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Understanding SRT Files: A Comprehensive Guide

Christopher Nguyen
Christopher Nguyen
Posted in Zoom Aug 28 · 28 Aug, 2023
Understanding SRT Files: A Comprehensive Guide

Understanding SRT Files: A Comprehensive Guide

Have you ever come across subtitles while watching a movie or a video? Those captions that appear at the bottom of the screen, helping you understand the dialogue even in a foreign language or amidst background noise, are made possible by SRT files.

SRT files are essential to subtitles, providing synchronisation and time-stamping information. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore SRT file meaning, the format, how to create srt files, how to edit, how to add srt file to video, how to open an .srt file, and what are srt files used for.

What Are SRT Files?

Also known as SubRip Subtitle files, srt files are plain text files that store video subtitles. These files contain the text of the subtitles, along with time codes that determine when each subtitle should display on the screen. When you watch a video with subtitles, the media player reads the SRT file and displays the corresponding text at the right time, ensuring perfect synchronisation between the visuals and the subtitles.

How Does an SRT File Work?

To understand how these files work, you must first answer the question: What is the srt file format? This format typically consists of three parts listed below.

  • Subtitle Index: A sequential number that identifies each subtitle.

  • Timecodes: How long the subtitle should appear and disappear on the screen. It is formatted as HH:MM:SS, millisecond --> HH:MM:SS, millisecond.

  • Subtitle Text: The actual text of the subtitle.


.srt file example:

00:00:10,000 --> 00:00:15,000

Welcome to our video blog.


How Are SRT Files Created?

Creating an SRT file is straightforward, as it only requires a text editor. Below are the steps to follow:


  • Open a Text Editor. Use a plain text editor like TextEdit on macOS or Notepad on Windows. Avoid using word processors like Microsoft Word, which may add unwanted formatting.

  • Set the timecodes. Start by typing each subtitle's sequential index number. Then, add the timecodes in the HH:MM:SS, millisecond format, separated by an arrow or a hyphen, and finally, add the subtitle text.

  • Save as .srt file. Once you have added all the subtitles, save the file with a .srt extension. For example, "".


How to Edit an SRT File

To edit an existing SRT file, you can simply open it with a text editor and modify the subtitle text or timecodes. Be cautious not to change the format or the sequential index, as it may disrupt the synchronization with the video.


How to Add an SRT File to a Video

You need a compatible media player that supports subtitle tracks to add subtitles to a video using an SRT file. Most popular media players like VLC, MPC-HC, and others can handle SRT files seamlessly. Place the SRT file in the same folder as the video file and ensure they have the same filename (except for the extension). The media player should automatically detect and display the subtitles when you play the video.


How to Use SRT Files

SRT files have various applications beyond just providing video subtitles, as listed below.


Language Translation

SRT files are instrumental when translating videos into different languages. Translators can work on the SRT file to create subtitles in their respective languages, making the video accessible to a broader audience.



SRT files aid people with hearing impairments or those who prefer to watch videos without sound. By displaying the text of the dialogue, SRT files ensure that everyone can enjoy the content.


Video SEO

Search engines can index the text in SRT files, improving subtitled videos' discoverability and search ranking.


What Does an SRT File Do?

In essence, an SRT file brings coherence and understanding to video content. It allows viewers to follow the dialogue, grasp the context, and immerse themselves in the visuals. Additionally, SRT files have revolutionized how we consume videos, making them accessible to diverse audiences worldwide.


In Summary

SRT files are a crucial aspect of modern video consumption. They provide subtitles and captions that make videos more inclusive, educational, and engaging. Now that you understand the meaning, format, creation, and usage of SRT files, you can confidently dive into the world of video subtitles and enhance the accessibility and reach of your video content.