How to Burn in Subtitles in Premiere Pro*

* Quickly, with minimal software/extras, and for free.

Here’s a quick tutorial on how to burn in subtitles using Premiere.

You will need:

  • Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2015.3 (the functionality was removed in v. 10.4)
  • A closed caption file (SRT, SCC, etc.)

Step 1: Convert the caption file to SCC.

Premiere kept giving me generic errors whenever I tried to import SRT files. It seems to play nice with SCCs. Convert SRTs to SCCs using this free tool.

Step 2: Import the caption file to Premiere.

Step 3: Drag the file onto your timeline as a layer on top of your video.

You can go over to the Captions Panel and play with the timings/text on there if you want. Just double click the captions.

Step 4: Click on the wrench in the Project Panel and go to Closed Caption Display > Enable. Then, go to Closed Caption Display > Settings and change the setting to CEA-608 // CC1.

Scrub over the video in your timeline; the captions should be visible now.

This method doesn’t allow you edit the style of the captions too much. This is how your subs will look.

Step 5: Hit File > Export and under Export Settings, go to the Captions tab. Change that top option to be “Burn Captions Into Video.” I recommend you export a 30 second test before exporting your entire subbed project.

This will permanently burn in your captions, no matter where you upload it. The viewer won’t be able to turn them off.

That’s it! If you’re on the latest version of Premiere, it appears that Adobe hasn’t fixed this yet :/ You need to use Premiere CC v. 10.3.

There are paid tools that can help with this but I haven’t used them.