How to Make Your Own Subtitles With Any Text Editor & Aegisub

Jessica Cam Wong 27-04-2017

Updated by Dan Price on 27th April 2017

YouTube has been pushing upgrades to the site in slow doses (in the form of a nifty, basic editor How To Use The New YouTube Video Editor Read More , for example). Now you can even request auto-captioning of your YouTube videos to reach a larger audience (anyone that speaks a different language, wants to learn English or experiences some kind of hearing impairment).

It’s actually not that hard to manually put subtitles into your videos. It often just takes a bit of time, but soon enough, you’ll be able to translate videos to improve accessibility (especially when subtitles in your language aren’t available on the web), or when you just want to be funny

Any text editor that you have will be enough to create basic subtitles. For more customized subtitles, you can check out the second section of this article. The footage in the screenshots you see here is from Elephants Dream, the first open-source generated, animated short film ever made.

Making Basic Subtitles in a Text Editor

For this article, we’ll be using the built-in Notepad text editor in Windows to make basic subtitles with no additional color or font customization. Open Notepad and save your file with the .SRT extension and in UTF-8 (especially if you’re inputting special characters).

how to add subtitles

We will go over how to create subtitles in the SubRip (.SRT) format, which follows this easy-to-learn pattern:

00:00:20,000 --> 00:00:24,400
00:00:24,600 --> 00:00:27,800
Why, hello there!
What's your name?

Now input the times of the subtitle/caption start and end. The 00:00:20,000 is in hours:minutes:seconds,milliseconds format. You can usually look at the video with milliseconds in Windows Movie Maker while you have Notepad open as well.

how to add subtitles

Make sure to display both windows for easier work by pressing on both programs in the taskbar while pressing Ctrl and right-clicking on either program tab and selecting Show Windows Side By Side.

Now just place a space between every line. Repeat the steps until you finish all the lines. Remember to save often.

how to make subtitles

After you’re done, you can view the subtitles in any major media player as long as your video and the subtitle have the same names but different file extensions of course and are located in the same folder. This is known as “softsubbing”, which leaves the raw video file intact.

how to make subtitles

You can also upload the SRT files to your videos already on YouTube as captions.

subtitles downloads

Making Better-Looking Subtitles in Aegisub

Maybe you’re interested in more professional-looking subtitles or captions. In the world of open-source anything, Aegisub is a cross-platform subtitle editor that’s chock-full of advanced features for just this task.

Available as a portable application, the program provides seemingly endless options to customize the font, size, color and position of the subtitles. It also lets you more easily visualize where you might put the subtitles.

Start by loading the video (in AVI, MP4, MPG format) you want to subtitle by going to Video > Open Video.

subtitles downloads

If you don’t have the video (but do have the audio and want to move the position of the subtitles, for example), you can use a dummy video and set the closest matching resolution.

How to Make Your Own Subtitles With Any Text Editor & Aegisub 4

You can also load the audio in the video and visualize the timing better (head to Audio > Open Audio From Video).

To change the font, size and color of your subtitles, head to Subtitles in the menu bar and select Styles Manager. In the dialog box that appears, you’ll see two boxes, Storage and Current Script.

movie subtitles

You can select to create a new style to your taste in the Storage section (which ensures you’ll always have this style saved) and copy it to the Current Script box (so you can use it to subtitle the video you opened earlier).

movie subtitles

Then click OK to go back to the main Aegisub window.

In the Audio box, click on the start of the sound clip and right-click at the end of the clip. Press the S key or the space bar to hear the audio clip before inputting your subtitle in the Edit Box (you can also copy and paste the start and end frames as you see them in the video).

movie subtitles

Double-click wherever you want the subtitles to appear in the Video Box to set the position. Sometimes, you may wish to add notes of regional sayings, for example, at the top of your video.

How to Make Your Own Subtitles With Any Text Editor & Aegisub Optimized 9e

Type your subtitle and press Enter (or hit Commit). Note that to display two lines, you need to use the term


in the Edit Box.

subtitles download

Also, hit Save (Ctrl + S) to save your entire subtitle file (the default file extension is .ASS for Advanced SubStation Alpha.)

Now repeat the above steps until you finish subtitling (remember this combo: click > right-click > space bar > type the subtitle > Enter). Any changes you make, you must remember to save by hitting Commit and saving your whole subtitle file often.

That’s pretty much it. Be warned: Subtitling a whole clip can be very time-consuming. Once you’re done though, it can be rewarding to see your subtitled video in…

Of course, if you’d rather just download these and watch them with your videos, there are some very useful subtitle search engines Where to Download Subtitles for Movies and TV Shows: The 6 Best Sites Subtitles elevate the viewing experience. Here are the best subtitle download sites where can you get quality subtitles for free. Read More , as well as automatic subtitle-searching-and-downloading software, such as Sublight (for Windows Sublight - A Hassle-Free Subtitles Download and Playback Solution Read More ) and FileBot (cross-platform and open-source).

Do you usually add your own subtitles or do you just prefer to download them?

Image Credit: TungCheung via

Related topics: Text Editor, Video Editor, YouTube.

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  1. linokoppe
    March 2, 2019 at 5:11 pm

    Thx a lot.

    • Prashant
      May 19, 2019 at 12:27 pm

      hope we will see some of the best subtitles from u.....upcoming days

  2. Dino
    May 23, 2018 at 1:34 am

    Veru good, thanks for the information.

