A (Not So) Comprehensive Guide to Add Subtitles for Dummies

How to Add Subtitle Files

This question has been asked and answered countless times, both here at trizone91 and across the Internet. For the benefit of clarity I have decided to write this tutorial.

And for you anons out there who can't read instructions...

Now that's out of the way, lets get this show on the road.

As you all experience while using MeGUI, this awesome x264 frontend GUI will not, by default, add subtitles by itself when dealing with softsubbed MKV files. Thus there are two ways of adding subtitles in videos you encode.

But first things first. Definitions
Hardsubbed: This means that subtitles are embedded on the video itself. There is no way to turn them on or off, or remove them.
Softsubbed: You can turn subtitles on or off. Also they can be extracted via MKVExtract.

You'll need a few things to download.
  • AviSynth (latest version is 2.5)
  • MeGUI (duh)
  • VSFilter.dll
  • MKVExtract GUI 2 and MKVMerge
If you haven't downloaded MKVextract 2 and MKVmerge yet, download it here (MKVExtract2) and here (MKVMerge). After installing MKVMerge extract the contents of MKVMerge to where you installed MKVMerge.

And in case you don't know how to extract the subs...
Step 1. Open MKVExtractGUI2
Step 2. When the window opens drag and drop the file with which you want the subtitle file(s)
             Don't forget to check the box "Use source dir for output" to make the subs appear in the same folder of the source files.
Step 3. Click extract and now you have the subs.

Note: Just in case you have seen other things besides video, audio and/or subs in the MKV file (like fonts) extract and install them. As what's the purpose of doing that will be explained in another section.

Hardsubbing (burning the subtitles to the video)

Step 1. Download VSFilter here. Get DirectVobSub 2.39 without installer. Do not deviate from that.

Step 2. After downloading extract it and cut vsfilter.dll. Paste it in the folder ("X:/Program Files/MeGUI/tools/avisynth_plugin"). If it asks to overwrite, do so.

Step 3. Now that you've update your vsfilter, open MeGUI.

Now let's try encoding a file. In this example for completeness sake, I've picked Eureka Seven AO episode 5. Opened it in AVS Script Creator (Ctrl + R)

...and choose File Indexer. Queue it and wait for a while. After indexing refer to the next picture.

Now as you can see in the boxed area there's no subtitle even though it is present in the source file. After this window shows itself, there's another window that opens, and that's the AVS Script Creator.

Step 4. On the AVS Script Creator, click the tab that says Script

Click the blue circled box and it will open a dialog that lists a list of .dll files. If you followed this guide to the letter you must find the updated vsfilter.dll in it. Select it and click OK.

The one that is circled RED should show up. Proceed to the next step.

Step 5. Type the string textsub("the location of the subtitle file") at the bottom of that blackened space. Example is as shown:

In this case my subtitle is located in D:/Downloads/Torrent Files folder. Don't forget the " " (quotes) at the beginning and the end of the locations inside the parentheses.


LoadPlugin("D:\Program Files\MeGUI\tools\avisynth_plugin\VSFilter.dll")
LoadPlugin("D:\Program Files\MeGUI\tools\ffms\ffms2.dll")
FFVideoSource("D:\Downloads\Torrent Files\[gg]_EUREKA_SEVEN_AO_-_05_[AA3B11FE].mkv", threads=1)
textsub("D:\Downloads\Torrent Files\[gg]_EUREKA_SEVEN_AO_-_05_[AA3B11FE]_track3_eng.ass")

You must list the complete name (including the extension .ass) of the subtitle or else you'll get the error as below.

NOTE: If you get an error that goes something like this...

...then you probably forgot the " " (quotes). When you do get one don't fret! You can still open the AVS script in the folder where the source file is. Open the file that has the .avs extension in Notepad and add the necessary changes in the textsub line and Save it. To open it again go to the main window of MeGUI and...

...click the blue circled button and find the edited .avs file. It will load the video and while before it has no subtitles now check the next pic.

Voila! The subs are there in its full glory!

Final Step: Now go encode that video. Close it and start AutoEncode. Follow AB's guide from here on out how to encode.

I understand that while this does burn subs into a re-encoded video, it will not carry over styles used in the fansubbing process. In order to get the font styles of the subtitles you're hardsubbing you must extract all of the fonts inside the source file and install them one by one. Alternatively you can open your Fonts folder inside the Control Panel, copy and paste the fonts inside the Fonts folder.


Well, about that. This is the easiest way to add subtitles.

...LOL. Yeah, I just gave you the long version, but bear with me on this one.


Softsubbing, on my part is the easiest and by far the most reliable method to use subs. It only takes a few steps, fast and hassle-free. The con of it is when opened in certain media players it shows up as true generic subtitles and no font styles whatsoever.

If you still insist on doing this...

For this tutorial you'll need MKVExtract and MKVMerge. Refer to the top on how to extract subtitles.

Now if you have the video encoded already this makes things simpler.

Step 1. Open MKVMerge. Drag the encoded file (without subs) to the main window. Do this for the subtitle file as well.

Step 2. When done, click the button aptly named Start Muxing. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT EDIT ANY OF THE OPTIONS.

Step 3. When all goes well, the muxing is successful and the subtitle successfully added without incident.


Now you know how to input subtitles to your encodes. Don't forget to drop by and say thanks for the time and effort I put into this tutorial.

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Rating (^_^)


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