How to Extract Subtitles from MKV Files

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Ever wanted to understand the dialogue in a foreign film, or create captions for your home videos? MKV files, a popular multimedia container format, can hold subtitles alongside video and audio tracks. 

This guide will show you how to extract subtitles from MKV files using various methods, giving you the SRT subtitle format for easy use with most media players.

Method 1. How to extract subtitles with Subtitle Edit

Subtitle Edit is a free and powerful tool that allows you to work with subtitles in various formats and extract them embedded within MKV files. To learn how to extract SRT from MKV files, follow the step-by-step instructions on extracting subtitles below:

1. The first step is to download Subtitle Edit. Visit the official website to ensure you're getting the latest version compatible with your operating system, be it Windows, Mac, or Linux.

Download Subtitle Edit

2. Once the download is complete, follow the on-screen instructions to install the MKV subtitle extractor. The installation process is typically straightforward and shouldn't take long.

3. After successful installation, launch Subtitle Edit. There are two ways to open your MKV file:

  • Drag and drop. The easiest method is to simply drag and drop your MKV file directly onto the Subtitle Edit program window. If the program recognizes the file format and embedded subtitles, they will be loaded automatically.
  • Using the File menu. Alternatively, you can use the File menu. Click on the File button and navigate to the Import menu. From the submenu, select Subtitle from video file. This will open a file browser window where you can locate your MKV file. Select the file and click the Open button.

4. Subtitle Edit should automatically detect and load the embedded subtitles from the MKV file. You'll see the subtitles displayed in the program's main window. Each line typically contains the displayed text, timestamps indicating when the subtitle should appear and disappear, and optional speaker identification tags.

5. With the subtitles loaded and confirmed to be correct, you can now save them as a separate subtitle file for future use. Navigate to the File menu again and select the Export option.

6. A crucial step is selecting the desired subtitle format. Subtitle Edit supports exporting subtitles in a wide range of formats, including:

  • SRT (SubRip): a widely compatible format supported by most media players, making it a good choice for general use. It's a simple text-based format with timestamps and subtitle text. To extract SRT from MKV files, select this option from the menu.
  • ASS (Advanced SubStation Alpha): this format offers more advanced features like subtitle styling, positioning, and animation, but may not be compatible with all media players.
  • SSA (SubStation Alpha): similar to ASS but with less advanced features and broader compatibility.
  • DVD Sub (SubRip for DVD): this format is specifically designed for creating subtitles for DVDs.

7. Once you've chosen the appropriate format, click Save As and select a filename and location for your extracted subtitles using the dialogue box. Click the Save button to export the subtitles as a new file.

Method 2. How to extract subtitles with MKVExtractGUI-2

While Subtitle Edit offers powerful editing features, sometimes you just need a simple tool to remove subtitles from your MKV files. MKVExtractGUI-2 is a free and user-friendly option that leverages the capabilities of MKVToolNix to achieve this task. Below, you will find a detailed guide to walk you through the subtitles extracting process.

Before diving into the extraction steps, ensure you have the following:

  • MKVToolNix: MKVExtractGUI-2 relies on MKVToolNix, a collection of tools for manipulating MKV files. Download and install the latest version of MKVToolNix from a reliable source like MKVToonix. The installation process is typically straightforward.
    Download MKVToolNix
  • MKVExtractGUI-2: head over to Sourceforge to download the MKVExtractGUI-2 archive. It's a compressed file format like ZIP or RAR. Extract the contents of the archive using a decompression tool like WinRAR or 7-Zip.
    Download MKVExtractGUI-2

While MKVExtractGUI-2 is a standalone executable, it benefits from being placed within the MKVToolNix installation directory. Now let’s start extracting subtitles:

1. Double-click the MKVExtractGUI-2.exe file to launch the program. A simple window will appear with options for selecting the input file, output directory, and desired tracks for extraction.

2. Drag and drop your file into the Input Files area.

3. Click the Browse button next to the Output directory option. This specifies where you want the extracted subtitles to be saved. Choose a convenient location on your computer and click the Select Folder or the OK button to confirm.

4. The program will analyze the MKV file and display a list of all tracks it contains, including video, audio, and subtitles. Look for entries with names like Subtitles, [Language code] subtitles, or similar. These represent the subtitle tracks embedded within the MKV video file.

5. By default, all tracks might be checked for extraction. Uncheck the boxes next to video and audio tracks if you only want to extract subtitles. You can also choose to extract multiple subtitle tracks by leaving their checkboxes marked.

6. Once you've selected the desired output directory and subtitle tracks, click the Extract button. MKVExtractGUI-2 will use the underlying MKVToolNix functionalities to extract the chosen subtitle tracks from the MKV file.

7. The extraction process should be swift. Upon completion, navigate to the output directory you specified in step 3. You will find the extracted subtitle files named based on the original track names or a combination of the MKV filename and track number. The subtitle format will typically be SRT, SSA, or ASS, depending on the format used within the MKV file.

Method 3. How to extract subtitles with Subtitlevideo.com

Subtitlevideo.com is a web-based platform that utilizes automated speech recognition (ASR) technology to generate subtitles from uploaded video or audio files. It supports various video formats like MP4, WebM, AVI, MKV, and more. Processing times can vary depending on the video/audio file size and server load. The accuracy of generated subtitles depends on factors like audio quality, background noise, and the chosen language. As for the privacy, Subtitlevideo.com claims to delete uploaded videos after 7 days for security reasons. However, it stores the generated subtitle files for up to a year.

