Synchronizing subtitles – Subtitle Edit

14. July 2015 Guides 3 Replies

Now that you know how to create subtitles and how to translate subtitles, we can address another problem.

Sometimes, the subtitle file that we download won’t be in sync with the video file that we have.

In order to help us in these cases, Subtitle Edit video subtitle editor has provided us with few synchronization techniques.

Three techniques are discussed here.

i) Synchronization -> Adjust all times.

Using this feature, you can select all subtitles or a few of them, and then you can show the subtitles either before or after the time that you give.

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ii) Synchronization -> Visual sync.

Here, you have to match a subtitle with the first scene and another subtitle with the last scene. And finally, click sync and then ok. All the subtitles will be synched.

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iii) Synchronization -> Point sync.

This allows synchronization using two or more points. The time codes can be entered manually which makes the task easier.

iv) Synchronization -> Point sync via other subtitle.

If you have another subtitle with the correct timings, probably in other languages, you can match one of the first lines and one of the last lines and hit Sync. Now, all lines will be synced.

That’s it! You’ve learnt how to create subtitles and how to synchronize them.

Subtitle Edit is one of the many programs that upload to OpenSubtitles API. Enjoy the free subtitles service of opensubtitles and if you like it, consider making a small donation.

3 thoughts on “Synchronizing subtitles – Subtitle Edit

  • GeorgeS

    “click sync and then ok. All the subtitles will be synched” – except that they’re not! The 1st & last subtitle are correct but pressing sync moves THESE TWO, the first 3 seconds later & the last over 2 minutes earlier! (total length 11 mins). In List view, all the subs are selected.
    Then with Point Sync, I set 1st & last subs, but they don’t sync. The 2nd-last sub is 2:40 before the last sub begins, but nothing changes on sync!
    I’ve been trying for weeks!
    (Version 3.5.4)

  • Sonya

    I love this website and I love subtitles and subtitling. However, as a native speaker of English and foreign speaker of several other languages, some to a very high level–and bearing in mind that part of the purpose for subtitles is to help people learn other languages (hopefully correcctly)–I’m disappointed to see so many indications that the writers on this site overall, and blog don’t use native speakers of Enlgish to proofread their articles/posts.

    I know how everyone perceives this kind of observation…people seem to do their best to take it personally. However, if I were writing or speaking Spanish and the manner in which I did so were confusing and incorrect, I would feel great appreciation toward those who would correct me…which has happened thousands of times, but with each passing experience fewer and fewer times.

    So, please know that I say this with the greatest of love and respect. I just fear that many, many people will be reading these mistakes and thinking that they are correct. For me, it’s impossible to see, or know, when I’m reading French that is not written correctly. Then I go out and use it in the same manner and people are mystified what I’m saying.

    So, here goes: ARTICLES in English are ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL. For instance, “Rich” is a man’s name. “The rich” means people who are wealthy. “A Rich” is one of many people named “Rich”. “A rich man” is pretty obviously an non-specific wealthy man.

    Another set of examples: “Ball” is a game; “I played ball today.” The ball” is a particular ball used in a game, or particular ball that is known to the parties communicating. “A ball” is also a huge fancy party thrown by wealthy people where debutantes typically “debut”; “The ball” in this context refers to a specific Ball; “The ball last night was chaotically organized, Snoop Dogg is not a good MC for such an event.” “A ball” can also be other things; a single ball used for a game, or it can also be A GREAT TIME; “We had a ball (a great time) at the ball (the party) last night.” The meanings are totally different in almost all instances of different articles and lack of articles. Remember, lack of an article has a specific meaning, just as each article will create specific meanings. Other languages have this too…even languages without articles have ways of indicating these things; many times they use prefixes and suffixes. Think of articles as creating different words/meanings and it might be easier. And disregard (with extreme prejudice) ANY so-called expert that says that articles are useless/meaningless.

    Likewise, the word “few”. “a few” is a way of expressing “not tons” of something. “few” sans/without “a” means there is a deficit; “During the long layover in the snow-covered Andes Mountains, we had few options but to eat the other passengers.”

    The sentence in the above post: “Subtitle Edit video subtitle editor has provided us with few synchronization techniques.” sounds like a complaint against the software for being so barren when it comes to synchronization.

    The corrected sentence: “Subtitle Edit video subtitle editor has provided us with a few synchronization techniques.” sounds like an observation bordering on a compliment. It sounds like a good thing, to me, a native speaker of English.

    An the word “synch”. There actually is no such word. You cannot synch something. The word is “sync”. This is confusing because the wrod comes from synchronize and it almost makes sense to keep the “h” there. But it’s not really correct.

    I sincerely hope this helps someone. Usually these types of comments don’t help anyone, because, for some reason, it’s okay to help anyone in any other language than in English. That’s the great thing about Spain and Mexico and France, among others, people will actually help you with your language. In English, it’s like people just expect people to struggle for decades.

    If you want to be in touch, that’s fine, but please don’t put me on a mailing list.

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