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Home icon grey.png   ▶ Video library
▶ Settings
▶ Video playback
▶ Player
▶ Subtitles

Kodi supports both stand-alone subtitle and embedded subtitles. Most major subtitle formats are supported. Kodi can also search and download subtitles directly from full screen playback.

Supported formats

Text-based subtitle formats supported:

  • SubRip/SRT
  • VPlayer
  • SAMI
  • MPL2
  • MicroDVD
  • SubStation Alpha (or Sub Station Alpha) known as SSA/ASS
  • Closed caption EIA-608/EIA-708
  • Timed text/TX3G
  • WebVTT Note: New on Kodi 20

Image-based subtitle formats supported:

  • VobSub (idx/sub)
  • PGS (Presentation Graphic Stream Subtitle)
  • SUP (Subtitle bitmap image of DVD and Blu-ray)

Changing subtitle settings during playback

The audio options are found under the gear icon.

Various subtitle settings can be changed or they turned On/Off (default is on) via the OSD (On Screen Display) while watching a movie by selecting the subtitle menu or audio options.

Note: To make Kodi turn off subtitles by default: While playing a video, bring up the on screen display and select the audio options -> Turn off "subtitles" -> scroll down and select "save as default for all videos".

Settings details

Video Playback OSD 04.jpg

Available options are:

Enable subtitles
Allows subtitles to be displayed during playback of the current title. Subtitle tracks with the forced flag are unaffected by this and should always display.
Subtitle offset
If the sync between the display and the subtitles is not correct, adjustments can be made here in milliseconds
Select which subtitle stream to display. If only one subtitle track is available, this option will not be available.
Kodi will auto select subtitle language based on your global settings. To set a default subtitle language for all videos see: 2.1 Preferred Subtitle Language
Browse for subtitle
Allows you to browse the filesystem for locally saved subtitle files
Download subtitle
Download subtitle files from the provider. Requires configuring add-ons. See: Setup Subtitle Services and Download Services
Set as default for all videos
Selecting this will make the current settings the default for all videos

Additional settings

Main settings

Adjusting subtitles position

The position of the subtitles can be adjusted vertically (but not horizontally) in the Video Calibration screen, you can also configure the way that they are displayed though the Subtitles Settings.
Note: This does not apply to DVD subtitles as the DVD itself defines their location.

Adjusting brightness of HDR subtitles

Over-bright subtitles can be adjusted using the GUI peak luminance in HDR PQ mode setting.
See: GUI peak luminance in HDR PQ mode

Subtitle downloader

  • ActivateWindow(subtitlesearch) can be bound to a remote button using keymaps in order to quickly bring up the subtitle search window.

Manually downloaded external subtitle files

To use stand-alone subtitle files with video files, put them in the same folder as the video file or alternatively go to the Subtitles Settings and set a Custom Subtitle Directory. You can also choose to manually browse for the subtitle file via the OSD (On Screen Display). You can configure the way that they are displayed through the Subtitles Settings, and you can adjust where they are displayed onscreen through the Video Calibration Screen.

The subtitle and video files must have the same name, for example:

 Video File: The Matrix.avi
 Subtitle: The

Compressed subtitles

Kodi also supports compressed VobSub subtitles. Please note that the subtitles inside the RAR archive still need to have the same name as the video file and requires the rar add-on being installed: See: RAR archive support.

 Video File: The Matrix.avi
 Subtitle: The Matrix.rar 

Where The Matrix.rar containins the VobSub-file The Matrix.sub and the The Matrix.idx VobSub index-file that has been compressed with RAR. If you want Kodi to automatically turn on packed subtitles, you have to turn on the Search for Subtitles in RARs option in Subtitles Settings.

Using multi language subtitles

Kodi supports the use of more than one external subtitle. This of course is most useful when you have more than one subtitle file, (eg. for more than language).

To use this functionality you need to rename the video file and subtitle files as follows:

 Video File: The Matrix.avi
 Subtitle 1: The
 Subtitle 2: The
 Subtitle 3: The

The dot after the filename but before the extension specifies the language (you can use anything here, mix numbers and and letters or just use one or the other).

You can even mix subtitle formats, eg:

 Video File: Movie Name (2006).avi
 Subtitle 1: Movie Name (2006).Chinese.idx
 Subtitle 1: Movie Name (2006).Chinese.sub
 Subtitle 2: Movie Name (2006).Japanese.idx
 Subtitle 2: Movie Name (2006).Japanese.sub
 Subtitle 3: Movie Name (2006)
 Subtitle 4: Movie Name (2006).French.smi
 Subtitle 5: Movie Name (2006).German.ssa

It works basically the same for using manually downloaded external audio track files.

Advanced options

Adding fonts

You can add additional fonts to add support for your language and to customise your style. Your additional fonts can be stored in the Kodi folder at Kodi/media/Fonts/.

The supported font format type is TTF Note: On Kodi 20 - Add support for OTF font type.

Note: On Kodi 20 - Please note that each time you add or remove fonts you will have to restart Kodi, to allow the font cache to be rebuilt and show fonts in the settings.

For additional info see media section on Kodi_data_folder page.

Increasing the delay range for subtitle adjustment

If you don't already have an advancedsettings.xml file, it's very simple to make. Kodi uses this file for advanced settings and features that normal users shouldn't modify without first knowing what they do, as well as for experimental features, etc.

  1. Create a plain text file (no rich text formatting, don't use .doc, etc) and save it as advancedsettings.xml. Make sure that the file extension is ".xml" and not ".txt" or ".xml.txt".
  2. Cut and paste this into your new plain text file:
        <subsdelayrange>10</subsdelayrange>  <!-- Delay range for subtitles, in seconds. -->
        <audiodelayrange>10</audiodelayrange>  <!-- Delay range for audio/video sync, in seconds. -->
  3. Change the two values between the tags to fit your situation.
  4. Save this file in your userdata folder
    If you have an existing file, make sure the <video></video> tags, and settings we'll add between them, are between the main <advancedsettings></advancedsettings> tags.

Using Forced Subtitles

Many movies have subtitles encoded for secondary languages spoken during the film – when these are added to the movie, they are known as forced subtitles and are always visible (despite not being hard encoded). Kodi (since v13 Gotham) recognizes and respects the forced flag for showing subtitles (even if subtitles are turned off by default, the forced flag will trigger them being turned on). This requires that the user have set the default languages in Settings in order to function properly. If there are multiple forced subtitles, Kodi will select the forced subtitles that match the default playback language.

Internal Forced Subtitles

If you are using an .mkv file, the forced subtitles may be included in the file when originally encoded. If so, Kodi will automatically recognize that they are present and will display them at the appropriate times. If they are not included, or if the header was not properly edited, you will need to use external subtitles.

External Forced Subtitles

If you are using anything other than an .mkv file, or if your mkv doesn’t have the forced subtitles properly included, the forced flag can be easily added to your external subtitles. Following the same naming conventions listed above, you can then append the forced flag to the end of the subtitle file name. The forced flag can be either upper, lower or mixed case in the filename and can use a “.” (dot), “ “ (space) or “-“ (dash) to separate them from the name of the movie and language of the subtitles. IE:

Movie Name (2006)
Movie Name (2006)
Movie Name (2006)
Movie Name (2006)


Github Logo.png Requirements to load subtitles