Video Editing

Quick and Easy Ways to Extract Subtitles from MKV

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

  • hello text text
  • hello two

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Matroska Multimedia Container, or MKV, is a container file format used to bind audio, video, picture, and subtitle tracks in one file. Sometimes, for various reasons, one might need to extract one of these media tracks from a file. In this case, subtitles.

To extract subtitles from an MKV file or any other container file format, such as AVI and MP4, one would need a capable subtitle extractor.

This article explores three free and easy-to-use applications, MKVToolnix, VideoProc, and Keevi, that meet that criteria and how to use them.

Ready? Let’s go.

Why Extract Subtitles from Videos

Extracting subtitles is not an action most people regularly perform on their multimedia files, but one you might find yourself needing someday. Here are a couple of reasons why you might need to use a subtitle extractor.

Transfer subtitles from a low-resolution video file to a high-resolution version

Low-resolution files are not great for the viewing experience, especially on larger screens like laptops, TV, or projectors. 

However, a high-resolution version might not come with its own subtitles. Extracting subtitles from the low-res file to add to the high-res version is a smart way to improve the overall quality of the visual experience. 

To Separate subtitles from a video to master a language

If you are learning a language, watching media files in the language without subtitles is an excellent way to master it.

But not every MKV file or media player allows you to turn off the subtitle track. Extracting the subtitle is a nifty workaround to get what you need out of the process.

Extract classic lines in a movie

Another benefit of extracting subtitles from MKV and other container formats is unfettered access to classic lines and dialogues in a movie.

While platforms like IMDb provide dialogues to films, they are not universal, and the available content is limited. 

Subtitle extraction allows you to have unrestricted access to every word in a media piece, which you can then apply to other content forms.

Extract Subtitles from MKV with MKVToolnix

MKVToolnix is a free and open-source tool package designed for the Matroska media container format. Among other uses, it allows users to merge, edit, split and extract subtitles from MKV files. 

It is compatible with Windows, Linux, and macOS. You can also combine it with gMKVExtractGUI as the graphical user interface.

When combined with GUI software, it is easy to use for anyone at varying skill levels. However, without one, extraction is done via a command-line interface and can be difficult for inexperienced users.

Pros Cons
Compatible with Windows, Linux, and macOS Requires third-party GUI software
Free and open source Confusing to amateur users
Can extract MKV streams

How to Rip Subtitles from MKV using MKVToolnix

To extract subtitles from MKV with MKVToolnix, you must first download it and gMKVExtractGUI

STEP 1 - Launch the MKV Subtitle Extractor

After download, install MKVToolNix and copy or move the gMKVExtractGUI.exe file to the MKVToolNix folder.

Then double-click the gMKVExtractGUI to launch the program.

STEP 2 - Choose the MKV Subtitle Track

Click the browse button in the Input file section to insert the relevant media file.

You should see a list of every track inside the MKV file in the tracks section, as shown below.

Check the subtitle file(s) you want to extract from the video.

STEP 3 - Extract the Subtitles

Before completing the extraction, set the output directory for the extracted file(s). This is where you want to store the standalone subtitle files.

After setting the output directory, click extract. 

Below is a picture illustrating every step.

Extract Subtitles with VideoProc

Another extractor you can use on MKV files is the VideoProc subtitle extractor. The software allows users to rip subtitles from MKV, MP4, AVI, VOB, or any file in container file format. 

The extractor also supports batch extract mode to take out multiple subtitle files at once.

VideoProc is compatible with Windows and Mac devices. The software also supports different subtitle files, such as .srt, .sub, .ass, and .sbv. Furthermore, you can use it to search online for subtitles without using a web browser.

Unlike MKVToolnix, it requires an additional software download. However, it is neither free nor open-source.

Pros Cons
Easy to use Requires software download
Supports Windows and macOS Not free
Has Batch Extract mode

How to extract SRT from MKV using VideoProc

You need to download and install VideoProc before starting the extraction. Download here for Windows and macOS.

Once the installation is complete, follow these steps.

STEP 1 - Import the MKV File

Launch the extractor and click Video at the main interface. Then click the +Video button at the top of the interface to import the MKV file with the subtitle.

STEP 2 - Choose the Output Subtitle Format

Once the video is in the extractor, click the Toolbox tab at the bottom of the interface. Then select Export Subtitle by double-clicking it.

