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Creating Subtitle Files for your Videos

So you have a video and you want to display it with subtitles.  Do you want one language or multiple languages? How are subtitles created?

The most common subtitle file type is called SRT (SubRip Text file) and would look like There are more ways to create them than are practical to include in this post. However, a search on the web for SRT file creation will generate an abundance of options. (I will focus on the simplest solution – using YouTube’s subtitle generation tool. )

SRT files are simple text files – you can open them in editing tools like Notepad where you can edit them for errors and omissions. You will also see the time codes for each subtitle in the editor.

Generally, options include generating your own file using various speech to text tools, ( lots of work)  paid online services that will create them for you (much less work but costs can be high), and platforms like YouTube and Facebook which will generate subtitles for you automatically (time and cost effective).  (I do not know that Facebook gives you the option to download the SRT file while YouTube does).

The easiest method is probably YouTube though they do not create subtitles for your videos unless you instruct them to do it. Google provides a nice set of of instructions here.  Note that YouTube only creates subtitles for the language spoken in the video. If you need multiple languages, you will need to search for SRT translation providers on the web.

You can download the YouTube generated SRT file for upload to your iPlayerHD account or wherever you may need to display subtitles.

After YouTube completes the subtitles, follow these instructions to download the file:

  1. Go to the Videos list on YouTube.
  2. Click on the down arrow next to “Edit” under the video.
  3. Click on ”Subtitles/CC”.
  4. Click on “English (Automatic)”.
  5. Click on “Actions”.
  6. Click on “.srt”.
  7. Name the file “”.

If you have additional information that will help others create and edit SRT files, please email me at I may use that information to update this post.


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