A few subtitling basics

Subtitles belong at the bottom of the screen,
centered, or aligned to the left.

Subtitles should have a minimum duration
of about 1.5 seconds.

A single line of subtitling, consisting of some 40 characters (including spaces) can be read in 3 seconds.


The quality argument

We are compulsive readers. This means we cannot not read a text in our language, hence bad quality subtitling ruins audio-visual productions.

Tips for movie and documentary producers

Those interested in producing a movie or documentary or any other audio-visual production for television, DVD or cinema would be well advised to take the subject of subtitling into consideration.

Movie and documentary producers spare no cost or effort to produce a high quality product, but wind up ruining it by overlooking some of the basic principles of subtitling.

A little basic knowledge can prevent spoken dialogue from being excluded from subtitles at the end of a scene, fragments of subtitles disappearing at chapter breaks and, even worse, subtitles appearing across people's faces.

Basic Pointers