Ghostboard pixel

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.

Become a Better Linux User

With the FOSS Weekly Newsletter, you learn useful Linux tips, discover applications, explore new distros and stay updated with the latest from Linux world


Great! You’ve successfully signed up.

Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.

You've successfully subscribed to It's FOSS.

Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.

Success! Your billing info has been updated.

Your billing was not updated.