How To Synchronize Subtitles With Movie [Quick Tip]

Some people, especially the non-native English speakers prefer to watch a movie or TV program with subtitles. Even the native English speakers need use subtitles if it is in a language other than English.

Normally, you download movies from one source and the subtitles from another source. And that is where the problem arises.

The movie and the file may not always be synchronized. You may see the subtitles before or after the dialogues. That’s annoying, isn’t it?

Let me show you a neat VLC trick that you can use to synchronize subtitles with the video.

Synchronize subtitle with movie in VLC media player

You should obviously install VLC media player first. It is available for free from its official website.

Once you have installed VLC, play the video in VLC media player. Add the subtitle file to it by right clicking and Subtitles -> Add Subtitle.

In VLC, you can press the key H to delay the subtitle and key G to forward the subtitle.

A single keystroke moves the subtitle (forward or backward) by 50 milliseconds. You can press the keys repeatedly to increase the delay.

Subtitle Synchronize
Press H or G to change subtitle timing in VLC

To sync the subtitle with the movie, play the movie along with the subtitle in VLC player. If you are seeing the subtitles first “press H” and if you hear the dialogue first, “press G“.

Now, listen to the dialogues and follow the subtitles closely.

  • If the dialogue comes later and subtitle comes first, press H
  • If the dialogue comes first and subtitle later, press G (it should subtitle delay in negative)

Pressing these shortcuts keys will delay or forward the subtitles by 50 ms. You can synchronize the subtitles with the movie this way. Now, 50 milliseconds is not a lot of time and you may feel nothing has changed. If you want to move the subtitles ahead or back more quickly, hold the H or G key for some time.

This solution only work in the case when the delay between dialogue and subtitle is constant i.e. the sub intended for a movie with same frame rate. If you want complex editing, you need to use a proper subtitle editor.

Since you are interested in subtitles, let me tell you about a hand free tool Penguin Subtitle Player. You can use it to add a transparent subtitle layer that stays on top and thus you can watch any video on the internet with subtitle.

I hope this tip was useful to you.

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  • Once I have synchronized the subtitles, is there a way to embed them in the movie and save it?
    Thank you in advance!

    • That would be complicated. First, use a subtitle editor to change the srt file with the correct timing.
      Then use ffmpeg tool to hardcode the correct srt file on the video. It will take quite some time and CPU power.

  • this is all wrong – G key mucks up the audio!!! Make sure of your facts before giving false advice! you wasted my time

    • You should get your facts right before making false accusations. There is a screenshot in the article that shows what the subtitle delay looks like.

      You can check the hotkey options from Preference -> Hotkeys and check what keyboard shortcut it has for Subtitle delay up and Subtitle delay down.

  • thanks for your info, I have a solution, wonderfox hd video converter factory pro can synchronize subtitles automatically, you can try this one.