In a world where video content is unrivaled on social media, adding subtitles to your social media content can only benefit you and your brand. That being said, a lot of social media platforms don't actually allow you to upload SRT files with your videos. This is where hard coded subtitles comes in.
Unlike Youtube, Facebook and Linkedin, social platforms such as Instagram or TikTok which have a heavy focus on video content don't actually allow you to upload srt files to the platform. The only way to get around this is to hard code your subtitles onto the video.
The term hardcode originates from developers and means to embed something in your original source code or project which cannot be changed directly.
In our scenario, hard coding subtitles is the process of rendering your video with the subtitles included into the video file. The subtitles will be burned onto your video. It's as if the text displayed on the screen was a part of each frame they overlay.
Once you hardcode subtitles onto a video, you can no longer edit or remove them.
In this tutorial, we'll be looking at two methods for how to hardcode subtitles in a video.
How to hardcode subtitles using VLC media player
The very first thing you'll be needing to add subtitles to your video is a SubRip Subtitle file. So if you don't already have one, go ahead and create a SRT file.
The second thing you'll need is VLC Media Player installed on your computer. You can download it for free from there website.
And the third thing is the video you'll want to be hardcoding the subtitles to. You'll also want to make sure your SRT file is correct and corresponds with your video because you won't be able to edit it again later without having to restart the whole process.
1. Open VLC media player
Open up VLC media player, there's no need to select your video and open it using the "open with VLC" option due to the fact that we need to select the video again in step 2.
2. Add your video within the stream menu
Hover over the media tab and click on Stream, alternatively you can use the CTRL+S on your keyboard and the Stream menu will open up. Now you can add the video you want to burn the subtitles to by clicking on the Add button and selecting your video file.
3. Select the subtitles you wish to hardcode
After you've added your video, you now need to tick the "Use a subtitle file" box and click browse to find and import your SRT file.
At the bottom of this window, click on the stream button. Once you've done this you'll be taken to the next page where you have to confirm the video source by clicking Next in the bottom right.
4. Add stream output file destination
Next you need to create the output location for your new video file. To do this, select File in the dropdown menu and click on the Add button next to it.
Now a File tab will open up and you will have to name that file whatever you want to call it. Also make sure to add on the ".mp4" extension to the end of your filename.
Once you've named your file, click on next.
5. Activate transcoding subtitles option
In the transcoding options section, make sure you tick the Activate Transcoding box.
Then click on the spanner icon next to the dropdown menu.
A new window will pop up. In this new window, under the subtitles tab, make sure that you tick the Subtitles box and Also the "Overlay subtitles on the video" box.
Click on save, and then next.
6. Save new hardcoded subtitles video from stream
On the last page the only thing you need to do is click the Stream button in the bottom right of the window.
The video will then playback once all the way through and then a second time the playhead will move once again from start to finish in the timeline. It is important that you let VLC finish transcoding your file.
Do not close VLC Media Player during this process.
7. Quit VLC media player the correct way
Once the video has played all the way through and finished transcoding. You have to quit VLC media player by hovering over Media in the top bar menu and then selecting Quit.
Closing VLC media player by clicking on the window cross seems to fail at saving my videos properly.
How to hardcode subtitles online
The tool we'll be using to hardcode subtitles to video online is an online video editor called Veed. Veed allows us to upload our video and srt files, customise and style our subtitles, and then with the click of one button, download our video with the subtitles baked into the video.
If you don't have your own SubRip Subtitle file, you can automatically create one using Veed's automatic subtitles tool.
1. Upload your video to Veed
Head over to www.veed.io and upload your video. You can upload any popular video file such as .MP4 .MOV .AVI.
2. Add or create subtitles
After having uploaded your video, you're now in the project editor. Click on the subtitle tab in the left toolbar and you'll have the option to automatically add subtitles to your video, manually add subtitles to your video or upload your subtitles from an SRT file.
3. Style your subtitles
With Veed, you can easily customise your subtitles before hard coding them into the video. You can edit things such as the font, font size, color, position, and much more. It's up to you to play around with the tools within the subtitles editor.
4. Download your video with hardcoded subtitles
Once you're happy with the subtitles. You can simply click the download button and your video will start to render with the subtitles layered on top.
And that is how to hardcode subtitles into your videos. You just need your video, SRT file, and a tool that allows you to merge the two together. Just make sure your SubRip Subtitle file is the final version. Because you cannot make changes to your hardcoded video afterwards. You would have to start the whole process over.
If you have any questions about how to burn subtitles into your video, don't hesitate to reach out to us!