While watching foreign films, shows, or even instructional videos, subtitles can be a vital component. However, sometimes these subtitles can obstruct critical parts of the video or simply not be in a viewer’s line of sight. To enhance your viewing experience, VLC Media Player allows you to adjust the positioning of these subtitles according to your preference. In this comprehensive guide, we will provide step-by-step instructions on how to move subtitles and reposition them in VLC Media Player.
Why would you want to move subtitles in VLC?
Changing the position of subtitles in your VLC Media Player can have numerous advantages, enhancing your viewing experience in different ways:
- Avoiding on-screen text: In some videos, vital text information or visual elements may appear at the bottom of the screen, exactly where subtitles usually show up by default. By moving the subtitles, you can avoid this overlay, ensuring that you don’t miss out on any important information or graphics.
- Enhancing readability: Subtitles can sometimes blend into the background if the video’s scene is similar in color or shade. Moving the subtitle to a different, less busy part of the screen can help improve their visibility and readability.
- Personal comfort: Everyone has unique viewing habits and comfort zones. You might simply prefer having the subtitles located in a different part of the screen based on how your screen is positioned, your seating arrangement, or where your eyes naturally focus while watching a video.
Steps to move subtitles in VLC player
To move and reposition the subtitles in the video you are playing in VLC media player, follow these steps:
- Launch VLC and open your video: Start by opening VLC Media Player and play the video you want to watch.
- Open the Preferences window: Once your video is playing, go to the top menu and click “Tools”. In the dropdown menu, select “Preferences”. This will open the Preferences window where you can adjust various settings.
- Access the subtitle settings: In the Preferences window, click on the “Subtitles/OSD” tab. This will open the settings specifically related to on-screen display and subtitles.
- Change the subtitle position: Look for the setting named “Force subtitle position”. This setting allows you to change the default position for your subtitles. The position value represents the distance in pixels from the bottom of the screen. The larger the number, the higher the subtitles will appear. So, if you prefer the subtitles at the top of the screen, set a high value like 800 or 900. For a middle-screen position, opt for a moderate number like 400.
- Save the changes: After you’ve inputted your preferred value, click on “Save” to apply the changes. You might need to restart your video or the VLC Media Player for the changes to take effect.
Note: If the subtitles do not move as expected, make sure that the subtitles file (.srt, .sub, etc.) is not hardcoded. If it is, the position can’t be changed within VLC or any other media player.
Relevant guide: How to Download Subtitles in VLC on Windows 11
VLC “Force subtitle position” not working
Using VLC Media Player’s subtitle repositioning feature is typically straightforward, but there can be instances where issues arise. There are times when the “Force Subtitle Position” feature doesn’t work as expected, despite following the above steps correctly. This can be caused by a few different factors.
- Restart needed: After changing the subtitle position in VLC settings, a restart of the application or even the video might be necessary for the changes to take effect. If the position doesn’t change immediately after adjusting the settings, try closing and reopening VLC or the video file.
- Hardcoded subtitles: As mentioned earlier, if your subtitles are hardcoded into the video file itself, you won’t be able to change their position using VLC or any other media player. Hardcoded subtitles are a part of the video and cannot be altered. In this case, you may need to find a different version of the video or a separate subtitle file.
- Outdated VLC version: If you’re using an outdated version of VLC, you might experience problems with certain features, including subtitle positioning. Check the official VLC website or your device’s app store to ensure you’re using the latest version.
- Incorrect “Force subtitle position” value: A value that’s too high or too low could cause the subtitles to move off-screen, making it seem like the feature isn’t working. Try adjusting the value gradually until the subtitles are in your preferred position.
- Subtitle file format: Some subtitle file formats may not be compatible with the “Force subtitle position” feature. If possible, try using .srt files, as they are widely compatible.
Remember that different videos and subtitle files can behave differently due to their source and how they were created, which might also influence how successfully you can reposition the subtitles.
Linked issue: VLC’s VLSub Error Code “401 Unauthorized” (200)
Other subtitle-related issues in VLC
Beyond issues with the “Force subtitle position” function, VLC users might encounter several other subtitle-related challenges. Below are some of the most common problems when adding subtitles to a video in VLC player and how to fix them.
- The subtitles aren’t moving as expected – Aside from hardcoded subtitles and ‘Force subtitle position’ issues, there might be problems with the subtitle file itself. Try opening the file in a text editor to see if there are any noticeable issues or formatting errors.
- The subtitles disappear when I change their position – If you set the pixel value too high or too low, the subtitles may disappear off the screen. If this happens, adjust the value gradually until you find a position that suits your viewing preference.
- The changes aren’t saved – If your changes are not being saved, it might be due to insufficient user privileges. Try running VLC as an administrator (right-click on the app and select “Run as administrator”) and then make the changes again.
Related resource: How to Stream Video From Link Online or Locally
VLC Media Player offers a multitude of customization options, one of the most significant being the ability to adjust subtitle positions. This feature enhances your viewing experience by offering flexibility and personalization to your needs.
However, there can be instances when changing subtitle positions in VLC can be challenging or seemingly impossible. A key factor to understand in these situations is that the root of the problem often lies in the subtitle file itself. Subtitle files often contain embedded formatting and position data, which dictates how and where the subtitles should appear on the screen. If this positional data is present and specific, it can override any adjustments attempted through VLC, rendering the “Force subtitle position” function ineffective.
If you find yourself unable to adjust your subtitles despite following all the steps and troubleshooting advice outlined in this guide, the most likely cause is the subtitle file itself. As a solution, consider sourcing a different subtitle file from a reliable source. Subtitle files can vary widely in terms of formatting, embedded positional data, and compatibility, so using a different file may resolve the issue.