Add Subtitle track to VLC on Mac & Windows

Gordon Choi » DIY & Tech Projects » Add Subtitle track to VLC on Mac & Windows

How To Add Subtitles to VLC?

You may have a movie video file without any subtitle, and the audio of the movie is in Japanese, Korean, or other languages that you do not understand.

The solution is to find the subtitle file that is associated with the movie, and play the video with subtitle.

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Search Subtitle Track on Google

Usually you can do a Google search for the subtitle track that is associated with the movie, and download the subtitle track.

Google with keyword in the formats below:

[movie name] subtitle download
[movie name] [season number] subtitle
[movie name] [season number] [episode number] subtitle

Subtitles File Format

The subtitles file usually has file extension such as the filenames below:

What about the file format? We will use the file with *.srt extension as an example.

What Is SRT File?

A SRT file (*.srt extension) is a SubRip file that contains the text of what is being said (i.e. subtitles) in a video, with the timing for the words and the order in which the subtitles appear.

In the *.srt subtitle file, below represents a single line of subtitle text:


00:00:22,500 –> 00:00:25,500

That is the Gundam mobile suit!

Line 1: Subtitle Block Number

The first line contains a single number (i.e. 6) which represent the subtitle block number.

The number is the order of the subtitle block. A subtitle track file in SRT format starts with block 1.

Line 2: Subtitle Block Start Time and End Time

The second line specifies the two times: The start time of this subtitle block, and the end time.

The start time is the exact moment when the subtitle text appears on the screen, and the end time is the exact moment when the subtitle text disappears from the screen.

The first 2 digits represent the hours, the next 2 digits represent the minutes, and the third 3 digits represent the seconds, and the last 3 digits are for milli-seconds.

In this example, the subtitle block is 3 seconds in length.

Line 3: The Subtitle Text

The third line contains the exact words in the subtitles.

Download & Install VLC Media Player

You need a video media player to play the movie with the subtitle track. In this example, we will use the VLC player.

The VLC player is available for both Apple Mac and Windows computers. The VLC media player software that is developed through the VideoLAN project.

We will show the process first with VLC for Mac, and then with VLC for Windows.

You will have to download and install the app/software VLC player on Mac or Windows.

Download VLC player for Mac from:

or, download VLC player for Windows from:

Add Subtitle Track to VLC Mac

Before playing the movie (video file) with subtitles, you will have to first add the following items to your VLC player:

  • Video File
  • Subtitle track

Open the VLC player.

Mac VLC Player - Open Media

Click the Open media button, and the Open Source popup window will appear.

Mac VLC - Open Movie & Add Subtitle Track

Click the Browse button to add your video (movie) file.

Click the Choose button to add the subtitle track that is associated with the video.

Mac VLC - Subtitle Track Time Delay

After clicking the Choose button, a popup window will appear.

You can check (or enable) the Override parameters checkbox, and enter the number of seconds and/or milli-seconds in the Delay box. The Delay value is useful, when your subtitle track’s subtitles do not already align with the video’s timeline.

Click OK to close this popup window, and go back to the Open Source window.

Click Open, and the video will start playing. The subtitles will appear while the video is playing.

Add Subtitle Track to VLC Windows

In your Windows computer, open the VLC media player.

Windows VLC Player Opens

Click the Menu button (at the top).

Select Open Multiple Files… from the dropdown menu.

Windows VLC - Select Open

The Open Media popup window will open.

Click +Add button to add your video file.

Windows VLC Open Media

Click the Use a subtitle file checkbox.

Click the Browse button to add the subtitle track.

Click the Play button, and the movie will start playing with the subtitles appearing in the video.

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