avidemux_logo.jpgIn this guide I will explain how to extract subtitles from a DVD disk and save them to a .srt file e.g. a text file containing the subtitles along with the timecode they appear in the movie. srt files can be easily edited or even translated to another language so that other users can view the movie. To do so we must first extract an .idx file from the DVD along with a .sub file. The .idx file contains the time codes of the subtitles and the .sub contains information about the image that contains the subtitles. The program I am going to use to rip the DVD subtitles is Avidemux. Avidemux has versions for Windows, Linux and Mac OS. In this tutorial I used Avidemux 2.4 on Archlinux running KDE4. The program has the same interface in all operating systems though. So, install Avidemux (if you are using Linux install it through your distributions Package Management System e.g. for Ubuntu sudo apt-get install avidemux and for Fedora su -c 'yum install avidemux' ) and lets extract the subs!

This is the main window of Avidemux.


Go to Tools -> VOB -> VobSub...


Press the first Open button next to VOB file(s).


Here you must select the .VOB file which has the beginning of the movie. It will start with VTS_ and have a few MB of size. In my example the correct file is VTS_01_0.VOB


Next press the second Open button next to IFO file. Here select the correct .IFO file depending on the .VOB you choose before. VTS_01_0.IFO is the correct one for me.


Next press the third Open button next to VobSub file. Here browse to where you want to save the extracted VobSub file. Here I have chosen /home/axel/Subtitles as the directory. Choose a name for the file and make sure it ends with .idx, subs.idx is the file for me. Now click the Save button.


When you have filled in all 3 fields press the OK button.


The ripping process will begin. Depending on your CPU and the movie's length it might take a few minutes to complete.


When the process is completed you will see two new files in the directory you choose before. subs.idx and subs.sub are the files.


Now it's time to make our .srt file e.g. the subtitles file. Go to Tools -> OCR (VobSub -> srt)...


In the Select input and output files window first press the Select idx file button.


In the VobSub Settings window press the Open button.


Now browse to where you have the subs.idx file, select it and press Open.


If the subs.idx file has more than one language you must select the one you want to extract from the drop down menu. Here I have selected the English subtitles. Press Ok.


Next press the Open button next to Output SRT file. Browse to where you want to save the final subtitles file, give it a name, e.g. subs.srt, and press Save.


If you have a GlyphSet from a previous time you can import it now. GlyphSet is a file that contains the letters of the alphabet along with their images. If it is the first time you make the whole process just leave it blank. A new GlyphSet will be created when you are finished with the ripping.


Now the OCR (Optical Character Recognition) program will start. Here you must teach the application what is each character. You must be very careful with that. The sentence you look at is the first subtitle line. In the small box all letters will appear one by one. You must type the right letter in the empty text field. When you type the correct press Ok to move on to the next one. This might seem boring at first, but when you have typed all letters of the alphabet the program will do the job by itself.



When you are finished press the Close button. Now the .srt file will have the extracted subtitles and the right timecodes in it!

You can save the GlyphSet for later use! Press the Open button and save it somewhere.


If you open the .srt file with a text editor you can check it by yourself.


That was an easy way for extracting the subtitles from a movie DVD, wasn't it?! Enjoy until the next guide!

Comments (22)

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I'll try on smilies/wink.gif
tiop , June 30, 2009
Nice and
Thank you for the time taken smilies/cheesy.gif

Itsamesa , July 05, 2009
Thank you guys!
axel , July 07, 2009
Keeps freezing :(
Whenever i try to generate the VobSub file it keeps freezing smilies/cry.gif
diskjocki , July 20, 2009
I don't have a problem like this. Maybe it is because of the Avidemux version you are using or your Linux distribution. Can you write those two here?
axel , July 24, 2009
There is no small vob-file
The first VTS Vob-file is not a small file, but close to 1 GB. The last vob-file is a couple of hundreds of mb, as said in the guide. So I have no vob named VTS 01_0, but VTS 01_1. I have a IFO-file named 01_0, but not a 01_1.

Therefore I got no subs.idx-file in my destination container and I cannot continue the procedure.

Any comment please. Thanks.
Jonny , August 19, 2009
hang problems on mac Book pro (10.5.8)
Like diskjoky I get hang problems on mac Book pro (10.5.smilies/cool.gif when I try to select a VOB. So far the only way I've found around this Is to use the software on an older computer 2007 era iMac (Power PC G5 OS 10.5.smilies/cool.gif. That version is solid without problems. This is fab software.
boaby , September 19, 2009
boaby I don't have a Mac so I can't try Avidemux for MAC OS. smilies/sad.gif In Linux until know I didn't have any problems. I hope they will fix these bugs soon.
axel , September 19, 2009
The Best Tutorial
Very in-depth, easy to follow tutorial with step-by-step instructions on how achieve what seems like it should be so simple: extracting subtitles from a film! (tutorials with screenshots are always the best)
I'm pretty much a n00b, all I know about when it comes to subs are those in .srt format - my head was spinning reading about all the the other various formats.
I've got my English subs now, thanks to you!! smilies/cheesy.gif

Rayna , August 27, 2010
Hi Rayna, I'm glad my tutorial was helpful for you! smilies/cheesy.gif
axel , August 30, 2010
Great tutorial ! A thanks you a lot...
Otriades , November 13, 2010
Thnk you!!
What a nice tutorial! Just tested in Ubuntu 11.04 and its working just fine, even with Greek Encoding etc!

(hint: Download Geany and go to Document->Set Encoding if you haven't encoded your subtitles correctly!)smilies/smiley.gif
alexxxxXela , June 30, 2011
Thanks for the tip alexxxxXela smilies/smiley.gif
axel , July 05, 2011
It Works But I have Question Abt Chinese Subtitles
@Jonny - the subtitle VOB files will come with an accompanying .IFO file as well, while the video VOB files do not. When I realised that my subtitles were stored in the second VOB file, I was able to rip them.

@OP - I am extracting Chinese subtitles... what do I do when it comes to teaching the Mini OCR?
Rykel , September 22, 2011
Excellent tutorial my friend!
Thanks a lot!
Kimi , April 24, 2012
It does not work
It does not work - every duration is 3 s.
Start time is ok.
End time for every subtitle is
Start time+3 s = wrong!
xblek , July 17, 2012
great! btw, why don't you just download the subtitles in subscene.com? you can find subtitle of nearly any popular movies. but, really, it's great tutorial anyway .. smilies/grin.gif
smansaum , August 05, 2012
The VOB-VOBsub is removed since version 2.6.0
On Sourceforge is the older version 2.5.6 still available. With this version i can follow this tutorial. Thanx for this.
But it is recommanded to save the older version of this program twice or more.
gvb , October 07, 2012
...for this guide. Very useful... smilies/cheesy.gif
SS , January 21, 2013
Poor way of doing this!
What if a particular letter, say 'z' doesn't appear all along the entire subtitle? or appears at the end of the total timeline? I'd have to type all the subtitles till that by myself then, huh? Better to type the whole thing by myself.
Even worse, what if i need to extract foreign language subs, which i'm not familiar with? duh...
dsvsv , February 27, 2013
crazy lines across everything
What do I do if I get this?

ronmoses , April 06, 2013
Re: crazy lines across everything
@Ron: I'm having the same exact issue. It's really frustrating. At least now I know it isn't the DVD set that I'm trying to extract the subs for... Gotta be the software.

Roger , April 18, 2013

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