How To Create Your Own Subtitles for Video Files

Hey there, if you’re reading this you probably know what we are going to do today, but just a quick recap; we’re going to write the subtitles for a movie or a video. Remember, this is going to generate a separate subtitle file, the video file (.mp4 , .avi etc) is going to stay intact and safe. However this method also has a disadvantage, if you have a physical DVD, without subtitles, then you’re out of luck (though there still are ‘ways’). However if you are trying to watch a video on your TV through external storage then there is a good chance that if you place the video file and the subtitle file side by side, then you’re gonna get some great looking subtitles. So, without any further wastage of time, let get going.

Required Software

  1. Notepad (or any other text editor, like Wordpad or even MS-Word)
  2. Video Player (Again, any decent video player will do, I’m using VLC Media Player but you can use Windows MP as well)
  3. A Video File (format doesn’t matter, just make sure your Media Player can play it)
  4. Free Editor

Note: Once we’ve created the file, in order for your media player to correctly recognize and load the file, it is crucial that the video file and the subtitle file are both named exactly the same.

Example: HomeVideo.avi and will work but will NOT work with the .avi file, you are going to have to load it manually.


Step 1

Open up your video file and the text editor, in my case, notepad. If that was confusing, then take a look at the screen shot below. You only need these two things opened.


 Step 2

Now start playing the video and keep an eye on the time in the bottom left corner. Once you hear the dialogue you want to add in you  subtitles file, pause the video, then write the following code in notepad:

[Serial Number of Subtitle]
[Start Time] --> [End Time]

Here is an example

00:05:43,000 --> 00:05:45,000
Where is she? 

The format of the second line is: HH:MM:SS,MS  Hours:Minutes:Seconds,Milliseconds

This can be seen in the following image as well.

Step 3

Then leave an empty line and repeat the process. Only, this time, instead of ‘1’ write ‘2’, then ‘3’ and so on. Once you’re done, go to the file menu and click on ‘Save As’. Give a name to the file (it should be the same as the video file) and add the extension .srt at the end. Finally, change the Encoding to UTF-8 in the drop down box (Changing the encoding is optional.)

Step 4 Optional

Now, if you’ve made  a mistake or just want to re check your work, you can do this is 3 ways. Obviously the first one is to play the video file and watch the whole video and ‘test’ the subtitles. The second is to read the notepad file again and again. Finally the third one is also reading the .srt file, but instead of notepad, we’re going to use Free Editor.

Open up free editor and load the .srt file (File > Open > “.srt”)

As you can see, this will give you a much nicer interface and allow you to quickly make changes.


I hope you learned something today, if you have any problems, feel free to ask.

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