  3. Sheran
    March 1, 2018 at 10:45 am

    I am very happy about this website and it helped me a lot

  4. Malihe
    June 23, 2017 at 6:27 pm

    Hi there
    Thanks for your complete info.
    I'm really interested to know how I can make better-looking subtitles using note pad.
    I want to create subtitles that I can change the font,color,background color,position,outline and shadow using codes in notepad.Is it possible?I really want to do that no matter how much time it takes.
    I would really appreciate your help

  5. Lizzy
    January 21, 2017 at 4:36 am

    Thank you. That worked perfectly! Now I can watch my Kdrama :)

  6. qt Devil
    June 27, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    Great work.
    Thanks for introducing me to Aegisub and showing how it is used. Very informative and practical instructions.

  7. Partha Pratim Pathak
    June 5, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    Very Helpful..!
    Thanks a lot..

  8. sunjee
    March 9, 2016 at 5:02 am

    hi! I dont understand a thing. How to save subtitle movie aeigisub ?

  9. Bala Krishna
    February 2, 2016 at 4:40 am

    Thankyou very much

  10. Mike
    December 18, 2015 at 11:56 pm

    This looks really helpful. Thankyou very much.

  11. Anonymous
    October 19, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    thank you, it's really helpfull

  12. Anonymous
    September 29, 2015 at 2:35 am

    Why is it not working with me? :( I've done every single step and still doesn't appear in my video :(

  13. Anonymous
    September 17, 2015 at 3:28 am

    Thanks for taking the time to put this tutorial together.

    I'm a bit surprised that it is still so 'labor' intensive to create some subs! I was hoping that someone would have already used some voice recognition engine to create subtitles. It must be quite a lot more difficult that I'm thinking that it would be. With that being the case I'd be willing to pay a software company for an automated package.

    • Eric
      January 27, 2016 at 11:08 pm

      Voice recognition technology is still too inaccurate to be relied upon. Just look at auto-generated Youtube subtitles!

      Maybe one could use it to get the bulk of the work done, but you'd still need to manually review each line.

      • Rodolfo
        April 8, 2016 at 7:04 pm

        Yes, it should be better to work on those inaccurate text than from zero. I would like to have access to this technology to extract the subtitles from the sound band of some documentaries and then just edit to fix the wrong words and eventually fix the times, but it would be a big help. It is the same thing when you use an OCR. I usually translate educative documentaries subs to Spanish. Some times the subs in English are not available. Is there a software tool to extract subs from audio or movie files as in YouTube?. Thanks! (sorry for bugs in my English.

  14. Anonymous
    June 19, 2015 at 2:35 pm

    In Windows Media player, I can't see the subtitles but in VLC I can. Does Windows not support this kind of softsubbing?

  15. Anonymous
    June 10, 2015 at 8:22 am

    Thanks alot.. this really helpful to me

  16. Dinesh
    May 10, 2015 at 9:51 am

    thank you !
    But we can add subtitles without adding serial no's also

  17. Chairunnisa Fauzia
    April 24, 2015 at 2:04 pm

    thanks! this help me so much!! ^u^

  18. Atul Dhadwal
    March 30, 2015 at 4:52 pm

    i am unable to add subtitle to video. please define your steps.

  19. Piyush Agarwal
    March 5, 2015 at 5:11 am

    Thanks :)

  20. Zain
    February 20, 2015 at 9:08 pm

    Very Informative Article :)
    Thank you so much author :)
    Thanks Once Again :)

  21. Omar
    January 19, 2015 at 10:11 am

    Awesome and easy to use software.

    can someone help me put a transparent background full width behind the subtitles i made?

  22. Dija
    January 11, 2015 at 3:21 pm

    Hi ! Can you guide me what's this 3-digit number you wrote after the starting time span and ending time span? Like 000 and 400 in this sentence ''00:00:20,000 --> 00:00:24,400''?

  23. Ram
    January 6, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    Would you recommend a software that I can use to synch the subtitle to the audio?

    I have altered the video length after the SRT is created. So I need to make adjustment

    Is there a software to "hard sub" meaning incorporate it in the video after I have made synch adjustment and make a file?

  24. Josiah
    December 30, 2014 at 5:17 am

    Thanks for the info! I'm going to try translating the BBC comedy 'Mongrels' into Italian so I can show it to my friends here in Rome!

  25. Rishebh
    November 19, 2010 at 7:17 am

    I is great. I mean i can't believe i made my own subtitle without fuss.thank you so much for such a useful information. that is really a great thing.

  26. Rishebh
    November 19, 2010 at 8:17 am

    I is great. I mean i can't believe i made my own subtitle without fuss.thank you so much for such a useful information. that is really a great thing.

  27. Jessica Cam W.
    October 31, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    I can't believe I forgot to provide a link to download Aegisub. Here it is:

  28. Jessica Cam W.
    October 31, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    I can't believe I forgot to provide a link to download Aegisub. Here it is:

  29. Jessica Cam W.
    September 17, 2010 at 11:33 pm

    I should have mentioned that if you go to View in the menu bar and click on Options, you can go to the Hotkeys tab in the dialog box to set keyboard shortcuts for Video Global Play, Set Start to Video, Set End to Video, Jump Video to Start and Jump Video to End, which saves a lot of time.

  30. Aibek
    August 24, 2010 at 8:41 pm

    thanks for the tutorial, always wanted to know how to add subtitles to my videos.

    • Jessica Cam W.
      August 25, 2010 at 1:16 am

      Yay, glad it helps!

  31. Forksdude
    August 23, 2010 at 10:58 pm