How to Create Subtitles in Adobe Premiere

When you post videos online, it’s important to make the content as user-friendly as possible. After all, you wouldn’t be putting your videos online if you didn’t want people to watch them through to the end, right? Right.

The problem is that a lot of people enjoy watching videos on their smartphones, and they aren’t always in a place where they can listen to the sound. This means that having subtitles in your videos is critical, or a large percentage of your users will give up the moment they realize there are no subtitles.

But is creating subtitles difficult? No! Regardless of the platform where you intend to post your videos, you can easily use Adobe Premiere to add subtitles before uploading them to your platform of choice.

Let’s take a look at the basics of adding subtitles to any video in Adobe Premiere.

Get the SRT File

The most common way to include subtitles in your videos is by using a Subrip Subtitle (SRT) file. These files include the text for your subtitles and information on where in the video they should be placed. The easiest way to generate this file is with a third-party transcription service, such as Transcribe by Wreely. This is the software we will be using in this guide all along the way.

The Transcribe software provides both manual and automatic transcription options. As with any automatic transcription service, there is bound to be an occasional mistake when the audio is unclear, but Transcribe has a 90%+ accuracy rate. There is also a manual transcription option, but we’re going to skip that one in favor of automatically generating our subtitles.

Step 1

The first step to getting started with your transcription–after signing up for a Transribe account– is to click on the button that says ‘Start Transcribing Now’ from the homepage.

Step 2

Next, you will be given the option to choose between manual and automatic transcription. On this screen, select the button for automatic transcription.

Step 3

Now that you’ve chosen to begin a new automatic transcription, you will choose your transcription language and the options you want included. These options include timecodes, speaker tags, custom dictionaries, and subtitle formatting. You can choose whichever options you prefer, but including timecodes is highly recommended. Also, for the final option, check the box for subtitle formatting and select SRT for the format. 

The last thing you will need to do on this screen is to upload your video file. This can come from your hard drive, or you can pull it in from a number of different cloud services such as Google Drive and One Drive.

Step 4

Depending on the length of your video, the upload process could take some time. As soon as the upload is complete, your automatic transcription will begin. Most transcriptions are complete in under an hour, and obviously the shorter the video the faster it will be. If you look in your dashboard, your list of transcription jobs shown. The new one will say “Processing” until transcription is complete.

When transcription is complete, you will receive an email notification and the status will update to ‘Ready.’

Step 5

Now that your transcription is complete, simply click on the project to view the results of the automatic transcription. If you’re satisfied with the results, simply click the button for ‘Export Transcript’ on the right side of the screen. This will download your SRT file.

If there are some errors in the transcript, which can occur due to poor audio quality, you can instead click ‘Edit Transcript.’ This will allow you to edit any errors you spot in the integrated text editor. 

Once you have fixed any errors,  you can download the SRT file using the button in the text editor tool bar, as shown below.

Add Subtitles in Adobe Premiere

Armed with your newly generated SRT file, you’re ready to import your subtitles into your video. For this step, we will assume you already have Adobe Premiere installed on your system. If not, you will want to take a moment to do so by going to Adobe’s website.

Step 1

Launch Adobe Premiere, then click on the blue ‘New Project’ button in the upper left portion of the window.

A window will pop up with a lot of different options to choose from. You can just stick with the defaults, in which case the only thing you will change is the name of your project right at the top then click ‘OK.’

Step 2

With your new project created, you’ll be greeted with a window with four primary workspaces. In order to get started, you will need to import your video.

In the top menu, click on ‘File’ then ‘import.’ 

When the import window opens, navigate to wherever you saved your video file. Select the file, then click ‘Import.’

Step 3

With your video imported, you should see a screen with a thumbnail of your video in the lower lefthand workspace. Also notice the window to the right, which is the project’s timeline, says to drag media here to create the sequence. Go ahead and click and drag the thumbnail of your video from the lower-left corner into the timeline on the right. It should look similar to this after you have done so:

otice how the video shows again in the upper-right, and directly to the left there is a captions window. If the captions window is not displayed, simply click on ‘Captions’ tab located toward the upper-right of the Adobe Premiere window.

Step 4

The next step is where we add our subtitles. In the captions workspace to the upper-left, click ‘Import captions from file.’

Next, simply locate the SRT file that you had previously generated with Transcribe by Wreely. 

After selecting the file, a caption track dialog box will appear with some options to choose from. In this instance, you can simply leave it on the default settings and click OK.

Congratulations! Your video now has subtitles. To confirm that all went according to plan, simply click the play button on the video in the upper-right window of your project. The video should now be playing with the subtitles included.

Step 5

The final step is to export your video.

Click ‘File’ then ‘Export’ in the main menu. Select ‘Media’ for the export option, and you will see a window with a number of export settings. 

If you’re very familiar with video settings you can change them to whatever you see fit, but otherwise, simply select the format dropdown to choose the option you prefer, such as MPEG-4.

Before clicking the ‘Export’ button at the bottom of this window, make sure you click on the ‘Output Name,’ so you can name the video and choose the location where it should be saved.

Now, click on ‘Export’ at the bottom, and your file will be created. If you navigate to the location you chose, you should be able to launch your video with any compatible video player, and you will see the subtitles are included!

Final Thoughts

You probably thought this process was going to be much more painful than it actually is! The key takeaways here are:

  1. Generate your subtitles as an SRT file using auto-transcription software. Transcribe by Wreely is highly recommended.
  2. Create a new project in Adobe Premiere and import your video.
  3. Import your SRT file into your Adobe Premiere project.
  4. Export your video file.

That’s all that is required to get a video with highly-accurate subtitles!

Still have questions? Contact us.

About this Guide

This is an attempt to build the definitive guide on various topics related to dictation, transcription & recording.

This guide is maintained by Transcribe, a professional and easy-to-use transcription software that helps you convert audio and video to text automatically.
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