Best subtitle editors

Edited by Nataly Bogorad

December 11, 2021

If you live with or know people who are hearing impaired, then you know how important subtitles can be. The subtitles can also be a great help for learning languages. There are a lot of programs out there that can help you adjust various aspects of subtitles for your videos – font, color, size, placement, etc. This guide will give you some clear direction on where to go to find the best subtitling software available.

Quick summary

  • Editor’s choice: Movavi Video Editor
  • With Movavi Video Editor, it’s easy to insert and place perfectly crafted subtitles wherever you want.

  • Best advanced subtitles editor: Subtitle Workshop
  • This program is loaded with all kinds of tools and features! There’s even a spell checker and over 60 different subtitle formats.

  • Fastest subtitle editor: Jubler Subtitle Editor
  • Jubler has an optimizing algorithm that’ll sync subtitles to the video at amazing speeds.

  • Best to create subtitles from text files: DivXLand Media Subtitler
  • While you can’t create subtitles from scratch with this program, it’s easy to upload text files and input subtitles in multiple formats.

  • Best simple subtitle syncer: Subtitle Edit
  • With support for over 280 formats and an easy-to-use interface, this is a straightforward subtitler that gets the job done.

  • Best drag-and-drop interface: SRTEd
  • SRTEd makes organization easy as you can just drag-and-drop clips directly into the interface for subtitle editing.

  • VLC-supported subtitle editor: Kijio - Subtitle Editor
  • Because Kijio is a VLC-supported editor, you won’t have to download any additional video or sound codecs in order to work on your files.

  • Best lightweight subtitle editor: Subtitle Processor
  • At such a small file, the program packs a punch with all the features and tools.

  • Best for Windows: Open Subtitle Editor
  • This program works well for anyone who likes the functionality of Windows Media Player and is looking for a free subtitle editor.

  • Editor’s choice online editor: Fastreel
  • Editing subtitles has never been faster than with Fastreel. There’s no program to download, and it comes with a ton of features.

  • Best for translating subtitles in several languages: Subtitle Horse
  • This online subtitle editor allows you to add subtitles and translate them into multiple languages.

  • Best online collaborative editor: Kapwing
  • If you need help with video editing and subtitling, Kapwing allows you to create group workspaces for collaborative efforts.

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Best subtitling software

Aside from its powerful editing capabilities, Movavi Video Editor gives you the ability to insert and edit subtitles to any video file. This program makes it easy to insert subtitles wherever you want and adjust them to make them easily readable no matter what’s playing behind.

In addition, with Movavi Video Editor, you’ll get a range of professional quality transitions and effects all packaged in an easy-to-use interface. The program is available on both Windows and Mac, and there’s a free trial available to test things out before you purchase.

What are its best features?

  • Rotate the position of subtitles on the screen
  • Editing tools for font, size, and color
  • Easy to synch the subtitles and the video
  • Processes the titling quickly

What could be improved?

  • Overall rendering could be sped up a bit
  • The free trial has limitations and only goes for 7 days

Subtitle Workshop is a General Public License – GPL – and open-source subtitling management software. The interface is pretty straightforward and works in a variety of languages. It has tools for timing and message adjustments that are customizable, so you’ll be able to create a practical interface that allows you to work efficiently.

This program has tons of tools that make it perfect for advanced subtitle editing, like line adjustments, spell checking, automated frame-per-second changes, and duration settings. There are also tools available so you can either auto or manually detect, then mark and fix any text and timing errors.

What are its best features?

  • Over 60 subtitle formats
  • An integrated spell-checking feature
  • A customizable interface
  • Detecting and adjusting text and timing errors
  • An auto-translation mode

What could be improved?

  • The interface has a learning curve with all the tools and features

Jubler is another GPL free software, but it’s important to note that this is a Java-based program. This means it requires the newest version of Java Runtime Environment if you want to run it. Regardless, one of its best features is its optimizing algorithm. This will help you fix any timing inconsistencies between your subtitles and tracks. The program handles frame rate conversions automatically, which would otherwise offset the timing of the subtitles.

Jubler runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux so long as you meet the system requirements. Otherwise, you just need to ensure that your OS can run Java Runtime Environment.

What are its best features?

  • Possible to add and edit subtitles in the play mode
  • Spell-check integration available
  • An auto updater
  • Color options for subtitles
  • A translation mode

What could be improved?

  • You must install MPlayer in order to see subtitles

While you can’t create subtitles from scratch with DivXLand Media Subtitler, this is a superb freeware application that allows you to edit external subtitle text files. Also, it’s possible to upload a text file with dialogue lines in the program as long as they’re in chronological order.

The program supports a wide range of subtitle formats and has the capacity for auto caption timing settings and correction. Plus, you can do spell checks in multiple languages and get instant previews of your work without having to save it.

What are its best features?

  • Over 30 subtitle formats supported
  • Auto timing correction
  • The interface is in multiple languages
  • Quick previews that don’t require saving
  • A multi-language spell checker

What could be improved?

  • Embedding subtitles directly into video files is limited to the AVI format
  • You must upload a text file in order to input subtitles

Subtitle Edit is an open-source editor with consistent updates, which makes it one of the best free subtitle editors. Users can adjust their subtitles in a variety of ways or create them from scratch. There are literally hundreds of subtitle formats in the program that will auto-sync with videos. It also comes with a function that allows you to rip subtitles directly from DVDs and auto-translate subtitles from a wide variety of languages.

But for a free editor, the best feature is that it offers a lot of support channels. The developer has videos posted that walk you through the program. And he updates his Subtitle Edit blog regularly, so you always know about the latest updates.

What are its best features?

