At Capital Captions, we have a flexible approach towards subtitling services. We are a subtitling and transcription company that truly cares about quality closed captioning services. Video producers and professionals often contact us to find out information on why they are having issues with their current subtitles. You may be lucky and find a quick solution to fix your subtitles that don’t work. But it is often the case that without the right knowledge and expertise, a quick five minute fix can actually quickly turn into hours of frustration. If you’ve found this page after a search on ‘Subtitles Not Working’, you’ve hit the jackpot! In this blog, we’ll answer some of the most common questions on subtitle issues and how to fix them. For this, we’ll focus on the most commonly used subtitle format out there: SRT subtitles.
‘I have written my own SRT file. It looks right but when I run the captions with my video, there’s nothing there?’
Subtitles need to be written correctly and formatted precisely in order to function. Extra dashes or spaces within coding lines (sequence and timing indicators) can corrupt an .SRT file, and cause overlaps, display errors or prevent subtitles from functioning at all.
‘Everything seems okay with my SRT file but when I display the subtitles, some characters look wrong?’
You have spent hours transcribing your video and making sure your subtitles are timed to perfection. But when you load up your video and display your captions, things don’t look right. Apostrophes or foreign characters may appear as other random characters or even just show as a long list of squares. This subtitling issue usually occurs when a file has been exported with incorrect encoding. It’s an issue that can be fixed quite easily with the correct use of UTF-8, ANSI, Unicode or other formats required for subtitle translation.
‘I have downloaded a subtitle file and need to make amendments but can’t. How can I open an SRT file?’
There are numerous software programmes designed to create both professional and amateur subtitles. In addition, with patience and skill, some subtitle formats can be manually written and edited. SRT files can be viewed and amended using a plain text editor, namely NotePad for PCs and TextEdit for Apple Macs.
‘I want hard coded subtitles, but when I import my SRT or SCC file, the captions display too small or are in the wrong position?’
Subtitle burning involves a process that takes skill, knowledge and close attention to detail. Even professional video editors can run into difficulties when importing subtitle files into the video stream. SRT files especially, don’t contain any information in terms of size, formatting or resolution. Even for other formats, when encountering display issues, the fault often lies in the import process rather than the subtitle itself.
‘I need to write subtitles for my video or film, but I’m not sure what I need to include?’
Basic online English subtitles or subtitle translations should include dialogue transcription. Closed captions should include identification of speakers who are off-screen, sound effect descriptions and very specific line splits and timing rules. Amateur or professional video producer may choose to write his or her own subtitles. However, closed captions should always be written, quality checked and published by a professional with experience of catering to deaf and hard of hearing audiences.
When taking on subtitling, transcription and translation work, we’re always happy to offer advice and guidance to our clients to ensure the best results. If you need advice on your video project, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, check out our information pages on our range of subtitle, closed caption and translation services.