How To Create SRT File – Detailed Subtitling Tutorial

Some links in this post are affiliate links, I may earn a commission (at no additional cost to you) if you make a purchase. Read the disclosure for more information.

In this video, I’ll show you How To Create An SRT Subtitle file. Video content consumption is at an all-time high. Subtitles and captions complete the puzzle of video consumption and accessibility.

In this video, we’ll cover;

  • What is an SRT Subtitle
  • What are the characteristics of an SRT Subtitle.
  • What are the similarities and differences between SRT and VTT subtitle
  • How to Create SRT Subtitle Files. (Automatically and Manually)

Links to Mentioned Resources.
👉 Captioning Course:
👉 Zubtitle:
👉 HappyScribe:
👉 Maestra:
👉 Otter.AI:
👉 Descript:

00:00 – Introduction
00:50 – Outline
01:22 – What is an SRT Subtitle File?
03:32 – SRT vs VTT
05:42 – How to Create an SRT Subtitle File
05:57 – Automatically Create SRT with YouTube
07:29 – Automatically Create Subtitles Using Maestra
08:56 – Automatically Create Subtitles Using Otter.AI
10:31 – Automatically Create SRT or VTT Using Descript
11:10 – Automatically Create SRT Using Happy Scribe
12:46 – Subtitle Edit
13:05 – Subtitle Edit Online
13:35 – Manually Create SRT Subtitles Using Subtitle Edit


Subtitles and Captions are becoming an integral part of the video world.

That in mind, do you know that over 85% of Facebook videos, play without the sound turned on.

And chances are, if the video doesn’t have captions, and specifically open captions, that is the subtitles or captions that are burned in the video, chances are people will not watch that type of content.

That is one point I’d like to make.

But another point is that, people in the world either have a problem hearing, or some are deaf.

And we need to get it to these people so that they understand our content, and also consume our content when other people are consuming it.

So in this video, I’m going to show you how to create an SRT subtitle file.

So please follow along, I’ll take you step by step by telling you what an SRT file is.

I’ll also give you a bunch of few characteristics of an SRT file.

I will also show you a comparison of an SRT file and a VTT file, which is a Web Video Text Track subtitle file.

And then I will show you how you can create an SRT file.

Now, creating an SRT file can be either be done automatically, or you can either do it manually.

So I’ll walk you through all those steps. So please follow along. And let us begin.

The first question.

What is an SRT subtitle file?

An SRT subtitle file is a SubRip subtitle file. And this I mean, it is a file that is has the extension of dot SRT.

For example, here’s one, it is the simplest of subtitles that you’ll ever find.

It is a plain text subtitle file. And if I just open this subtitle file, which is an SRT subtitle file, I’ll just double click on it, and it’s going to open up in Notepad.

You can easily type this out in Notepad, depending on the version or the note editing application that you want to use. And this is what it looks like.

The basic subtitle file, which is the most basic of subtitles, has a number to indicate the number of the subtitle or the line, and then has some time codes.

And then it has the subtitle lines or the transcript that corresponds to these time codes.

And then it has a space.

And then it begins with a second number. That is for subtitle line number two, and it goes on and on.

And this is just a characteristic of a subtitle file, a number timecode, one or two lines. Just, always try to keep your lines at two don’t go to three, because that affects readability of subtitles, and then a space and then a number.

So if you decide to type out subtitles manually in Notepad, then you can do or follow this particular format.

And then when you go to File, Save as, always remember that since you can just select all files, and then Always remember to put the extension of dot SRT. And remember, the encoding should be UTF-8.

If you’re using older versions you will not see with BOM or without BOM, and then click on Save.

But since already, this file is already saved, we won’t save it.

Let’s just cancel and then minimize this.

So that’s a basic example of an SRT subtitle file. And also the characteristics of the subtitle file.

The next is a comparison of an SRT file, and VTT.

Basically, these are almost brother and sister.

This is a WebVTT subtitle file. And I’ll just pull it down so that it fills up this section.

Let’s just pull it down again.

And then pull up the SRT to the left and then just minimize it, bring it to the end here and then do a quick comparison.

So this to the right is a WebVTT file.

A web VTT file generally doesn’t have the numbers, but it has a title WEBVTT which stands for Web Video Text Track subtitles, it is followed by a timecode.

Now you’ll notice that between the zero here and the nine in the SRT, we have a comma.

But for the web VTT, it is a full stop.

The next thing is that we just have basically the full stop on the side as well. And also a comma here.

So those are the few basic differences and also the lack of numbers.

A title in a WebVTT. It lacks numbers in between, I think believe this is the milliseconds there is a full stop rather than a comma.

So that is the difference between an SRT subtitle file to my left and a WebVTT, or VTT subtitle file, to my right.

WebVTT subtitles also support basic formatting, let’s say color, bolding and all that. And this is recognized by most modern HTML5 players. They support with VTT, and all that.

SRT subtitle files are supported in almost every application that supports subtitles.

So that’s out of the way. And it’s important that you get to know that so that we are headed in the right direction.

SRT is famous, this is picking up because it’s almost looks similar. So those are the two comparisons.

Let’s get into now the meat of things.

