Adding subtitles and captions in Adobe Premiere Pro

Subtitles are becoming more and more important, especially for digital content creators and accessibility reasons. Not only does the on-screen text help the hearing-impaired audience members, but when it comes to digital content, a big part of the viewers also don’t listen to videos with sound, so subtitles are a great way to go if you want to make sure your videos reach a wide-ranging audience.

In which format do I download my captions?

  • SRT (SubRip Text): The SRT format is simple: Each caption has a number, a start and end timecode (in decimals), and one or more lines of text with HTML tags. SRT captions can be imported or exported as separate files, but they can’t be embedded in an output media file. Unlike captions in other formats, exported SRT captions can be read and edited in a plain text editor.
  • XML (Extensible Markup Language): This format is encoded in plaintext, and it represents structured information, in this case, your subtitles.

Adding subtitles in Adobe Premiere Pro:

Step 1: Adjust your import settings

Before importing your subtitles on Adobe Premiere Pro, you should adjust your import settings, as you might have Open Captions enabled, which would affect the format of your subtitles. Adjusting them is very easy:

  • Click on the 'Captions' window, and fine-tune them to your liking.

Step 2: Import your subtitles

Importing captions is very easy:

  • With your Project open, go to File > Import.
  • Choose your SRT file, and select 'Open'. 

Step 3: Place the subtitles in the project timeline 

Once imported, you'll see the subtitles amongst your other project items. To place it, you just need to click and drag them into the following available space in the Sequence window. 

Step 4: Enable the closed-captions

In order for the captions to appear on your video, you need to enable them.

  • Open the 'Program' window
  • Click on the wrench icon and select 'Enable' on the 'Closed Captions Display' line

                                                                                                                                                  Image by Jakob Owens

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