How To Create SRT Subtitles in 8 Steps (Plus Tips)

Updated February 3, 2023

Many companies use video content to communicate with potential customers, current customers or employees. By creating subtitles to caption video presentations, business leaders can engage a broader audience for marketing or instructional purposes. Learning more about subtitles and their formats could help you develop an effective and accessible video for an organization or project. 

In this article, we discuss what SRT subtitles are, explain how you can create an SRT file for your video and mention why these captions are important.

What are SRT subtitles?

SRT stands for SubRip subtitles. This is a type of file format companies can use to create effective subtitles for their video presentations. A subtitle is a line of text that captions a video file. The subtitle appears at the bottom of a video and shows the audience a written description of the words or sounds of the audio.

When creating subtitles for videos, companies can choose from a variety of formats. They may use automatic captioning software, or they can hire an outside company to write captions. SRT is one type of subtitle formatting you can use when creating captions. SRT files include important HTML coding information and plain text. In an SRT file, professionals can include the content of the subtitles and the timestamp for each subtitle. These files accompany a video or audio file as a separate document.

Related: Q&A: What Is Coding?

How to create SRT subtitles

If you're making a video presentation, you can use these steps to create SRT subtitles:

1. Choose a text editor

The first step in creating an SRT file is selecting a text editing platform. These programs are typically free and may come installed on your computer. Common text editors include:

  • Notepad

  • TextEdit

  • TextMate

  • Notepad++

Related: The Definitive Guide to Video Marketing

2. Review the video file

When writing your SRT subtitles, it's helpful to have the video you want to caption readily available. Open the file and consider how you plan to review it. Using multiple monitors or computers could help you during the captioning process. Alternatively, you can display multiple windows at the same time. This way, you can watch the video and quickly pause the presentation while you type the subtitles for each snippet of audio.

Related: How To Make a PowerPoint Presentation Into a Video

3. Create the beginning timestamp

Once you have your video open, you can open the text editor of your choice and type the number one. It's important to sequence all subtitle lines in your SRT file to ensure they appear in the correct order. Then, you can press play on your video and listen for the first line of audio or dialogue. When you hear this moment, pause the video and note the time. This is when the first subtitle can appear.

Under number one, write the first timestamp. Write all timestamps in the hours:minutes:seconds,milliseconds format. After writing the beginning timestamp, include a --> and include when the line of audio ends.

For example, your first timestamps might look like this:

00:00:07,114 --> 00:00:11,834

These times indicate when the subtitle appears on the screen. Try to make them as accurate as possible so your subtitles match the content correctly. This may take a few tries as you listen for the content.

Related: 9 Video Format Files and When To Use Them

4. Add subtitle contents

On the next line, type the contents of the subtitle. This is the text that shows on the screen. Typically, this is one or two sentences. If you have a longer amount of text, consider breaking it into multiple subtitles to give your reader enough time to read the caption.

Related: What Is an SRT File? How To Create and Use SRT Files for Video

5. Repeat for all subtitles

After you finish your first subtitle, you can begin the next one on the following line. Repeat this process for the duration of your video. For example, your SRT file may look like this:

00:00:07,114 --> 00:00:11,834

Hello, and welcome to our presentation.

00:00:012,108 --> 00:00:16,357

In this video, we'll be showing you how to create a text file.

6. Review your subtitles

Consider leaving time to review and edit your subtitles to help create a more effective presentation. You can listen to the video and review the time stamps to ensure each one is accurate. Also, try to check your content to ensure your subtitles are correct. You can check the spelling and sentences match the audio. By including accurate subtitles, you can ensure that audience members can understand your content.

7. Save and upload your SRT file

After writing your SRT file, you can save it using the correct ".srt" extension. Then, you may upload it to the video platform of your choice, along with your video file. When using SRT subtitles, these are two separate files, so consider reviewing each to make sure they upload correctly.

8. Edit your subtitles as necessary

After uploading your SRT and video files, consider watching the completed piece to ensure the subtitles are accurate. If you notice an error or discover the timing is incorrect, you can use a software editing service or reopen the SRT file and change the time stamps or subtitle content as necessary. After editing the file, you can upload the revised SRT document to change the subtitles.

Why are SRT subtitles important?

SRT subtitles are an important part of creating an effective video presentation. Here are some of the potential benefits of using SRT subtitles:

Improved accessibility and inclusiveness

Subtitles can help make your video presentation more accessible. Audience members who are hard of hearing or watching your video in a public place can read subtitles to understand the video content. Also, some audience members may have an easier time understanding the content if they can read along at the same time. By using SRT subtitles, you can help make an organization more inclusive.

Related: How To Practice Inclusiveness in Today's Workplace

Increased accuracy

An SRT file helps ensure the captions match the video and audio content. SRT subtitles contain the subtitle sequence and timestamp so the captions reflect the audio correctly. This can make your content more accurate and easier to understand. For example, if you're making a video presentation with graphics and an audio voiceover, it's important that the subtitles match the content so audience members can see the graphic and read the information at the same time.

More global possibilities

SRT subtitles may also contain captions in different languages. This can help global audience members understand your video. For example, if your video presentation is in English, you can create SRT subtitles in different languages. Audience members who speak other languages can use these subtitles to follow along and understand the content. This is a helpful way to reach more people without having to make multiple videos or do voice-over translations.

Related: What Is a Global Strategy? (With Types and Examples)

Broader audience connections

If you use videos on social media or public platforms, a potential customer may see your presentation using an auto-play feature. For example, when scrolling through social media, some videos play automatically. When watching videos online, many websites automatically play a related video when a video ends. If you caption your videos, an individual who is browsing the internet or social media might see your content quickly and become interested. This could lead to more views for your videos.

Related: Content Amplification: What It Is and Why It's Important

Higher SEO potential

SEO stands for search engine optimization, and it's the process of generating new visits to your website. For example, when a person searches for a phrase online using a search engine, they see a list of websites that contain relevant content. SEO strategies can help the company rank higher on the search engine page, which can lead to more visitors. By including keywords in your SRT subtitles, you may rank higher during a search.

Read more: Guide: What Is SEO?

Reduced captioning cost

When creating subtitles, some companies use software programs or automated captioning tools. While these programs can help you create subtitles quickly, they're usually more expensive than creating an SRT subtitle file independently. An SRT file can also work on multiple video platforms, which means you may be able to upload the same captioning file to different video websites, rather than creating new subtitle files. This can help reduce overall costs.

Related: 38 Cost Saving Methods For Your Workplace

Easier editing process

If you decide to change your video, you can edit and upload the revised SRT file. Other captioning services, such as an external captioning company, might charge an additional fee for edits. With an SRT file, the team can make the necessary changes on their own.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

Explore more articles

  • How To Convert Excel Columns to Rows in 5 Steps (With Tips)
  • How To Write a Proposal Letter Offering Services to a Client
  • Summa, Magna and Cum Laude Graduation Requirements
  • 20 Strategies To Increase Revenue
  • 8 Effective Distribution Marketing Channels
  • How Failures Lead To Success and Lessons That Can Help You Succeed
  • How Much Does It Cost To Get a Pilot's License? A Guide
  • How To Convert Text to Date in Excel (With Steps)
  • How To Extend a Trendline in Excel (Plus Types of Trendlines)
  • How To Calculate Margin of Error in 3 Steps (With Example)
  • A Definitive Guide to Email: Importance, Uses and Advantages
  • How To Calculate Mean With Negative and Positive Numbers