Afterward, select the output subtitle file format as shown below.

Then click done.

If you can’t find the Export Subtitle option in the Toolbox tab, select Target Format in the lower left corner of the interface. Then search for Export Subtitle. It will be available there.

STEP 3 - Complete the Process

After choosing the output file format, click run at the lower right corner of the interface to complete the extraction process.

That’s it. You have successfully extracted subtitles from an MKV file with VideoProc.

A significant downside of these subtitle extractor tools is that they require software installation. For tools you might need occasionally, it is too much commitment.

An ideal option is a tool with similar or better capabilities that is entirely web-based and just as easy to use. This leads us to the final one on our list, Keevi.

Download Subtitles from MKV with Keevi

Keevi Video Editor is a web-based video editing tool that supports different editing actions, including extracting subtitles from MKV and other file formats. The application is accessible entirely via web-browsers, removing any need for software installation.

It also has an artificial intelligence (AI) for the auto-generation of subtitles in over 100 languages. The subtitles generated can equally be translated from one language to another.

You can download the generated subtitles in various file formats, including .ssa, .srt, .vtt, and .ass formats.

Other subtitles-related features include subtitle style formatting and adding a subtitle field to already generated subtitles. Simply put, it is an encompassing subtitle management tool.

Pros Cons
Entirely web-based Only available on desktops, laptops and tablets
Multiple subtitle features
Auto subtitle generation

How to extract subtitles from MKV using Keevi

To extract subtitles from an MKV file with Keevi Video Editor, launch the website by clicking this link. Then follow these steps.

STEP 1 - Import the File

Before starting extraction, you need to import the video into the editor. Do this by clicking ‘Upload Video’ on the landing page.

Then drag and drop the file onto the Add Video interface. You can also add it manually using the Browse button.

STEP 2 - Download the Subtitle

Once the video import is complete, the editor will automatically split the file into a timeline with the video, audio, and subtitle track.

Next, click the Subtitle tab at the top of the editor to open its controls. You will see the Options button. Click it.

After clicking Options, you will see a menu list with options like -

  • Subtitle style
  • Translations
  • Download Subtitle
  • Delete All

Select Download Subtitle, as shown below.

Then choose the output subtitle format. You can choose between .srt, .vtt, and .ass formats.

Then click ‘Download Subtitles’.

The subtitle will download the subtitle file to your device. With that, you have successfully extracted subtitles from an MKV file.

How to Add Subtitles to MKV/MP4/MOV/AVI files with Keevi

Another thing you can do with Keevi Video Editor is manually adding subtitles to an MKV file. An everyday use case for this is when a media file has an embedded subtitle in a different language. 

You can use the editor to remove the wrong subtitle and generate another in the correct language. It is also a handy way to create subtitles for video content in multiple languages to cater to diverse audiences.

To do this, import the original video file into the editor using the steps outlined above. Then follow these steps.

STEP 1 - Open Subtitles Control

Select the Subtitles tab at the top of the editor to open its controls. You will see a list of options -

  • Auto Subtitles -  automatically generate subtitles in over 100 languages for the video.
  • Manual Subtitles - create and set the timestamp for each dialogue and moment directly.
  • Upload Subtitles File - if you have already created a subtitle file on your device, upload it to the video.

Either of these is a valid method to add subtitles to an MKV file or one with any other format. However, none is as stress-free as Auto Subtitles. The editor’s in-built AI parses the video and generates accurate subtitles while you attend to other tasks.

STEP 2 - Add Subtitles

Once you have settled on an option, click it. For this guide, we will use the Auto Subtitles.

After clicking Auto Subtitles, select the language you want. 

Then click Generate Auto Subtitles to begin the auto-generation process. It would take some time to finish, depending on the length of the video.

STEP 3 - Export the Video

When done, use the video preview window to check that everything is in order. 

You can correct any mistake by selecting the subtitle in the relevant timestamp and editing manually.

For social media content creation or marketing purposes, use any of Keevi’s customization features to brand the video. You can use a range of personalizations tools to -

  • Add stickers and GIFs
  • Add Regular and Animated text
  • Merge the video with multiple images, etc

The features are accessible by clicking the relevant tab at the top of the editor.

Otherwise, click the Export button at the top right corner of the editor to download the video with the subtitle file. 

