ELAN – Adding Subtitles to Movie Files

ELAN: Adding Subtitles to Movie Files

For presentation purposes, you may wish to include subtitles in the movie file. One way you can do this is by using ELAN and Quicktime Pro.

Here are the steps:

  1. In ELAN, select File > Export as > Quicktime text
  2. Choose which tier(s) you wish to export as subtitles. Note that you may wish to export different speakers separately, especially where there is overlapping talk in the data.
  3. Click on ‘Edit font and display settings’ and set your preferences for the text colour and size
  4. Apply
  5. Okay
  6. Open the exported file with Quicktime Pro
  7. Select all and copy
  8. Open the movie file you are adding the subtitles to
  9. Edit > Add to movie
  10. The subtitles will now be embedded in the movie
  11. Should you wish to move them horizontally or vertically:

a. Open Window > Show movie properties

b. Select the text track

c. Add a value into the Offset field (horizontal: left; vertical: right)

d. Enter

e. The text will have moved to where you have specified.

f. Modify until it’s where you want it to be.

Should you wish to change the text, you can do this in the original output text file.

  1. Open it with a text editing tool (for example TextEdit)
  2. You can now modify the text descriptors at the top of the file
  3. For relevant codes to do this, see


Other ELAN Tutorials:

What is ELAN?
New Project
Basic Functions
Types and Tiers
Annotations, Segmentation and Transcription
Export your transcript to Word
Coding using controlled vocabularies
Adding Subtitles to Movie Files