How To Get Subtitles On Your Digital Movies

How To Get Subtitles On Your Digital Movies

Subtitles on movies are easily accessed on DVD, but if you’re ripping or downloading, things get a bit tougher. Here’s how to include subtitles woth all your digital movies, regardless of where you’re getting them.

For this process, we’ll utilise our favourite DVD ripping tool Handbrake, because it’s easy to use and free. Let’s get to it, starting with ripping your DVDs with the subtitles included.

Rip Subtitles With Your DVDs

By default, Handbrake doesn’t include the subtitles when you rip DVDs so it can keep the ripped movie’s file size small. Thankfully, it’s really easy to keep the subtitles on when you rip the DVD:

  1. Put your movie in your disc drive and wait for Handbrake to scan it.
  2. Click over to the “Subtitles” tab.
  3. You have two different options here. Select the language you want, and then the “Burned In” checkbox to lock the subtitles to the movie, or select Closed Captions from the drop-down list to get the subtitles in the original language of the film.
  4. Click “Start” and you’ll rip the movie.

That’s essentially it. There are a few quirky exceptions with certain DVDs, so check out Handbrake’s subtitle wiki for more information if you need it.

Add Subtitles To Other Digital Movies

If you don’t have the disc, fear not: you can still add subtitles to the movie file. You’ll just need to find the subtitles online. For this we’ll be using Handbrake again.

  1. Search for the movie’s subtitles online at Opensubtitles or Subscene (you have other options, but we’ve had the best luck with these two) by searching for the movie’s name and the language you’d like. You’re looking for a SRT file (other subtitle formats exist but SRT is best for Handbrake). When you find the file, click the name to download it.
  2. In Handbrake, click the “Subtitles” tab.
  3. Select, “Add External SRT” and find the subtitle file you just downloaded.
  4. Click “Start” to add the subtitles to the movie.

It’s a simple process, but it can take a little trial-and-error to find the right subtitles, so don’t expect to always get the right subtitles on the first shot. If you have a massive collection you’d like to add subtitles to, we like Filebot as a way to automatically seek out and add any missing subtitles to your movie library.

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