Subtitle Workshop

Adding Captions to Video Files


It is finally possible to simply, cheaply and efficiently add transcript text to videos. I use a free piece of software called Subtitle Workshop. It is produced by what appears to be a small company called URUWORKS.

Subtitle Workshop


The software interface.

Simple to Use


You start by opening up a video file.

Adding Subtitles


This is surprisingly easy. I looked periodically for years for software that can do this, not realizing how easy it is.
The red box shows where you can use a menu driven mouse click system and it also tells you the shortuct keys for a new subtitle. This can be confusing (It was to me) because this function starts a new subtitle file, rather than inserting a subtitle in the ongoing project. The key for inserting a new subtitle in the current project is INS (the rarely used "Insert" key up at the top of your keyboard).


Adding the text


Armed with an electronic version of a transcript, you could drag words onto the text editing box. For our purpose I will simply type in the words.

Close-up of the video display.


Close-up of the text entry box.


You can hopefully see that the time for the start and end of the display of this particular subtitle is adjustable.

So after typing in a few subtitles…


… the display shows each of them and the exact time they will start and end.

Encoding the subtitles into the movie.

The subtitle program will display the text when it is running but you will need to use another program to play the video in court so I like to take the data created, save it and incorporate it into another software step. The file should be saved in .sami format. This language which seems to have broad acceptance. You may choose to use another language.

Encoding the subtitle information into a video file.


I use Microsoft Silverlight. (I can’t afford Flash). I haven’t been able to get any positive outcomes using DVD Creator software or video editing software you buy at popular stores such as Roxio suite. It may be that the functionality is there but I haven’t figured it out.

Just attach the SAMI file to the video file, encode…


You will notice the red box in the image just above, which encloses tabs for "Sources, Text and Activity Log". The source is the video file "Wildlife" that we used in the subtitle program. For this step I 1) selected the "Text" tab and located 2) clicked on the + symbol, which opens up a dialogue box enabling you to locate 3) the SAMI file.

The encoding


It takes about 1/2 as long to 3 times as long as the video, depending on your computer’s power and video card. For this step I selected the "Sources" tab and then the option to Encode appears at the bottom of the screen.

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