How to create subtitles in srt format

Video Optimization: How to Create Subtitles for Facebook

On Facebook, 95% of all videos are initially played without sound. That robs them of much of their attractiveness - especially an interview or a piece of music. One way to get around the sound problem or to indicate that the sound should be turned on is with subtitles. There are three ways to add subtitles to a video on Facebook, two of which are actually unnecessary.

All three can be found in the subtitle section of the video upload on Facebook:

Option 1: Let Facebook generate subtitles

For a long time it was not possible, but now it is: Facebook now automatically writes the subtitles, you just have to take corrective action. Incredibly easy and quick. After choosing the language, press "generate automatically" and you're done. The whole thing looks like this:

Facebook creates the time elements and populates them with what it thinks is the correct text. With a simple click on the element you can still touch it up there, if necessary.

Option 2: Write a video on Facebook yourself

Option number two is a lot less practical: You can also write the subtitles in the video upload yourself.

If you then click on "Write" under "Add Subtitles", you will get to the following editor.

First you have to choose the language.

Then you can create elements on the right and fill them with the subtitles. So you practically do what Facebook does automatically for you in option 1, manually.

We only see an advantage when what is automatically created is so messed up that you can't do anything with it; but then you still have to create the elements yourself.

Option 3: Upload subtitle file

For this option you need e.g. an SRT file. However, creating this file is not rocket science.

The program for creating an SRT file

An SRT file can be created in a normal text editor. However, with an editor you often get problems with the formatting or "intelligent" editors sometimes screw up the characters that an SRT file needs. From such an arrow: -> such an arrow is often conjured up quickly: →.
To get around this, there are programs like Atom. It's also a text editor, but one that gives you more freedom.

That has to go into the SRT file

We come to the content of the SRT file. It consists of the following elements:

  • A numerical order for the individual subtitle sequences
  • The time the sequence appears
  • The actual subtitle text
  • One blank line before the next element

In concrete terms, it looks like this:

Or for copy-pasting:

00:00:01,000 --> 00:00:10,000
This is the first text in my subtitle. It appears for 9 seconds.

00:00:10,500 --> 00:00:15,000
This is the second text of my subtitle. It starts half a second after the first one disappears.


When you're done creating, you'll need to save the file in SRT format. Just write a .srt after the file name.

The name of your file

Speaking of filenames, you also have to use a convention here. Using the example of Facebook, the file name looks like this:
filename. [language code] _ [country code] .srt
You can ignore the square brackets when writing.

A concrete example:

The filename is - logically - the title of your video. You need a language and country code to tell Facebook which language / country it is.

Subtitles in multiple languages

If you would like to have subtitles in several languages ​​for a video because your community is bilingual, you have to create a separate SRT file for each language and then name it accordingly.

Examples for German and English:

Where do the language and country codes come from, you ask?

From Facebook. They have a list for.

Here's how to upload the file

Once everything is ready, all you have to do is add the file to your video. With Facebook, all you have to do is click on the video in the video manager and then go to the subtitle tab.

There you upload your SRT file (s). That was all the magic.