How to Hardcode Subtitles on a Video
Hardcoded subtitles are a popular, no-fuss option to add subtitles to your video content. With hardcoded subtitles or captions, there is no extra file. The text is ‘burned’ onto the video image itself, and nobody can remove it. That’s why Rev calls hardcoded captions and subtitles “burned-in captions” or “burned-in subtitles.” Some people refer to them as “open captions.”
Rev has a one-click option for burned-in subtitles or captions in our checkout process. When you order hardcoded subtitles or captions, our professionals will create and overlay the subtitles on the video and send you a finished video file, fully subtitled.
Below, we will explain how and why to burn hardcoded subtitles to your video using Rev.
How to Hardcode Subtitles
1. Begin your order
Begin an order for Rev English captions or foreign language subtitles. (Captions are same-language titles with sound cues for the hard of hearing. Subtitles are usually foreign-language translations of your audio).
2. Upload your video
Once your order is open, add the video you’d like Rev’s professional subtitlers to caption. You can select the video file you want to upload or send us a link.
3. Tick the box “Burned-In” Box
When your video has uploaded, Rev will take you to the checkout. On the checkout page, select the “Burned-In Captions” or “Burned-In Subtitles” option.
Step 4: Download your subtitled video
Rev’s subtitlers will caption your video and burn-in the subs within 1 business day (or much less for shorter videos) while you’re busy writing your next hit video (or sleeping).
When your hardcoded video is ready, Rev will email you a download link. Click it to download your finished video with burned-in subtitles. The link stays valid for seven days.
You’ll also get an .srt subtitle file to use with your own video file as standard.
Bonus Step 5: Customize your burned-in subtitles
Rev now offers the option to choose a font, size, color, background, and emphasis of your captions.
It isn’t possible to change the look of the subtitles on the file you downloaded. But you can go right back into Rev’s platform, customize them there, and download a new file.
Go to your Rev account and click My Files. This opens a screen where you can change the text and timing of your subtitles. If you’re happy with it, click the red Download button to get on with customizing the look. This will open the Download Captions dialog box.
Make sure to select ‘video’ as your output file format. Select the Customize box and click Next. This brings up a modal titled Customize Appearance for Burned-In Video Captions. It’s easy to change the options using the buttons and drop-down menus.
Have you ever wrestled with Premiere Pro, trying to recreate a subtitle design that looked just right? Then you’ll appreciate the possibility to save your favorite look on Rev. Just tick the Save as default styling setting box when you finish designing.
When you’re happy, click Generate Video. Your file will take a few minutes to process – about one-third of the length of your video. We’ll email you a link when it’s done.
Why Add Hardcoded Captions to Your Video?
There are many benefits of hardcoding captions and subtitles, including not having to deal with subtitle files like .srt files.
Hardcoded subs are a robust option. Burned-in captions cannot be removed from a file or changed, i.e., to the wrong language. When you share a version of your video with burned-in captions, there is no chance of the text getting out of sync with the audio. The subtitle file can’t go missing, because there is none. The captions play as standard – your viewers don’t even need to click the subtitles tab.
Many social media platforms do not support subtitle files (Snapchat, Instagram, TikTok). The only way to include captions on these apps is to burn the subtitles to the video.
And video platforms that support separate subtitle files also have their limits. Captions on Vimeo always look clunky, and creators can’t change their appearance. Neither can you set the appearance of your captions on YouTube. However, YouTube viewers can change the way subtitles look, so creators lose a little control over the appearance of softcoded videos.
Finally, you might prefer to send a hardcoded version to a client or colleague if you don’t know what playback set-up they have. Otherwise, they may struggle with an incompatible subtitle file. Or, they might not have the technical know-how to get an .srt file working with their video player. With burned-in titles, if your viewer can play the video, they’ll see the subtitles perfectly as you intended.
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