After you create an Amara account, you can start creating subtitles in the Amara Editor. This article will show you how to start subtitles for videos already on Amara.


To see a list of your work on Amara subtitles, go to your Account page under your username menu in the top right corner and then click the Activity tab. You can also get started by learning how to add videos to Amara from video hosting sites.


Start subtitling in the Amara editor

For a video in Amara’s public workspace, click on the Add/Edit subtitles button under a video card to start subtitles. Please only create subtitles in languages in which you are native or fluent speaker.  

You can also click on the video to view more information on the video page before you start subtitling. Click the Add/Edit subtitles button on the right side of the video page to start subtitles: 

A red arrow points to the Add/Edit subtitles button on an Amara video page.

When you start subtitles, you need to select the subtitle language from a dropdown list. If someone else has already created subtitles in your language, you will see a link to edit the subtitles in the dialog box. 

Languages are listed by their ISO 639 language code (for example, 'en' for English, 'zh-cn' for Chinese Simplified, 'de' for German). You can search for languages or language codes in the dropdown menu. 

Important: If you are unsure what ISO code the desired language has or have trouble finding a particular language in the list, you can search in the list of languages supported on Amara.

Create subtitles

To start subtitling the video:

  1. Press TAB key to play or pause the video

  2. Press ENTER key to add a new subtitle cell:


A red arrow points to text that says "Press ENTER to add a new subtitle".

  1. Start typing along with the video.

  1. The flyout on the right  of the subtitle will show the number of characters in the current line. If a line is too long, press SHIFT+ENTER to insert a line break: 

Red arrow points to the flyout information panel beside a subtitle that has a warning that the character count is too high for a subtitle line. 

  1. To start another new subtitle, press the ENTER key.

  1. If you need to take a break, click the Save button in the top right corner before exiting the editor.

  1. When you are done typing what you hear, click the Start syncing button on the left side to sync your subtitles to the timing of the video. While syncing:

    • Press TAB to play or pause the video

    • Press DOWN ARROW key when the subtitle should start

    • Press UP ARROW key when subtitle should end

  2. When all the lines are synced, click Start reviewing button

  3. After you've replayed the subtitled video and made sure that everything looks right, click the Publish button on the right panel


Congratulations! Your subtitles are finished and marked as complete. After clicking Publish, you will be taken to your subtitle's page where you can view your revisions.

You can learn more about the Amara editor by reading our support articles on editing subtitles and syncing subtitles!


Navigating your subtitle set

Typically, you can only see a few subtitle cells at one time in the editing panel and the reference panel at the bottom of the Amara Editor. To view other subtitle cells, you can navigate up and down your subtitle set in two different ways:


1. Scroll with your mousewheel or with the scrollbar

2. Use keyboard shortcuts

  • ALT + ARROW UP keys to move up

  • ALT + ARROW DOWN to move down


Please note that you can navigate both panels (reference and editing) at the same time, or just the editing panel by itself. This depends on the status of scroll lock button in the reference panel:


Red arrow points to the reference panel lock icon.


If the reference panel is locked (as in the screenshot above), both panels will move together as you scroll. If the reference panel is unlocked, only the editing panel will move.


Video controls

The most common keyboard shortcuts appear in the top left of the Amara Editor for typing and syncing modes. Click the See more shortcuts link to view advanced keyboard shortcuts for jumping forward and backward in the video. 


Video Settings Menu

The video settings menu can be displayed by clicking on the gear icon on the video playback bar:

Red arrow points to the video control settings menu with playback mode, playback speed, and fullscreen view options. 

  • Playback Mode (Amara Free and Amara Teams)  

    • Playback Mode is available for all users.

    • Playback Mode is only available during the typing step.

  • Playback Speed (Amara Teams only)

    • Playback Speed is only available to Amara Teams.

    • Playback Speed can be changed during typing, syncing, or reviewing/endorsing. 

If Playback Mode options are grayed out, click on 1. Type what you hear under the Subtitling steps panel to enable your playback options.

Playback Modes:

  • Beginner: play video for 4 seconds, then pause. Resume by pressing TAB key.

  • Standard: no automatic pausing, use TAB key to pause and resume the video.

  • Magic: The video automatically pauses whenever you type for 4 seconds without a stop. When you pause typing, it skips 3 seconds back and resumes playback.



Thank you for your contributions to support an inclusive and accessible media ecosystem!

If you have any questions or suggestions, please share your feedback!

  • To submit a quick ticket, click No in the Did you find it helpful link below.