Loading External Subtitles in VLC Media Player

While we are watching a movie, a series or some other video in VLC Media Player, we tend to turn subtitles on. Subtitles helps us greatly to understand some part of the story or even an entire movie if it is in some language that we do not understand. VLC allows us to open up external subtitles and use it for our current video.

Some movies come with embedded subtitle files while others require you to download subtitles from an external source. You might also be provided an external subtitle file with a movie but it might not be embedded within the movie. Subtitle files are generally in .srt format but there exists other formats. Like most video formats, most subtitle formats with different extensions are supported in VLC Media Player.

To Open Up an External Subtitle:

Method 1

  1. Open up your video and make sure it begins playing.
  2. From VLC the menu bar, click on Subtitle > Add Subtitle File
    menu-add-subtitle-file
  3. Browse to the location where you subtitle file is present and hit open
    browse-subtitle

Method 2

  1. Put your movie file and subtitle file in the same folder.
  2. Give both those files the same file name. Only the extension will be different.
  3. For example:
    The Movie file => Movie.name.mp4
    The Subtitle file => Movie.name.srt
    same-folder-movie-subtitle
    For multiple subtitles for more than one languages use the format movie.name.lang.srt (example: movie.name.en.srt or movie.name.ru.srt)
  4. Open up the movie file and the subtitle will load automatically from the beginning.

External Subtitle Formats Supported by VLC Media Player

VLC Media Media player supports tons of subtitle formats. The following list of external subtitle extensions (formats) is supported by VLC Media Player:

  • *.aqt (AQTitle)
  • *.cvd (Chaoji VCD)
  • *.dks (DKS)
  • *.jss (JACOSub)
  • *.sub (MicroDVD/MPSub/SubViewer/VOBSub)
  • *.ttxt (MPEG-4 Timed Text)
  • *.mpl (ML2)
  • *.txt (ML2/VPlayer)
  • *.pjs (Phoenix Subtitle)
  • *.psb (PowerDivX)
  • *.rt (RealText/Smil)
  • *.smi (SAMI)
  • *.ssf (Structured Subtitle FOrmat)
  • *.srt (SubRip)
  • *.ssa (Sub Station Alpha)
  • *.svcd (Super Video CD)
  • *.usf (Universal Subtitle)
  • *.idx (VOBSub)

5 thoughts on “Loading External Subtitles in VLC Media Player

  1. i ran into a different problem with Chinese subtitle.

    I has the SRT file (in UTF-8 encoding) and MP4 file in the same folder and same name. VLC did pick up the SRT file and tried to display the strings. However, the displayed characters are all in hollow squares.

    This indicates VLC can only handle ANSI characters. Any solution?

  2. Yes CDLVCDLV , you are missing , i asked , which video players can support , load multiple Audio Files and / or , Multiple Subtitles , for 1 file Video ( Just Images without audio )

    For example 1 file with 3 languages for example something

    Video.webm –> Video without Audio
    Video_es.aac –> Audio for video in spanish
    Video_en.mp3 –> Audio for video in english
    Video_ru.ogg –> Audio for video un Russian

    Video_es.saa –> Subtitle for video in spanish with Styles
    Video_es.ass –> Subtitle for video in spanish with Styles
    Video_es.srt –> Simple Subtitle for video in spanish
    Video_en.srt –> Simple Subtitle for video in english
    Video_rus.ass –> Advacce Subtitle for video in Russian

    You understand me ???

    i expect someone understand , becuase my english is bad XD

  3. I have a dunno , which video players ? can use something like

    name.mkv / name.mp4
    name_lang.aac / name_lang.mp3
    name_lang.ass / name_lang.srt

    For the video player shows the “lang” file for external audio(s) (likely various langs) and the same for external subtitle(s) (likely various langs too)

    You can understand i say ???

    This is very useful for me , because i ever had the three 3 sepatared , its better for my , thank you for readme.

    1. If you have multiple subtitles in multiple languages for just one video, then you can use them. The underscore ( _ ) method that you’ve mentioned works as well, but the standard method is:

      name.mkv / name.srt / name.lang.srt (The lang can be anything like en.srt ru.srt)

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