How do you create an SRT subtitle file?

It’s pretty simple. And I’ll cover this in two ways.

You can either automatically create an SRT file or manually create it using software.

So let us look at the first method, automatically creating subtitle files and captions.

There are bunch of ways that you can do this. And I’ve already covered this in different videos so all I will do is that I’ll just mention what happens in each and every application.

And the process is almost identical.

So I’ll also leave the links in the card above and in the description below, so that you can go and follow along and learn from these particular tutorials depending on where are you be hosting your content.

And number one is using YouTube.

YouTube, using the Google speech to text engine supports automatic transcription of a video that is uploaded to the platform.

There are a bunch of limitations in that you need to have audible audio in the video, the speaker should not be having a lot of crosstalk, the accent in the video, those are the few things that affect the file, then also there should not be sections of too much silence.

And finally, the video should not be extremely long.

So YouTube does automatically transcribe a video into automatic captions.

And this is a good thing because you can use this and make the edits that you want. and download the SRT file once you’re done.

And I already have a video I did on that, that you can follow along and learn how this works.

So it’s basically here, how to automatically create subtitles and captions for YouTube videos.

Next up, we look at some of the few new applications in the market.

Now I recently reviewed Maestro transcription service.

And it’s an automatic service, like all the other services that we look at, and this service…(and they’re not in any specific order).

And this service allows you to just upload a file.

Once you upload it, the service automatically transcribes it using artificial intelligence, and then gives you the transcript.

If you want to convert the transcript to a subtitle, you can do that easily.

Just a disclaimer here.

Automatic transcription services are not 100% correct.

They’ll will not get some of the names that you mentioned.

They’ll not get the punctuation right, and everything in between.

So you’ll always need to be keen when you’re making the edits. Just don’t think that they’ll do the job. And for you it is just to use the SRT subtitle file.

One section, I realize most of the applications or AI powered tools, failing in is in let’s say, when you’re looking at synchronization of text, they do a pretty good job.

But sometimes you realize when an application or a tool has the option to limit the characters per line, that makes it a better tool.

And most of these tools that I’m carrying right now, other than YouTube have the option to choose how many characters you need per line.

So that’s Maestra, and the links are below and above.

And then we can look at Otter.

And Otter has really come a long way from the first few videos that I did about it. It’s really transformed.

So with otter, all you need to do is just important audio video into the system.

Let it automatically transcribe, edit your transcript for errors, punctuation, etc.

And once you’re done, go to the export tab. And then if you’re on the paid version, you are allowed to export the transcript as an SRT. That’s a pro feature.

Now, the pro feature also allows you to customize the number of characters per line that is between 32 to whatever number that you want, or even less.

But personally, I’ll go between 32 and 42- sweetspot 37 characters per line and then put the limit to two lines per a subtitle block.

That is the subtitle block that appears -For example, if I click on this, these are English auto-generated.

So you can come here And this is what I was mentioning with YouTube doing the automatic transcription. And this is available.

So you’ll see two lines and two lines is a good thing. Also, the limiting the characters per line limits the characters in that they can only be from almost hear, to hear.

And that improves the readability of the subtitles or captions that you’re working on.

So that’s Otter, and it’s a pretty awesome application.

All links to all this will be available in the description below.

Next up, we have Descript.

Descript has also come along with from a transcription application to a podcasting application to a video editing application by editing text, which is pretty awesome.

Now, with Descript, the process is same.

Just upload your video, let Descript automatically transcribe it.

And then when you go to the export option, you have the option to choose either an SRT or VTT subtitle file to export, and then choose the characters per line that you want to have exported.

And then once you’re done with that, you can export it and use it anywhere, everything is all the same.

Finally, there’s Happy Scribe and this is not a whole list of all the automatic transcription applications that convert a transcript to SRT.

There’s Vocalmatic. There’s There’s Trint. There’s TEMI. There’s a bunch of applications and also Camtasia does the same thing.

It can automatically transcribe your video, and then append the transcript as subtitles. And also, Premiere Pro is coming up with a speech text tool that will automatically transcribe your audio into text and create subtitles for you.

So it will be pretty awesome to test that out.

Happy Scribe works the same way.

You just add your video, and then using machine learning and artificial intelligence, they’ll automatically transcribe your audio into a transcript, and then you can set it out as subtitles.

I also love the interface for the subtitling for Happy Scribe. It’s pretty awesome.

So those are the automatic ways you can create an SRT file.

Pretty easy, pretty fast saves time.

But sometimes you may end up needing to do much more work than you’re required to.

Because they may not understand when they need to do, let’s say, a full stop some of the applications, so you end up editing a lot of the time.

Now, the alternative is manually captioning your videos, that is manually creating an SRT file for your videos.

Now, my go to application of choice is Subtitle Edit because it is free.

And this is basically the Subtitle Edit website.

It’s been here for years and it’s constantly updated and I’ve already done a review on this particular application. So you can check it out.

There’s this option, and it’s available for Windows.

But if you’d like to do the subtitling online, this the Subtitle Edit online version that you can use, just come here a new subtitle, add a video and then start typing in your text in here. So it’s pretty awesome.