Clicking the button will start the rendering process. When rendering is complete, download the video to your device. 

If it is social media content, you can share it directly to more than 30 social media platforms, including Facebook and YouTube.

How to Change the Subtitle Style and Format

After auto-generating or manually adding the subtitle, you can also edit the style to align with your brand.

You can do this through formatting options like font style, font size, alignment, and font color. It is also possible to bold, italicize, or underline words in the subtitles.

To do this, open the subtitles control and click Options.

Then select Subtitle Style.

Edit the font as preferred. When you finish, hit Export to render and download the video.

Also, you can change the subtitle format in the video, perhaps to something compatible with your media player. 

To do this, upload the subtitle file into the video or auto-generate a fresh set of subtitles.

Then open the Subtitle controls and select Options. Click Download Subtitle. Then choose the format you want by clicking the drop-down arrow below ‘Select Format.’

Click Download Subtitles to get the subtitle file in a different format.

What are the different types of Subtitle Formats?

There are many available subtitle formats that can be applied in online and broadcast video content. 

As an editor or subtitler, the range of options can be overwhelming. It can be paralyzing to choose the right one for your project, especially if you are unfamiliar with each one.

Here is a brief overview of some of the most widely used subtitle formats and their best uses.

  1. SRT

This is the most common subtitle format. Most people have downloaded one for movies and TV shows. SRT (Sub Rip Text) is popular because it is elementary and easy to create. 

You can create or edit one with a text editor like Notepad or Microsoft Word because it requires little stylistic formatting. It also doesn’t need rich media information such as animation or videos.

SRT format is excellent for online content, including social media videos. You can use them on video-sharing platforms like Slideshare, Vimeo, Facebook, and YouTube, etc. 

They are also compatible with practically every media player and the majority of website video content.

  1. ASS

This format is an advanced formatting version of the SRT subtitle format. ASS, which stands for Advanced SubStation Alpha, was created to cater to the simplistic limitations of SRT. It serves additional functions like size setting and positioning of different subtitle data.

.ASS or .SSA also has dynamic text and watermark functions. Unlike SRT, though, it is not as widely used and is rarely deployed professionally. However, it is used frequently by anime fansubs, most notably in Crunchyroll.

The subtitle format is also regularly used in Karaoke software.

  1. WebVTT

One of the few popular modern subtitle formats. WebVTT was created in 2010 and is best compatible with HTML5 cloud-based media players. It is also very applicable in HTML5 websites.

Visually, it is very similar to SRT subtitles. However, it offers a lot more styling functions in rendering, text formatting, and positioning. WebVTT also requires UTF-8 encoding.

Being a web-based subtitle format, WebVTT is compatible with most web browsers, although certain functions are limited in some.

Google Chrome, Android Stock Browser, Opera, and Safari all support Cue Text tags, Cue Positioning, and CSS Styling. 

Firefox (version 31+) supports Tags, Positioning while Microsoft Edge (version 12+) only supports Cue Text Tags.

  1. SCC

Scenarist Closed Captions is another popular subtitle format. It is a highly customizable format regularly used in DVDs, BluRay, broadcast, and web videos. 

It is also the most recommended format for Prime Video Direct and several Adobe products, Netflix, and iTunes.

Unlike the first three formats, it is usually encoded into the media file to communicate ALL audio information in the video. It includes sound effects, non-speech elements, and speaker IDs. 

That is because .scc subtitle formats are for audiences who have trouble with hearing. As a result, they are often written forms of the language in the video.

Other standard formats include XML (Timed Text), SAMI, and STL.

Can VLC extract subtitles?

VLC is a great media player with different capabilities, including downloading subtitles in-app. Unfortunately, you cannot extract subtitles with the player.

You can, however, turn off subtitles by -

  • Opening VLC and clicking the All button
  • Select Video and open Subtitles/OSD
  • Uncheck Auto Detect Subtitle


You have many options when it comes to extracting subtitles from MKV. In this blog, only three were discussed. In short, if you are okay with installing software, you can try VideoProc or MKVToolnix with gMKVExtractGUI. However, if you prefer a web-based tool, Keevi is a useful alternative.

All three options help you rip subtitles from an MKV file or any other file in a container format, such as AVI and MP4.

I hope you found this blog post helpful.

Hammad Akbar
Hammad Akbar
September 29, 2021