How to Add Subtitles to Videos Using Handbrake

Published on by Chris King

A simple tutorial explores how to use handbrake to add subtitles to movie files for better enjoyment.

How to Add Subtitles to Videos Using Handbrake

Have several beloved foreign movie files, but it doesn’t have the subtitle of your language and you completely can’t get what they are saying. What will you do? Don’t be frustrated. Handbrake will easily solve your problem by adding subtitles of your native language to these movie files. In this article, we will teach you how to add subtitles to videos using Handbrake easily.

As freeware, Handbrake is really a versatile tool. It can convert DVD and video to various formats, and it also supports video filtering like, decombing, scaling, cropping, etc. As a result, it has got many people’s compliments. Here you will be impressed by another amazing feature of it: add hard or soft subtitles to movies.

Now follow the tutorial below to embed subtitles to AVI, MP4, MKV movies with Handbrake:

1. Download the subtitle of your preferred language from the Internet. For your reference, the efficient search string is “movie name + the language you want + subtitle” P.s. As there are multiple incompatible subtitle file formats, make sure you download the right one with .srt format or you can convert whatever format to .srt.

2. Import movie files by clicking Source tab. Add the name and save path of your destination file.

3. Click the Subtitles button, and then hit Import SRT to add the subtitle file you download. Repeating the process you can add more than one subtitles to the source video file.

4. If you would like to attach subtitles to a movie file as hard subtitles, you can check the Forced Only box.

5. Then click Preview tab to see if the subtitle sync with the video content.

6. Choose the output format in the right panel, and then hit the Start button to start attaching the subtitle to the movie file.

Editor’s Note: When using Handbrake to add subtitles, some guys always met troubles:

“I used Handbrake, but only the "Default" option appears, i can't select "Burned in", which i'm guessing is how you hardcode the subtitles.. i read online to use .ssa files, so i tried that, but Handbrake won't let me select the file.”

 Well, based on our testing, Handbrake doesn’t support burning SSA to an AVI.  Probably can soft-embed an SRT to an AVI using Handbrake though. If you want to add .ssa to AVI, you'd better turn to another tool like Brorsoft Video Conveter(or Mac version).

It is a powerful all-in-all video tool, which can both convert videos in all popular formats and customize subtitles for your movies. With it, you can add and load external subtitles(*.srt and *.ass, *.ssa) as a part of the movie in .mp4, .avi, .wmv, .flv, .mpg, .mov, .mkv, etc format with the option to turn the subtitle on and off. 

Hard subtitles vs Soft subtitles:

Hard subtitles (also called hardsubs or open subtitles) are irreversibly merged in original video frames. They cannot be turned off and it isn’t editable.

Soft subtitles (also called softsubs or closed subtitles) are separate instructions and relatively easy to create and change. They are designed for a certain group of viewers, and can usually be turned on/off or selected by the viewer.

Related Guides:
A simple way to add subtitles to an MP4 for PS3
Handbrake Alternative on Mac Yosemite for Ripping Blu-ray, DVD
Handbrake can’t convert WMV to iTunes 12 for iPhone/iPad- Fix

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