What is an SRT file and why is it so important for videos?

Subtitles are becoming more common these days, especially as companies expand their marketing efforts and aim to reach a broader, global market. In addition, subtitles are often required to ensure that your video and audio files are as comprehensive as possible.

Fortunately, there is an easy solution to adding subtitles to video – an SRT file.

To ensure that your videos are inclusive and easy to digest for all audiences, it is important that you add an option to watch with closed captions. Here we explain what an SRT file is and how you can create and edit one for your marketing videos.

What is an SRT file?

An SRT file (also known as a SubRip subtitle file) is a plain text file that contains important information about subtitles, including the start and end time codes of your text to ensure your subtitles match your audio, as well as the sequential ones Number of subtitles.

It is important to note that an SRT file is just a text file that you would use alongside video or audio. It also doesn’t include the video or audio you are subtitling.

How to create an SRT file

  1. You can create an SRT file in any text editor including Notepad, TextEdit, and Notepad ++.
  2. Open a text editor of your choice and arrange each line of your subtitles starting with 1.
  3. Next, enter the time the subtitle starts, then “->” and the time it ends.
  4. Format your timestamp as follows: “hours: minutes: seconds, milliseconds”.
  5. Add your first line of text below your start and end time stamp.

SRT files can be created from scratch or downloaded and edited. Before we dive into the basics of editing SRT files, let’s take a look at what an SRT file looks like and how it’s formatted.

Example of an SRT file

In general, Wordpad or Notepad are the easiest programs to open SRT files because you can view them in plain text. However, you can also use software specific to SRT files such as: B. Subtitle Workshop (more on that later).

In order for an SRT file to work in conjunction with the paired video or audio file, it must follow a specific format that includes:

  1. The line number
  2. The time range in which the line should appear in the video
  3. The text that should appear on the line

Example of a srt file

The timestamp is formatted so that the milliseconds are rounded to three decimal places:

Hours: minutes: seconds, milliseconds

The time frame is formatted as follows, with an arrow indicating the range:

[First Timestamp] -> [Second Timestamp]

The arrow must consist of two hyphens and a right-pointing angle bracket (also known as a greater than character or carrot).

If you’re creating one from scratch, you can copy and paste this sample SRT formatting:

Example of an SRT formatting


00: 00: 00.000 -> 00: 00: 00.000

[Insert your first line of text here, and don’t forget to change the timestamps.]


00: 00: 00.000 -> 00: 00: 00.000

[Insert your second line of text here, and don’t forget to change the timestamps.]

If you find that your subtitles don’t match your audio, or you need to change the phrasing, editing your SRT file is easy enough. Consider using Subtitle Workshop or any other subtitle editor of your choice.

Alternatively, if you don’t want to download an editor, you can open your SRT file in the editor. You can change the time and phrases in the file, but you cannot change the punctuation. Then click “File” → “Save As” and select the SRT file extension.

How to edit an SRT file

  1. Download the Subtitle Workshop.
  2. Search for “File” and then select “Load Subtitles” to insert your SRT file.
  3. Click on “Movie” then “Open” and select the appropriate video file.
  4. Next select “Edit”. You can choose between timings, texts, subtitles or translations.
  5. Adjust the time or text on each line.

Captions are an element that you can include in your video marketing strategy to make your content more inclusive and valuable to your audience.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in December 2018 and has been updated for completeness.

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