How to Add Subtitles to a Video in Premiere Pro

How to Add Subtitles to a Video

Adding subtitles to videos in Adobe Premiere Pro enhances accessibility and engagement, reaching a wider audience. This guide provides concise steps for integrating subtitles. It ensures your content is both inclusive and versatile.

We’ll cover essential techniques to elevate your video projects. Let’s dive into making your videos more accessible and appealing to all viewers.

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Why Subtitles Are Important

Subtitles play a crucial role in video content for several reasons, enhancing accessibility, comprehension, and reach:

Accessibility: Subtitles make content accessible to the deaf and hard of hearing. It ensures everyone can enjoy videos without barriers.

Language Learning: They assist viewers in learning new languages by providing written text alongside spoken dialogue.

Improved Comprehension: Subtitles can aid in understanding complex or fast dialogue, technical terminology, and accents, benefiting all viewers.

Viewing in Quiet Environments: They enable watching videos in sound-sensitive environments, like libraries or late-night settings, without disturbing others.

SEO Benefits: Including subtitles can boost a video’s search engine visibility by providing additional text for indexing.

Global Reach: Subtitles break language barriers, allowing content creators to reach international audiences by providing translations.

Engagement: They can increase viewer engagement and watch time by ensuring the content is accessible and understandable to a diverse audience.

Closed Captions vs Subtitles: Clarify the Difference

Closed captions and subtitles are both text forms displayed on video screens to provide additional or interpretive information. But they serve different purposes and audiences:

Closed Captions

Purpose: Primarily designed for the deaf and hard of hearing, closed captions not only transcribe speech but also include non-speech elements such as sound effects (e.g., [door slams], [upbeat music]), speaker identification, and other relevant audio cues.

Audience: Aimed at viewers who cannot hear the audio part of a video, ensuring they can still understand what is happening.

Toggle: Closed captions can usually be turned on or off by the viewer, hence the term “closed.”


Purpose: Subtitles assume the viewer can hear the audio but need the dialogue in text form, typically because the audio is in a language the viewer does not understand. They mainly transcribe speech and do not typically include non-speech elements.

Audience: Targeted at viewers who can hear the audio but need the dialogue in a different language or the same language for better understanding.

Consistency: Subtitles are often always on when provided, particularly in films or videos in foreign languages. Although some platforms allow them to be toggled on or off.

How to Add Subtitles to a Video in Adobe Premiere Pro

Adding subtitles in Adobe Premiere Pro can enhance your video content significantly, making it accessible to a wider audience. Here are the detailed steps to guide you through the process of adding subtitles in Adobe Premiere Pro:

Step 1: Prepare Your Subtitle File

Prepare Subtitle File

Create a Subtitle File: Before importing your subtitles into Premiere Pro, you need a subtitle file. The most common format is SRT (SubRip Subtitle file), which is supported by Premiere Pro. Ensure your SRT file is accurately timed to match your video.

Step 2: Import Your Video

Import Video

Open Adobe Premiere Pro and create a new project, or open an existing project. Import Your Video: Go to File > Import and select the video file you want to add subtitles to.

Step 3: Import the Subtitle File

Import Subtitle File

Right-click in the panel and select Import. Choose Your Subtitle File: Navigate to where your SRT file is saved, select it, and click Open. The subtitle file will appear in your project panel.

Step 4: Add Subtitles to Your Timeline

Add Subtitles to Timeline

Drag your subtitle file from the project panel to the timeline. Place it on a track above your video track. If needed, you can adjust the placement and duration of each subtitle segment directly on the timeline.

Step 5: Edit Your Subtitles

Edit Subtitles

This opens the Captions panel. Here, you can edit the text, timing, and format of your subtitles. Click on the subtitle you want to edit in the timeline, then adjust its properties (font, color, size, position) in the Captions panel.

Step 6: Adjust Subtitle Settings

Adjust Subtitle Settings

For more detailed adjustments, go to Window > Captions to open the Captions panel, if it’s not already open. Here, you can change the caption standard (e.g., CEA-608, CEA-708, or SRT), stream, and display settings.

Step 7: Export Your Video with Subtitles

Export Video with Subtitles

When you’re ready to export your video, go to the export settings. Select the format best suited for your final product. Under the Captions tab, you have a few options:

Burn Captions Into Video: Select this if you want your subtitles to always be visible.

Export as Separate Sidecar File: Choose this to keep subtitles as a separate file, allowing viewers to toggle them on or off.

Finalize Your Export: After selecting your preferred option, click Export to render your video with subtitles.

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To Conclude

Adding subtitles to a video is a vital step towards making content more accessible, inclusive, and engaging for a diverse audience. Subtitles serve as an essential tool in broadening your video’s appeal and understanding. Remember, subtitles not only make your content more accessible but also contribute to its SEO, potentially increasing your video’s visibility and audience reach.

In conclusion, the addition of subtitles is a thoughtful and strategic decision. It can significantly impact your video’s success and viewer satisfaction. Embrace the subtleties of subtitling to unlock the full potential of your video content.