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How to Create an SRT File: Step by Step for Easy SRT Subtitles

Want to add SRT subtitles to your videos? Our step-by-step guide will show you how to create SRT files in no time!
Ortal Hadad
Content Specialist & Blog Editor
Last Updated:
May 2, 2023
Reviewed by
Ortal Hadad

Clear, accurate subtitles are an important part of making your video content as accessible as possible! In many cases, SRT files are the best way to integrate subtitles into your content. 

 SRT files are best for increasing your reach, and unlike burnt-in captions, they’re easier for search engines to pick up. When you understand what an SRT file is and how to create one, you can start creating effective subtitles easily. 

Wondering where to start? 

You’ve come to the right place! This is your step-by-step guide on how to create SRT files. 

What is an SRT file?

A SubRip Subtitle, or SRT file is a plain text document commonly used for subtitling. These files include the text-version of a video or audio’s content. Since they include sequences and timecodes, they’re specifically suitable for subtitles. Programs can easily read where the text aligns with the video (or audio). 

Can I make my own SRT file?

Yes! Creating your own SRT files is completely possible. 

There are two ways you can create SRT files. You can re-listen to your audio and video content to type everything out, but this will likely be a long, tedious process. Alternatively, it’s also possible to generate SRT files automatically. You’ll need good subtitle generator software for this, but you can easily find one like Riverside online. 

To ensure the highest quality for your content, you must understand the SRT file creation process well. This way, you can identify and resolve issues when they occur, double-checking subtitles for accuracy and usefulness.

So let’s get started! We’ll walk you through the step-by-step of creating SRT files both manually and with automated transcription software.

How to manually create SRT files on Mac

Creating an SRT file on Mac is easy. Follow the steps below to get started.

Step 1: Open a Notepad file and type “1”

When choosing a software tool for SRT file creation, you have a couple of options. On Mac, TextEdit is the most popular program based on its simple interface and free features. 

Open the TextEdit application, and type 1 on the first line to create your first caption sequence. Then press Enter on your keyboard to move to a new line.

Step 2: Add your time codes

Next, type in your beginning and end time codes for your captions. Use the following format:

hours:minutes:seconds,milliseconds–> hours:minutes:seconds,milliseconds 

Press Enter to go to the next line.

how to create SRT files on Mac

Step 3: Write subtitles

Start transcribing your audio content! Type your captions directly into the TextEdit document. 

Keep in mind that each caption group should be below 32 characters with a maximum of 2 lines per caption. 

At the end of each sequence, press Enter and leave an extra blank line to begin a new sequence. Then type in 2, and so on until your subtitles are complete.

Step 4: Finish and save

When your subtitles are complete, it’s time to finalize and save them. At the top of your screen, choose Format. Select Make Plain Text from the dropdown menu. 

Saving an SRT file on Mac

Next, navigate to File, Save as. Use the saving text field to name your document, and change the .txt suffix to .srt. Uncheck Hide extension, and If no extension is provided, use txt

Saving an file in SRT format on Mac

Save your file to a destination where it will be easy to find. 

How to create SRT files on Windows

Using a Windows device instead? The process is almost exactly the same, except you’ll be using Notepad in place of TextEdit. 

Simply open Notepad, type 1 for your first sequence, and hit Enter to add a new line. Then type with a limit of 32 characters and 2 lines per caption. Leave a blank line at the end of each sequence, and use 2 for the next group. Repeat the process until the captions are complete.

Creating an SRT file on Windows

When Notepad subtitles are complete, you’ll need to navigate to File, then Save. Use the file name field to enter a recognizable name, followed by the .srt suffix. 

In the save field, select All files before selecting Save

Skip the hassle: Create SRT files effortlessly with Riverside

Creating SRT files with Riverside

Feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of manually creating subtitles? Fortunately, there are other systems you can use to generate effective SRT files without the hassle. Riverside is a great option. 

Riverside is a studio-quality recording tool offering a user-friendly interface and top-quality audio and video. From capturing content to accessing a professional editing suite, Riverside provides everything you need to produce high-quality media.

As a Riverside user, you can also access the platform’s automatic transcription tools. This feature relies on artificial intelligence to convert your recordings into highly accurate text transcripts instantly after recording. 

Riverside’s built-in transcriptions work best when you use the platform for end-to-end recording. However, you can also access our free transcription tool if you have already recorded content somewhere else. 

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Key features of Riverside transcriptions include:

  • SRT and TXT formats available, allowing you to select the file type you need
  • Improved accuracy, providing you with clear, comprehensive transcripts you can trust
  • Transcriptions in over 100 languages so that you can access accurate, high-quality results no matter where you are in the world
  • Speaker detection and labeling, supporting additional clarity in completed transcripts 
  • Currently free on all plans, meaning that you can access Riverside transcription in a cost-effective way
  • Superior speed, with the system producing transcripts directly after recording

How to upload SRT files with your online videos

When you’ve finalized your SRT subtitles, you’ll need to combine this file with a video file. Luckily, this requires just a few simple steps. 

Step 1: First, navigate to the platform you’ll use to publish your content. This might be Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, or another video-sharing channel

Step 2: Next, upload your chosen video file from your device.

Step 3: When the correct video is uploaded, use your chosen platform’s unique uploading tools to also upload your SRT subtitle file. 

Depending on the system you’re working with, you may be directed to a studio landing page, or you might need to share your video without subtitles, then edit it to add them in. 

Step 4: Share your video and SRT files together. If you’ve followed the instructions of your publishing channel, the two files should combine, and your video will display subtitles. 

Read more: How to Add Captions & Subtitles to a Video: 5 Easy Methods

FAQs on creating SRT files

Still unsure about the process of creating an SRT file? Here are our answers to a few frequently asked questions. 

How do I create a SRT file for free?

It’s easy to create an SRT file for free! With Mac, the TextEdit program is built in, and the same is true for Notepad on Windows. Both of these applications are available free of charge as part of the free application suite that comes with your device. You can also use Riverside’s free transcription tool to generate SRT subtitles. 

How do I manually create a SRT file?

If you want to create an SRT file manually, you’ll need to input transcription data in a TextEdit or Notepad file, depending on your device. You’ll then need to ensure that you have correctly navigated your saving settings to use the SRT file type.

What program creates SRT files?

There are several programs capable of creating SRT files. The choice is up to you! For Mac users, TextEdit is popular, and for Windows users, Notepad is a common choice. However, Riverside is an excellent alternative if you’re looking for greater automation, improved quality, and a more sophisticated system.

Can I make an SRT file in Notepad?

Yes, you can use Notepad to create an SRT file. In fact, this is a preferred application for many Windows users. Follow the steps above to produce a subtitle document using the Notepad interface.

How do I convert a plain text file to SRT?

If you accidentally save a document as a TXT file instead of an SRT file, don’t panic. If you’re using a system like TextEdit or Notepad, you must reopen the working document and access your save settings. Here, you’ll need to replace the .txt extension with .srt and ensure no toggles on that would automatically convert the file back to TXT. Alternatively, if you’re using a system like Riverside, simply export and download the subtitle file again, this time choosing SRT instead of TXT. 

Can I convert a Word doc to an SRT file?

It is also possible to convert a Word document to an SRT file. Like with TextEdit or Notepad, this relies on the extension you use in file naming. When you save the text in a Word document you plan to use for subtitling, replace the .doc or .docx extensions with .srt before saving to desktop. 

Interested in using Riverside for subtitle creation? Great! Try Riverside today, and start producing better content.

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