies. The simple tool is a desktop search tool to download movie subtitles and a bit more. Let’s ditch the manual locate and download method for once and try out the Sublight way.

Post installation, the Sublight settings wizard takes you through five screens. Three screens are important ““

Choice of default media player


Let Sublight know your preferred media player for playback. Right now, the wizard provides only two choices but you can set your own by giving the custom paths in Settings.

Ads by Google

Choice of subtitle search plugins


Let Sublight know which search engines it should use. Check all for better results.

Choice of file types for Explorer integration


Let Sublight know which file types should bring up a subtitle search feature in the right-click context menu. Check all for complete cover.

The Sublight interface itself


  1. Using the main interface of Sublight is as simple as choosing the video file which needs subtitles. Sublight automatically detects the title of the movie and on your green light (the green checkmark) Sublight fills up the details like the exact name and year, format information like codec info, resolution, running length etc.
  2. Then it takes you to the next step. Click on Search Subtitles and within a few seconds the results are displayed with all accompanying details like language and media type. If you think that the auto-search isn’t accurate, you can perform a manual search and even combine the two searches.
  3. Linked subtitles marked in orange are subtitles which are connected with the selected video by other Sublight users. They should ideally be synchronized with the video file you selected. (If you download a correctly synchronized subtitle file, contribute to its rating by clicking on Valid Link).
  4. Right click on any of the search results and you will see a lot of options that take you beyond the subtitle into what else the movie is about. For instance, the IMDB page on the movie or the subtitle preview which can help you find out the quality of the translation.SubtitleRightClick
  5. You can click on Properties too and get the complete dope on the subtitle file.Properties
  6. After selecting the subtitle you can play the video with a click on the Play with subtitle on the toolbar or on the right click menu. The second option is to download the subtitle file to your computer. The default destination is the same folder where your video is present.
  7. A set of filtration options let you narrow down your choice by language, rating, number of discs and publisher.Filter

Sublight – Is it worth a download?

Hey, it’s free! Sublight gives a lot of control over the way you handle your subtitles. The Settings let you control some of them like changing the default formatting. A registered user also can collect points for contributing pro-actively. A registered user is rewarded with higher priority service, especially downloads.

Some drawbacks like subtitle synchronization need to be handled on a case by case basis. More search engines would certainly help (especially with foreign films), but these hiccups aside, Sublight is a software worth checking out if you are a movie junkie.

Sublight is a good choice for not only the English-speaking movie lover but also for the guy who speaks and watches in another language. In the end, the freeware makes subtitle search and download a quicker, more controlled process.

Sublight v1.7.0 is compatible with Win98/98SE/XP/7 and requires Microsoft .Net Framework 2.0.

How do you go about watching a movie in a different language?

Join live MakeUseOf Groups on Grouvi App Join live Groups on Grouvi
Windows Hacks & Customization
Windows Hacks & Customization
94 Members
85 Members
Windows Troubleshooting
Windows Troubleshooting
58 Members
Best Windows Software
Best Windows Software
56 Members
Ads by Google
Comments (14)
  • Jóhannes Helgason

    Thanks a lot for this wonderful suggestion… My girlfriend is deaf and I’ve been going to various sites to find subtitles for movies I’ve downloaded. To be able to preview subtitles, and then download them without having to extract them or rename the files is amazing, and a time saver…

    Great site btw, I visit it daily!

    • Saikat

      Glad you like the site! Thanks…And if I say so, you seem to be a very loving boyfriend :)

    • Jóhannes Helgason

      Well with a face like that… you do what you gotta do! Haha…

      But that’s not even half of it, when I can’t find any subtitles, I create them. Crazy, I know…

  • Christina

    Thank you for this great application!!!!

  • infamous

    Alternatively you can use .

  • MUOFan

    @Nikon: It isn’t impossible but it’s still far away for regular users like us. Google made Automatic Speech Recognition for automatisch subtitling for Youtube videos, but I guess regular users like us can’t get programs like that just yet. We’ll have to wait a couple of years.

  • Nikon

    Does anyone know of a similar feature for movies that I am watching in life stream – online? I know it sounds like a difficult thing to do, but hey maybe someone has done this already?

Load 10 more
Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.
Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.