Extracting subtitles from uploaded videos/audio and generating captions using AI is a free service. However, extracting hardcoded subtitles already embedded within the video requires an additional fee.

Here are some of the supported features:

  • Video/audio upload: upload video or audio files from your computer for subtitle generation.
  • URL support: paste the public URL of a video (e.g., YouTube) to extract subtitles (applies only to publicly accessible videos).
  • Language selection: choose the spoken language in your video/audio to improve subtitle accuracy. Subtitlevideo.com supports a wide range of languages.
  • Hardcoded subtitle extraction (paid): for an additional cost, Subtitlevideo.com can extract subtitles already present within the video file.
  • Multiple file formats: download extracted subtitles in various formats like SRT, VTT, or TXT for compatibility with different media players.

Follow the instructions below to learn how to extract subtitles using Subtitlevideo.com.

1. Open a web browser and visit the Subtitlevideo.com website.  
Go to Subtitlevideo.com

2. You have two options for providing the video/audio source:

  • Upload a file. Click the Choose file button and select the video file from your computer storage.
  • Provide a video URL. If the video is publicly accessible online (e.g., YouTube), paste the URL in the Paste a URL, link of any video field. Ensure the video has public viewing permissions.

3. While not mandatory, specifying the spoken language in your video/audio can enhance the accuracy of the generated subtitles. Use the dropdown menu under Select spoken language in video, audio to choose the appropriate language.

4. Enter your email address to receive a notification when the subtitle extraction is complete. If you want to extract existing subtitles within the video, check the box next to Get hardcode subtitles. Be aware that this incurs an additional cost. Alternatively, check the Get audio track transcription box. Subtitlevideo.com will use its AI technology to generate subtitles.

5. Click the Extract subtitle button to initiate the subtitle extraction process.

6. A progress bar will indicate the processing stage. You can also view a list of your uploaded files with their current status (waiting queue, is running, converted, done/error) under the Status section.

7. Once the processing is complete and the status changes to Done, you'll see options to watch the video online with the generated subtitles or download the subtitle file in your preferred format (SRT, VTT, TXT).

Method 4. How to extract subtitles with VideoProc Converter

VideoProc Converter is a comprehensive video-processing software that goes beyond simple file conversions.  VideoProc Converter offers various video-editing functionalities beyond subtitle extraction. You can explore them if needed. The converter allows you to edit videos, adjust audio settings, compress file sizes, and extract subtitles from MKV files, among other functionalities. If your MKV file contains subtitles in multiple languages, you can choose which one to extract by accessing the subtitle settings menu and selecting the desired track before initiating extraction.

1. Download and install the latest version of VideoProc Converter from the official website.
Download VideoProc Converter

2. Locate the MKV video file containing the subtitles you want to extract.

3. Double-click the VideoProc Converter icon on your desktop or locate it in your Start menu (Windows) or Applications folder (Mac) and launch the program.

4. Click on the Video button in the top left corner of the main interface. A file explorer window will open. Navigate to the location of your MKV video file and select it. Click Open to import the file. 

You can also drag and drop the MKV video file directly onto the central area of the VideoProc Converter window. The software will automatically recognize and import the file.

5. Once imported, VideoProc Converter will analyze the MKV file and display information about its video, audio, and subtitle tracks. Look for entries with names like Subtitles, [Language code] subtitles, or similar in the video information section. This indicates the presence of subtitle tracks within the MKV file.

6. Open the Toolbox section in the lower part of the interface. Click on the small gear icon next to the Export Subtitle entry (if subtitles are detected). This opens the subtitle settings menu.

7. The settings menu allows you to select the desired format for the extracted subtitles. The available options include SRT (SubRip) and ASS (Advanced SubStation Alpha). Choose the format that best suits your needs. SRT is a widely compatible format for most media players.

8. Once you've confirmed the subtitle presence and chosen the output format, click the RUN button located at the bottom-right corner of the VideoProc Converter main interface.

9. The extraction process should be swift. Upon completion, the extracted subtitle file will be saved in the same location as your original MKV video by default. The filename will typically be based on the original MKV filename with an extension corresponding to the chosen format (e.g., MKV_filename.srt).

Convert videos with Movavi Video Converter

Movavi Video Converter is a user-friendly program that streamlines video conversion and compression across various formats. It tackles challenging tasks like converting MKV files to more widely compatible formats while maintaining high quality. The program also provides an AI upscaling feature to enhance the video quality.

Beyond conversion, Movavi Video Converter empowers you to enhance your videos further. With this program, you can find subtitles online that match your video content. And then you can directly import and integrate them within the program itself. This ensures a seamless viewing experience for audiences who prefer subtitles.

Summary

With all these options, extracting subtitles is a breeze! Subtitlevideo.com generates subtitles online, MKVExtractGUI-2 tackles MKV files, VideoProc Converter offers a feature-rich toolkit, and free, open-source Subtitle Edit empowers advanced editing. Choose your tool and enhance your videos today.

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