  • An auto translator
  • Support for over 280 formats
  • You can get this subtitling software for free
  • A solid tool for watching videos in multiple languages
  • Subtitle synchronization is quick and easy

What could be improved?

  • Doesn’t support a lot of media players

SRTEd works as a .srt graphical editor for subtitles that turns a tedious editing job into a quick and painless task. The program makes it easy for users to create a visual for their subtitles and then arrange and fix any synchronization errors. Overall, it’s a light program, but it comes with a ton of options that – if you spend a little time with it – are easy to figure out. The drag-and-drop feature is great to help you keep organized while working, and there are a ton of features to help you place a subtitle exactly where you want it down to the millisecond.

What are its best features?

  • A simple interface that separates subtitles line-by-line
  • An overlapping subtitles checker
  • A search function
  • Low system requirements
  • Drag-and-drop clips into the interface

What could be improved?

  • Offers a lot of features with little in the way of tutorials, so you’ll need to explore things for yourself

Kijio is a subtitle editing software that allows you to work within a visual timeline instead of editing a series of textboxes. It’s possible to create subtitles in only a few clicks by writing the subtitle from scratch and dragging directly into a frame. The program has a lot of great auto-features that not only check for sync errors but also mark them in the timeline.

The key feature of Kijio is that it works within the VLC player. This means you won’t have to download any additional video or sound codecs to play your media files. Just move files to any location and get to work.

What are its best features?

  • Translates subtitles in over 50 languages
  • Drag-and-drop functions for subtitles
  • Timing checker and marker functions
  • Works with VLC

What could be improved?

  • The program randomly crashes at times

Subtitle Processor is a free and lightweight subtitles processor that works only on Windows or Linux. With this program, you can import or create subtitles from scratch. From there, you’ll be able to repair and manipulate subtitles as you please with its integrated DVD and movie player. The interface is cluttered with a wide variety of tools and doesn’t hide any of them in menus. Just drop a file in and start using the various tags to begin work.

What are its best features?

  • Tag list of tools with easy access
  • An integrated DVD and video file player that works for synchronization
  • A free program
  • A translator

What could be improved?

  • No preview functions

Open Subtitle Editor is another free, open-source editor. But it differs because it uses .NET Framework instead of Java to edit subtitles. So you’ll need a .NET Framework version 4 or later in order to utilize this program. Also, this is a Windows-only program as it uses Windows Media Player technology to edit the subtitles.

The program is one of the more simple programs on this list as it doesn’t have any additional video-editing functions. But you can do all the simple subtitle edits like adding, removing, translating, and re-sync. Plus, you don’t have to upload a text file to work within the program.

What are its best features?

  • A capability to create subtitles without a text file
  • An ability to re-sync subtitles as you work
  • Tools that allow you to directly edit text of any subtitles
  • A simple, easy-to-use interface

What could be improved?

  • Doesn’t have any editing features
  • Works in a Windows Media Player framework
  • Requires you to install .NET Framework 4

Best online subtitle editors

Fastreel from Movavi is one of the best subtitle editors available online. It’s a complete online suite that allows you to edit videos and create subtitles with ease. The program allows you to upload a wide range of popular video file formats up to 500 MB and insert your subtitles with ease. You can add files via drag-and-drop or find them directly within your system. In minutes, you’ll be able to create clean, clear subtitles that integrate seamlessly within your videos.

What are its best features?

  • Supports a wide variety of file types for uploading clips
  • An ability to change the size, color, font, and position of subtitles
  • Features a wide range of fonts and colors
  • Even online, the interface is intuitive

What could be improved?

  • Only allows uploads up to 500 MB

Subtitle Horse has been around for a long time and is one of the most widely used and respected online subtitling programs. It has a clean interface that’s easy for anyone to learn and use and it has support for a variety of file formats. This program is one of the best free subtitling software programs for video files you’ve created – it’s not a program for importing full movies. But you can easily insert video files from YouTube or other URLs and get to work fast.

The program offers a range of tools that allow you to zoom in on your timeline and manipulate your subtitles however you want. It also offers a translator in several languages, along with playback options not available in other free subtitling software programs.

What are its best features?

  • The free program
  • A clean, easy-to-use interface
  • A multi-language translator
  • Saving and exporting files in multiple subtitle formats
  • Searching functionality

What could be improved?

  • Doesn’t hold files very well. It’s recommended to export after each project to avoid losing your work

Kapwing offers a full-on video editing suite that has a variety of subtitle editing tools. With a simple interface, it’s easy to load up a video and get to work – you don’t even have to register to start. With the program, you can alter the timing, position, and appearance of subtitles. And it’s possible to either create subtitles directly in the program or upload a .srt file.

If you need to collaborate with others on a project, Kapwing has a group workspace feature that allows you to easily blend your talents together with other colleagues. Plus, the program is online, so there’s nothing to download.

What are its best features?

  • Color editing on subtitles includes outline and background coloring
  • An ability to upload videos or input a URL
  • A collaboration feature that allows you to create a group workspace
  • An ability to change the style, position, and font of subtitles

What could be improved?

  • Only supports the SRT format
  • Lots of limitations in the free version

Summary: choose the best video compressor for your video files

With this list of the best subtitle editors, you’ll be able to import text files or create subtitles from scratch with ease. Subtitling is important work, especially for the hearing impaired, but also as more and more people are watching videos without sound. Whether you need desktop or online functionality, this list should get you started!

Nataly Bogorad

Nataly Bogorad is a content creator and a chief editor. With qualifications in English and American studies and art criticism, she specializes in writing SEO-optimized and user-friendly content. Nataly graduated from Universität Kassel with a bachelor of arts degree and worked as a project assistant for Regionalmanagement Nordhessen GmbH.