A friend of mine asked on Facebook if it were possible to add subtitles into a video, and I felt VLC would be the best tool for this. But I didn’t know quite how it should be done. So I looked for a short video I had downloaded that would be nice to test this with, and tried it out…
- Open VLC (download and install it if you don’t already have that.)
- In the File Menu, click Convert/Save (or press Ctrl-R.)
- The “Open Media” dialog box pops up: select your video file here, and add subtitles.
- Click Convert/Save (or press Alt-C.)
- In this “Convert” dialog box, enter a Destination file name, and choose Video – H.264 + MP3 (TS) in the Profile. The default option of Video – H.264 + MP3 (MP4) didn’t allow me to add the subtitles into the video. It might for you, I don’t know.
- Click the wrench/screwdriver button next to the Profile list to “Edit Selected Profile”.
- Run through the tabs to make sure your settings are correct:
- Encapsulation: MPEG-TS
- Video: H-264 (the bitrate will probably drop here, more experimentation is needed)
- Audio: MPEG Audio (make sure the sample rate matches the original video to avoid weird effects)
- Subtitles: select “Subtitles” and “Overlay subtitles on the video” (because that’s why you’re here.)
- Click “Save” to go back to the “Convert” dialog, then click “Start”.
- The video will now be “streamed” so that VLC can do its work, i.e. the time bar on the bottom will move through the entire duration of the video. Let that do so. That’s it!
When this is done, open the file you used in another media player to check that the subtitles have indeed been added.
Thanks to this instruction video, I found that the font can be changed in the Preferences dialog box. I chose 24 pixels, because that is about an inch high on my monitor. Use what works for you, and feel free to edit the other properties as well.
Let me know if it helped, if you have any other comments or advice, or complaints about this post! I’ll be glad to answer.