So now what I will do, I will show you how you manually create an SRT file using Subtitle Edit.

So I’ll not go through a lot of things. But just a couple of lines to show you how it works.

So we’ll just need to go to the search bar, search for Subtitle Edit, just click on it, it’s going to open up.

This is the interface that you’ll always get.

And I’d prefer if you watched my in depth review video of subtitle edit so that you get to see some of the few customizations that you can do.

Now, what you begin off with- this is a blank project.

So there is a file that is new, open, reopen, etc.

Let’s say we begin with open video file.

I’ll just click on that, and then go to the folder.

Now I’ll just open the video.

And since I’ve already worked with this video in the past, it’s going to automatically load in the preview window here and also automatically generate the waveforms for the audio.

If this doesn’t happen for you, ensure that you click on the- Generate waveform down here.

Now, that’s the first step.

The next step is let’s say creating the subtitle.

So you’ll need to come to the – Create option here.

And then click on where you want to start the subtitle.

Click on insert new subtitle at video position.

Automatically what it’s going to do, it’s going to pull out a range for you.

So the duration is one second.

Now, by default, try to keep yourself you subtitles more than 1-second and less than around 7-seconds that improves gives better readability than anything else.

What we can do here is we can just adjust this, to get to almost this particular point before the next subtitle begins.

And when you look at this, the duration is two seconds–and two and a half seconds. So for us to type out that subtitle, we’ll be typing in here.

So what I can do here is just right click in here and say- play selection…

“With the recent updates on the YouTube interface,…”

Let’s say,… “With the recent update on the YouTube interface.”

Now, I’d like you to notice that the text is already getting a different color, it’s trying to show me that the single line length is at 47.

Now, depending on your settings, then you may need to change these to fit …your desired subtitle.

But personally, I’ll just click on Autobr, which is auto-break.

Just click on that with the recent update on the YouTube interface. Now, if I play the selection here, just stop here and then play.

With the recent up-…, you’ll notice, there’s just double click here that the subtitle appears well on the video where you want it to appear.

And it looks pretty good.

So once you’re done with that, you just go to the next section here, and then insert new subtitle at video position.

We want this to go up to this particular section.

Let’s just pull it up to that particular section.

And it starts at about this section.

Just right click- Play selection,..”it’s now easier than before to download…”

It’s now easier than before to download.

And that looks good.

If I just double click inside here, looks good.

And then the next section insert new subtitle at video position.

So we’ll go up to here, right click, play selection,.. “YouTube transcripts.”

YouTube transcripts.

It more or less feels like I can join these two lines together.

So if you feel that these two lines should be joined, you can just double click on them.

Right click merge selected lines.

And once you do that, you’ll notice that there’s an autobreak, we can basically just pull this back and then use the autobr so that it gives us a more or less uniform subtitle lines in here.

And if we play this particular section,… “it’s now easier than before to download YouTube transcripts.”

So basically, those are just two lines.

But the process of manually creating an SRT file really revolves around right clicking, adding subtitles, on and off, on and off listening if whatever you’re doing is correct.

An alternative method would be to transcribe this particular video, and then just copy and paste the text inside Subtitle Edit for the section that you want to caption or subtitle.

It’s pretty easy if you do it that way.

Manually typing inside here takes time.

So if you’re a freelancer, ensure you always charge accordingly because it takes time to subtitle a one minute, a three minute, a full series of maybe, let’s say a TV show, especially when you’re working without a transcript.

So this is the manual process.

Now let’s say, we’ve done the whole process of creating the subtitles from start to the end.

How do you save this file as a subtitle on or as an SRT subtitle file.

All you need to do is just come up to File> Save as and then title it the way you want to title it.

Now let’s say you want to call it sample. Just call it sample.

If you just write sample, the Save as type is SubRip, which is SRT this SubRip.

If you wanted to save it as VTT, you can just scroll down up to WebVTT, and save it as WebVTT.

But we want to save it as SRT just go back up SubRip it is the first option and click on Save.

Now, if we go back to our folder, we’ll see a new file titled sample and the type is an SRT file.

Let’s just double click on it.

And we’ll see the two lines that are just prepared.

“With a recent update on the YouTube interface, it’s now easier than before to download YouTube transcripts.”

Let’s say we need to put a full stop in there. That’s good.

The characteristic of an SRT file as I mentioned is a number, timecode then the subtitle line or lines, and then a space and then a number, and then a timecode and on and on and on.

So basically, this is an in depth tutorial walking you from start to finish of what is an SRT subtitle file? How does an SRT subtitle file compare to a WebVTT, or a VTT subtitle file, to characteristics of an SRT file, to how you can create an SRT file automatically, and also how you can create an SRT file manually.

I hope that this video is going to be a value to you if you’re looking to start creating subtitle files.

If you’d like to enroll for my captioning and subtitling course, kindly enroll from the link below, and I’ll be happy to have you as a student.

Thank you for watching this video, and I wish you the best.

Until next time, stay safe and never stop learning.

Thank you so much for watching this subtitling tutorial.

Get Free Email Updates!

Signup now and receive an email once I publish new content.

I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )

I will never give away, trade or sell your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.