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Saturday, July 14th 2012, 1:59pm

Enhancing your youtube subtitles - tricks!

It can make a huge difference if you apply certain basic subtitle features to your translated videos. Let's share here features that we can utilize and be sure that youtube will display them right. I'll start with italics and moving the subtitles upwards, 'cause this is all I know for now.


You will need a subtitle program that can save to the SAMI (.sami ; .smi) subtitle format. I personally use Subtitle Workshop. Open your subtitle file with the program, apply all italics where you need them, and then Save as SAMI format. Then upload this SAMI file to youtube and the italics will work. :)

Moving upwards

Sometimes there is text in the video that can interfere with the subtitles and make it difficult or impossible to read them. Many of the TVP videos have such a text in the beginning, and that can be a reason for many people to close the video in the first 10-15 seconds.

So let's move just the strings (this is how a subtitle text appearing at one point in time is called; in the subtitle program they show as separate rows) that we need. Here is an example of this:

OK, this is a bit more complex to do. You again need to save the subtitles in the SAMI format. But then you have to manually adjust that subtitle file using your computer's Notepad application, or Notepad++, or an equivalent non-Windows program. When you open the SAMI file, you'll see some tags for style on the top, and then the actual subtitles. Go to the subtitle (or string) you want to move up and just after its last character paste this: <br><br>&nbsp;

Here's an example:
<P CLASS=SUBTTL>They're hurt by their own expectations.<br><br>&nbsp;

The code means the following - there are two line breaks, followed by a single space (&nbsp;).

In this way we trick youtube so that it does what we want it to do. :kewl:

Note: depending on the encoding you're subtitle file has, you may see your language as gibberish when you open the file with Notepad or Notepad++. The latter program has an option to convert to UTF-8, which should make your language showing correctly. So you can do that if you'd like to. But keep in mind that if you see your language as gibberish, it doesn't necessarily mean that youtube will not display it right.

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