How to add subtitles to avi videos natively

Martin Brinkmann
Jan 8, 2013
Updated • Jan 9, 2013
Music and Video

Subtitles can be a great way, sometimes the only way, to watch a movie in a foreign language. I'm a big fan of Gaki No Tsukai from Japan for instance but do not understand what is going on were it not for subtitles that helped me do so. Subtitles are often supplied with DVD or Blu-Ray movies you buy, and when you download videos from the Internet, they may also be included in that download. Sometimes, you may need to download them separately from Internet resources or a software like Subdownloader.

Most media players on the PC, VLC or SMPlayer for instance, support subtitles and when you play your movies in them, you should not have any issues doing so. Sometimes though it may not be that easy. Say you want to burn the video to DVD or CD to watch on the television instead, or move it to a Flash drive to connect it to your television.

The first issue that you may run into is that a subtitle format may not be supported by the player. You could try a subtitle converter to convert it to a format that the player supports, but if you do not know which that is, if any, you may be better off adding the subtitle to the video directly so that you do not have to worry about that.

AvioAddXSubs is a free program for Windows that works similar to Movie Subtitler, a program that we have reviewed earlier this year. How it works? At best, all you need to do is select the file name or folder that contains the avi video and the subtitle in srt or idx format, and the output folder. Make sure the filenames are identical as it won't work otherwise.

add subtitles avi video

This program simplifies the task of incorporating subtitles (XSUB) in AVI files with DivX/XVid video streams. Subtitles are provided by .srt ANSI text files and/or one idx/sub pair (for a total of up to 8 per avi).

Alternativelly you can convert the .srt to idx/sub files to subtitle AVI/MKV/MP4 etc. Choose what works best with your DivX/XVid Player.

Place the avi file and its assosiated (same name) srt or idx/sub in the same directory. Select the avi (or many) and press "Start". A subtitled divx file (or many) will be created (<2 min), ready to play in your DivX player.

Similarly, if you choose idx/sub generation, one idx/sub files pair will be created from the provided srt file(s) and you can place it together with the avi for playback in your DivX/XVid Player.TIP: You can Drag&Drop the avi (or many) to program's shortcut in your desktop.

Before you start the process, you may want to go through the two configuration pages the program makes available to make sure everything is configured as it should be.

The first configuration screen gives you options to configure the display of the subtitles. You may need to change the default language here, change the subtitle bitmap which defaults to Pal to NTSC or a custom format, and make a couple of optional changes like changing the font and width of the text or changing the optimization option. You can configure up to eight different subtitles for the video here.

The second configuration screen handles chapter generation which is disabled by default and a couple of other pre- and post-processing settings.  The actual processing takes little time and should be done in about 2 minutes.

If you are looking for a program to add subtitles to videos natively, you should try out this portable application, provided you want to do so for avi videos.


Tutorials & Tips

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  1. Anonymous said on August 1, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Why not make use of the mplayer.conf?

  2. Mike J said on August 1, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    Huh, I have never even seen this “font cache” pane; videos play at once for me, using VLC & XP SP3.

    1. Martin said on August 1, 2010 at 3:39 pm

      Mike, in theory this should have only been displayed once to you, at the very first video that you played with VLC. The time this window is displayed depends largely on the number of fonts in your font directory.

      1. Mike J said on August 2, 2010 at 2:30 pm

        huh, I lucked out for a change?? Amazing!!
        Apparently VLC keeps this info through version updates, but I didn’t see this message after a fresh OS install about 8 weeks ago, & a new VLC.

  3. myo said on August 1, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    yes, yes, i have the same problem. sometimes, VLC crashes when it is playing .mov file.

  4. Kishore said on August 13, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    Buidling font Cache pop-up


    Open VLC player.

    On Menu Bar:


    (at bottom – left side)
    Show settings — ALL

    Open: Video
    Click: Subtitles/OSD (This is now highlited, not opened)
    Text rendering module – change this to “Dummy font renderer function”


    Re-open – done.
    Progam will no longer look outside self for fonts

    Source –

    1. Martin said on August 13, 2010 at 3:10 pm

      Great tip, thanks a lot Kishore.

  5. javier said on August 14, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    @Kishore, I’ll try your tips, but does this mean it will no longer show subtitles either?
    I do use subtitles, but the fontcache dialog box pops up (almost) everytime I play a file.

    Could this be related to the fonts I have installed? Or if I add/remove fonts to my system?

    I’ll try to do a fresh install also, if your tips does no work. I’ll post back here later…


  6. Kishore said on August 15, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    @ Javier, The trick i posted will show up subtitles too. If not,

  7. Kishore said on August 15, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    @ Javier, The trick i posted will show up subtitles too. If not,Dont worry, VLC is currently sorting out this issue and the next version will be out soon.

    No probs @ Martin !! Its my pleasure

  8. Ted said on October 22, 2010 at 3:57 am

    Try running LC with administrator privileges. That seemed to fix it for me

  9. Evan said on December 8, 2013 at 1:48 am

    I am using SMplayer 0.8.6 (64-bit) (Portable Edition) on Windows 7 x64. Even with the -nofontconfig parameter in place SMplayer still scans the fonts. Also, I have enabled normal subtitles and it is still scanning fonts before playing a video. Also, it does this every time the player opens a video after a system restart (only the fist video played).

  10. Mike Williams said on September 6, 2023 at 1:26 pm

    Does that mean that only instrumental versions of songs will be available for non-paying users?

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