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SRT Guide: Everything you should know about SRT [Updated]

Liza Brown
Liza Brown Originally published Aug 25, 22, updated Mar 27, 24

“Hello, do you know what the SRT format is?”

Since its introduction, SRT has become one of the most common file formats that is used to hold video subtitle information. While some people are familiar with this file format, others are not. So, for this reason, we took up the task to explain more about the SRT file format.

In this post, we will discuss everything about the SRT file format. From what it is to how it works to why you should use it, and lots more. We advise you to keep reading to discover all you need to know about the .srt file format.

In this article
  1. What is SRT and how does an SRT file work
    1. Compatibility with media players
    2. User friendly
    3. Visually connect with your video content
    4. Boost social media engagement
    5. Improve SEO ability
  2. How to make SRT file
  3. How to open an SRT file
  4. Hot FAQs on SRT files

Part 1: What is SRT and how does an SRT file work

File Extension .srt
Launch Time 3rd of March, 2000
Developers Brain, Zuggy
Country Developed Europe
Stemming From DVD-ripping software (SubRip Software)
Best For It is used to hold subtitle information of a video/audio file.

SRT, also known as SubRip Subtitle File, is a text-based file that's used to hold subtitle information for video or audio files. Yes, it usually contains only subtitle texts that will be displayed in a video as commentary.

Today, SRT files are used globally by individuals, content creators, and organizations to hold texts that'll be used as auto-generated captions in their videos. And, due to the fact SRT files can be indexed and crawled by Google, it helps improve their video SEO. Thereby, allowing their videos to get more engagements and views.

Here is an SRT format example;

an example of srt file

Part 2: Why should I use SRT files?

Having understood what an SRT file is, let's take a look at some top reasons why you should use SRT files. The details have been explained below;

1.    Compatibility with media players

And the amazing thing about this kind of file is that you don't need to always edit it or generate additional files irrespective of the platform you're looking to use it on.

2.    User friendly

SRT files save users from unwanted hassles if they're looking to edit or update the file. Perhaps you noticed a slight error in the subtitle text, you can easily fix the problem from the SRT file without using any advanced software. All you just need is a basic text editor like Notepad to enter the changes required.

3.    Visually connect with your video content

Another benefit of using SRT files is that it helps to increase your video engagement. You might ask how? Well, when you add captions to your video/movie, it'll be easier for the video to reach a wide range of audiences faster. This is because captions keep your viewers engaged, and it's helpful for folks who are finding it difficult to hear properly. 

4.    Boost social media engagement

The fact that SRT is highly compatible with almost every platform makes it a good subtitle file format. Yes, SRT can be used on different platforms including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and many other native video platforms. And as stated earlier, you don't need to always edit it or generate additional files irrespective of the platform you're looking to use it on.

5.    Improve SEO ability

As stated earlier, due to the fact SRT files can be indexed and crawled by Google, it helps improve their video SEO. When a user searches a particular keyword online, the keywords in the phrases of your subtitles will be analyzed by Google, and if it matches, it'll increase the chances of your video being in Google first page.

Part 3: How to make SRT file?

Now that you know what SRT file is and why you should use it, let's learn the step-by-step process of how to make an SRT file on any computer.

Step1 Launch TextEdit if you're using a Mac or Notepad if you're using Windows and create a New file.

launch textedit

Step2 Now, type 1 to indicate the beginning of the first caption sequence. Then click on ‘Enter’ on your Keyboard.

Enter of the following formats as the beginning and ending timecode; hours:minutes:seconds,milliseconds – -> hours:minutes:seconds,milliseconds

Step3 Move to the next line and start typing your caption. It's recommended you limit each caption to 32 characters and each line should contain only 2 captions. This makes it easier for viewers to read the captions with no rush. Plus, it ensures your subtitle text complies with legal guidelines.

Step4 After you've written the first caption, Click Enter twice and remember to always leave a blank line to indicate a new caption sequence.

Step5 Repeat step 3 & 4 until you've completed the Transcript. Make sure you check no errors in the spellings used in your captions.

check no errors in spellings

Step6 To Save your file in .srt format, click on ‘File’ > Save. Under ‘Save As’ enter the name of your file and change the file extension to .srt and hit the Save button to complete the process.

click on file
Note: if you're on Mac, make sure you Uncheck the ‘Hide Extension’ and If no extension is provided, use “.txt” checkboxes.

You've successfully created an SRT file. It's as simple as that!

Part 4: How to open an SRT file?

If you've read the stepwise guide to create SRT file above, it should be clear to you by now that SRT files are simple text files and can be opened and edited on text editors like Notepad, TextEdit, etc. However, if you want to open and edit SRT file with your video file, you need advanced software like Filmora.

Filmora is a powerful but simple-to-use software that can always come in handy for your SRT file editing with videos. The tool supports lots of efficient features that can be employed for opening SRT files with videos, and it makes it easy to edit. Another amazing thing about this software is that it supports over 20 languages, making it easy for you to fit your .srt files in different languages without compromising its quality.

Check out the stepwise guide outlined below to open and edit SRT using Filmora software;

Free Download
Free Download

Step1 Start the installed Filmora program on your PC and import the SRT file to the software interface either by using the ‘Import’ option or just drag-n-drop it.

start the installed filmora program

Step2 Move the uploaded SRT file to the Timeline and right-click on it. Then choose ‘Advanced Edit’ from The pop-up.

choose advanced edit

Step3 Now take advantage of the Filmora software advanced editing to edit the SRT file.

use filmora to edit srt file

Step4 Once you're done with editing the SRT file, move the cursor to the timeline and right-click on the ‘SRT’ > select ‘Export Subtitle File’ from the pop-up list that appears to upload the edited SRT file to your PC storage.

select subtitle file

Part 5: Hot FAQs on SRT files

1. Which Is Better, SRT or VTT?

SRT and VTT are quite similar. However, VTT has more editing options compared to SRT making it easier to play on most video players. Plus, it contains metadata and other advanced options compared to SRT. The only notable downside about VTT, when compared to SRT, is that it can't be played on social media platforms.

2. Are SRT files closed captions?

Yes, SRT files are raw closed caption files.

3. How do I use SRT files for YouTube?

The process of adding SRT to your YouTube video is pretty straightforward. Just do the following;

  1. Sign in to your YouTube channel and locate the ‘YouTube Creator Studio’. Then select ‘Subtitles’ on the right menu.
select subtitles
  1. Select the Video that you want to add SRT to. Then click ‘Add Language’ and select the language you wrote your Subtitle.
click add language
  1. Click Add under the Subtitle section and upload your SRT file through the pop-up that appears on your screen.

Once you've successfully uploaded the SRT file, your video should be ready to be published with Subtitle.


If you've read this article, I'm sure you gathered more knowledge about SRT. As you can see, SRT is a good file format to hold your video subtitle, and this is because of its high compatibility across different platforms. Plus, it helps to improve video SEO and do lots more good videos to help it rank well on Google.

That being said, if you plan on using SRT for your videos you can employ the simple steps to create an SRT file explained on this page, then use a trustworthy tool like Wondershare Filmora to add it to your videos without complications.

Liza Brown
Liza Brown Mar 27, 24
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