How To: editing subtitles with subtitleeditor

2 minute read

In a previous article, I introduced gsubedit, a GNOME Subtitle Editor for linux using GTK. It was the best subtitles editor I’d ever found for linux.

Recently, I found a new project, that even it is quite young, has a lot to offer. Namely subtitleeditor. It supports any kind of subtitles format, allows you to move, change framerate and much more.

Here is an introduction to subtitleeditor.

Subtitleeditor is GTK+2 subtitle editor sofware released under the GNU General Public License (GPL), it makes subtitles editing really easy, in a few clicks you can create subtitles, change the framerate, move subtitles…

Here is the full list of featrues:

  • Can create new subtitle
  • Open and Save subtitle (SSA, ASS, SubRip (srt), MicroDvd (sub))
  • Add, Delete subtitles entries
  • FPS convertion
  • Scale
  • Find, Find and replace
  • Check time and encoding errors


If you are running ubuntu or debian, you can get the .deb package from the origibal site. And install it using:

$ sudo dpkg -i /path/to/subtitleeditor-0.7.2.deb

other people might compile it (check out that you have all the dependencies installed on your computer first).

nota: in order to build this package, you need to have automake-1.7 installed. Make sure that this version will be used by default. People running a debian system might use

$ sudo update-alternatives --config automake

and choose automake-1.7.

$ tar -xzvf subtitleeditor-0.7.2.tar.gz
$ cd subtitleeditor-0.7.2/
$ sudo ./ && make && make install

After configuring, compiling and installing subtitleeditor, the binaries and other files should be installed in /usr/local/.

Now let’s try it out!

nota Through this article, anything between parentheses and in bold will denotate a key binding shortcut. ex: (Ctrl+N)


First of all, launch subtitleeditor :):

$ subtitleeditor

Once subtitle editor is opened, create a new subtitle file (Ctrl+N) and start creating a new entry (Insert). Then you can set the time the subtitle starts at, the time the subtitle stop at, a style and the text that has to be shown on screen.

As you can see, there is a style column. This allows you to define the style the subtitles should be display with (bold, italic, red colored…). To create custom styles, click on Tools->Style Editor and then create a new style by clicking on the top left icon, give it a name, press enter and the define the style you want.

subtitleeditor: style editor panel

Now, you can use the predefined style from the main window, as shown below:

Using predefined styles with subtitleeditor

Then carry on insering new line with (Insert) if you want to insert it after the current selected line, or before the selected line using (Ctrl+Insert) and there you go :).

Once you are done, you can save and export the subtitles to:

  • Formats using style: .ssa, .ass
  • Formats not supporting style: .srt, .sub

Please, that’s it for now, I introduce subtitleeditor as being a great tool for creating subtitles. I will carry on later on to show you how to easily translate or resynchronise subtitles.