Subtitle creation

Subtitle creation

Length limitsPlease follow these instructions when creating a subtitle file:

  • Maximum line length: 40 characters
  • Maximum speed: 20 characters per second (ideally between 15-18)
  • Minimum duration: 1 second
  • Maximum duration: 6 seconds
  • Minimum gap between subtitles: 2 frames
  • Max number of lines per subtitle: 2 lines


Segmentation of the subtitles

  • Try to keep complete sentences on each subtitle when possible.
  • Never split the subtitle in two lines if it fits in one.
  • If you need to use two lines, split the subtitle respecting the syntagmas. Find a syntactically natural place based on the following:

    The line should be broken: The line break should not separate:
    − after punctuation marks
    − before conjunctions
    − before prepositions
    − a noun from an article
    − a first name from a last name
    − a verb from a subject pronoun
    − a prepositional verb from its preposition
  • Don't leave single words on the second line (nor the first line). There will be a more natural and balanced place where to break the subtitle:

  • When splitting a subtitle in two lines, try to make the two lines as even as possible, after meeting the previous instructions.

  • Subtitles should appear with the start of dialogue and never before. Where reading speed is not an issue, subtitles should disappear from the screen immediately as speech finishes.
  • Please don't keep the subtitle displayed when there is a location change. Please also try to avoid shot changes when possible.

Text treatment

  • We need to avoid modifying the text as much as possible. But there will be some cases where we have no other option to meet the length restrictions. In that case, please condense and synthesize.
  • The text must be correct and easy to read. Don’t abbreviate words or remove parts of the syntagmas. If you have too many characters, please condense and synthesize. For example:

  • Continuity and punctuation between subtitles: Don’t use “…” or "-" to link the subtitles. They use too much space and are not necessary.
  • Use the standard punctuation. If a subtitle needs to end in a coma, use a coma. If it needs to end without any punctuation, use no punctuation. If it ends up with a full stop, use the full stop and begin next subtitle with Caps.
  • Make sure you use all the necessary punctuation throughout the whole text.
  • Dialogue: when there are two people interventions on the same subtitle, insert a hyphen before them to indicate it's two different people talking.
  • Don’t write the numbers in letters, they take a lot of space (characters) and are more difficult to read. Use digits instead. If you prefer, you can write them in letters only when they are less than 10. Please be consistent throughout the file.
  • Take into account that oral speech can sometimes be unclear and speakers can be non native English speakers. If the sentence the speaker says doesn't make sense to you or if you don't get some words, please send us your questions as soon as possible so that we can ask the customer.
  • For the same reason above, please do not transcribe errors or leave sentences that are not comprehensible when you read them. The English subtitles need to be correct and deviate from the spoken words as little as possible.
  • When relevant, please create subtitles for the inserts (text panels) that appear in the video in CAPITAL LETTERS. If there is also speech at the same time the text panel appear, the speech prevails.



  • In the same subtitle (never between different subtitles), you can split the line in less convenient places under the following circumstances:
    • To avoid leaving a single word in one of the lines.
    • If there is no other way to keep the restrictions.
  • Maximum line length can be exceeded in 1 character in the case that it avoids a segmentation issue.