Nothing will ruin a movie quicker than terrible subtitles. They could be totally out of sync or badly translated. Luckily, there is software out there to correct subtitles, such as Subtitle Workshop. If you are keen to edit subtitles, either as an act of personal heroism to share with fellow viewers, or perhaps as part of your job as a translator, editor or sound engineer, then you may already be familiar with this program. It is a nifty application that allows you to edit and create subtitles online. Given the increasing access to quality foreign language films and TV series, this could be a great tool.
Sterling subtitle software for beginners
The ultimate subtitle software for beginners and professionals
Subtitle Workshop is a cross-platform and open-source program for editing, creating and converting subtitles. When it comes to quick, easy and ultra-effective subtitle software, this program is pretty hard to beat. It runs on over 60 platforms, it is highly customizable and best of all, it has an exceptional Preview Mode. According to the developer it has an 'intuitive interface' and 'must have features'. They will say that though! Does it live up to the hype? We’ll take you through some of the highs and look for the lows of this software, to see if it is the best subtitle program for you.
First of all the technology itself. The latest version (SubtitleAPI version 1.05) supports around 56 formats for subtitling, and it can handle both time and frame-based text. You are behind the controls of the timing, thanks to the feature allowing you to upload plain text files. Formats including DVDSubtitle, SAMI, Sonic Scenarist, SubStation Alpha, SubViewer 1 & 2 and TMPlayer are supported. You can read and write various styles and fonts (Wingdings being a possible exception!) so you can have fun and personalize your subtitles.
Subtitle Workshop is known for its famously friendly and intuitive user interface. It was certainly a breeze to install and the in-built features are clear and easy to navigate. If you need to hone in on getting that accurate dialogue and correct spelling, then the Translator Mode gives you spell check with Microsoft Word’s engine (you will need to have Word installed) and you can toggle the 'Insert' and 'Delete' keys for speedy subtitle correcting.
If you want to check your progress, simply fire up the Preview Mode, a great feature rare in these programs. In this mode, you can customize the subtitles down to the last 't' – choose the color, perfect the position and even the width of the shadow of the subtitles.
The stylistic corrections are made smooth by the powerful settings. Keep your edits a different color or font style to mark your changes. Browse the configurations and make your editing a walk in the park with the customizable automated checks. In a nutshell, this software will let you tailor make your subtitles down to the spacing, position, color font and more. It is simple, powerful and free. What is there not to like?
At the time of writing, Subtitle Workshop will not allow you to edit Chinese, Japanese or Korean subtitles (although Arabic has now been added).
Where can you run this program?
Subtitle Workshop is a cross-platform software. It is primarily used for Windows. With the trend towards mobile there is talk of developing a version for iOS and Android smartphones but this is still in the pipeline. As for the formats supported by Subtitle Workshop, it has to be handed to them that outside of the mega expensive programs used by companies this all-in-one package supports an impressive 60 plus subtitle formats.
Is there a better alternative?
While Subtitle Workshop is one of the best known and best-loved apps for efficient, highly configurable and (intuitive) editing, it is not the best. For lightning fast processing and feature-rich subtitle tools for your armory, then check out MovieCaptioner and FinalSub. They both have a commercial license, they run on Windows and MacOS and each one supports a variety of formats. Be prepared to pay the price however, these professional programs don’t come cheap. For budget alternatives, Oona Tools can be used for outsourcing your subtitles and translations for both professional and personal use. For a totally free option, check out fellow freeware N!kse.se Subtitle Edit. This is basically just like Subtitle Workshop but with more enhanced and complex features. Aegisub and Sublight also deserve honorable mentions.
With the giants of Netflix and others dominating our living rooms, unwinding in front of a movie or TV series is becoming a pretty cherished part of the evening. With access to cinema from around the world, bad subtitles are holding us back from some epic foreign language options. With Subtitle Workshop you can take ownership of the subtitles yourself. Creating subtitles is made easy, thanks to the automated timing corrections, in-built spell checker and the highly useful preview mode. Whether you are looking for software for personal or professional use, this is a great program for creating bespoke subtitles in a stream-lined and intuitive interface. Plus, you can share them with the world afterwards.
Should you download it?
Yes. If you are looking to create or edit subtitles for video, then Subtitle Workshop is a fantastic and comprehensive program. The controls are easy to use, and the user manual is a great guide for beginners. Professionals needing more complex features should look at alternatives like Subtitle Edit, but for the simple subtitle creation, this ticks all the boxes. Go ahead and download it and see for yourself.