NonGNU ELPA - subed


A major mode for editing subtitles
subed-1.0.10.tar, 2022-Sep-20, 700 KiB
Sacha Chua <>
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To install this package, run in Emacs:

M-x package-install RET subed RET

Full description


subed is an Emacs major mode for editing subtitles while playing the corresponding video with mpv. At the moment, the only supported formats are SubRip ( .srt), WebVTT ( .vtt ), and Advanced SubStation Alpha ( .ass, experimental ).


Important change in v1.0.0

subed now uses subed-srt-mode, subed-vtt-mode, and subed-ass-mode instead of directly using subed-mode. These modes should be automatically associated with the .vtt, .srt, and .ass extensions. If the generic subed-mode is loaded instead of the format-specific mode, you may get an error such as:

Error in post-command-hook (subed--post-command-handler): (cl-no-applicable-method subed--subtitle-id)

If you set auto-mode-alist manually in your config, please make sure you associate extensions the appropriate format-specific mode instead of subed-mode. The specific backend functions (ex: subed-srt--jump-to-subtitle-id) are also deprecated in favor of using generic functions such as subed-jump-to-subtitle-id.


  • Quickly jump to next (M-n) and previous (M-p) subtitle text.
  • Quickly jump to the beginning (C-M-a) and end (C-M-e) of the current subtitle's text.
  • Insert subtitles evenly spaced throughout the available space (M-i) or right next the current subtitle (C-M-i). A prefix argument controls how many subtitles to insert and whether they are inserted before or after the current subtitle.
  • Kill subtitles (M-k).
  • Adjust subtitle start (M-[ / M-]) and stop (M-{ / M-}) time. A prefix argument sets the number of milliseconds for the current session (e.g. C-u 1000 M-[ M-[ M-[ decreases start time by 3 seconds).
  • Move the current subtitle or all marked subtitles forward (C-M-n) or backward (C-M-p) in time without changing subtitle duration. A prefix argument sets the number of milliseconds for the current session (e.g. C-u 500 C-M-n C-M-n moves the current subtitle 1 second forward).
  • Shift the current subtitle forward (C-M-f) or backward (C-M-b) together with all following subtitles. This is basically a convenience shortcut for C-SPC M-> C-M-n/p.
  • Scale all subtitles or all marked subtitles forward (C-M-x) or backward (C-M-S-x) in time without changing subtitle duration. A prefix argument sets the number of milliseconds for the current session (e.g. C-u 500 C-M-x moves the last [or last marked] subtitle forward 500ms and proportionally scales all [or all marked] subtitles based on this time extension. Similarly, C-u 500 C-M-S-x moves the last [or last marked] subtitle backward 500ms and proportionally scales all [or all marked] subtitles based on this time contraction). This can be extremely useful to correct synchronization issues in existing subtitle files. First, adjust the starting time if necessary (e.g. C-M-f), then adjust the ending and scale constituent subtitles (e.g. C-M-x).
  • Show CPS (characters per second) for the current subtitle.
  • Insert HTML-like tags (C-c C-t C-t, with an optional attribute when prefixed by C-u), in particular italics (C-c C-t C-i) or boldface (C-c C-t C-b).
  • Sort and re-number subtitles and remove any extra spaces and newlines (M-s). This is done automatically every time the buffer is saved.
  • Trim subtitle overlaps with M-x subed-trim-overlaps. By default, this adjusts the stop time of overlapping subtitles to subed-subtitle-spacing milliseconds before the next subtitle starts. Use M-x customize-group subed to configure trimming to happen automatically when buffers are loaded or saved, which time is adjusted, and how much time to leave between subtitles.
mpv integration (optional)
  • Open videos with C-c C-v or automatically when opening a subtitle file if the video file is named like the subtitle file but with a video extension (e.g. .mkv or .avi).
  • Subtitles are automatically reloaded in mpv when the buffer is saved.
  • Cursor and playback position are synchronized:
    • Playback in mpv seeks to the position of the current subtitle as the cursor moves between subtitles (C-c ,).
    • The cursor is moved to the currently relevant subtitle as the video is playing (C-c .).
  • Copy the current playback position as start (C-c [) or stop (C-c ]) time of the current subtitle.
  • Playback is paused or slowed down when a subtitle's text is edited (C-c C-p).
  • Loop over the current subtitle in mpv (C-c C-l).
  • When a subtitle's start or stop time changes, mpv seeks to the subtitle's start time (C-c C-r).
  • Pause video playback without leaving Emacs (M-SPC).
  • Move one frame forward or backward (C-c C-f . and C-c C-f ,; pressing , or . afterwards moves by frames until any other key is pressed).


Installing the subed package from NonGNU Elpa

subed is now on NonGNU ELPA. On Emacs 28 and later, you can install it with M-x package-install subed.

To install it on Emacs 27 or earlier, add the following to your Emacs configuration file:

(with-eval-after-load 'package (add-to-list 'package-archives '("nongnu" . "")))

Use M-x eval-buffer to run the code, and then use M-x package-install subed.

Manual installation

If that doesn't work, you can install it manually. To install from the main branch:

git clone

This will create a subed directory with the code.

If you have the make utility, you can regenerate the autoload definitions with

make autoloads

If you don't have make installed, you can generate the autoloads with:

emacs --quick --batch --eval "(progn (setq generated-autoload-file (expand-file-name \"subed-autoloads.el\" \"subed\") backup-inhibited t) \
	(update-directory-autoloads \"./subed\"))"

Then you can add the following to your Emacs configuration (typically ~/.config/emacs/init.el, ~/.emacs.d/init.el, or ~/.emacs; you can create this file if it doesn't exist yet):

;; Note the reference to the subed subdirectory
(add-to-list 'load-path "/path/to/subed/subed")
(require 'subed-autoloads)

and reload your configuration with M-x eval-buffer or restart Emacs.

If you want to try a branch (ex: derived-mode), you can use the following command inside the subed directory:

git checkout branchname
use-package configuration

Here's an example setup if you use use-package:

(use-package subed
  :ensure t
  ;; Disable automatic movement of point by default
  (add-hook 'subed-mode-hook 'subed-disable-sync-point-to-player)
  ;; Remember cursor position between sessions
  (add-hook 'subed-mode-hook 'save-place-local-mode)
  ;; Break lines automatically while typing
  (add-hook 'subed-mode-hook 'turn-on-auto-fill)
   ;; Break lines at 40 characters
  (add-hook 'subed-mode-hook (lambda () (setq-local fill-column 40))))

Getting started

C-h f subed-mode should get you started. This is the parent mode for subed-srt-mode, subed-vtt-mode, and subed-ass-mode. When manually loading a mode, use those specific format modes instead of subed-mode.


subed-mpv: Service name too long

If subed-mpv-client reports (error "Service name too long"), this is probably because the path to the socket used to communicate with MPV is too long for your operating system. You can use M-x customize to set subed-mpv-socket-dir to a shorter path.


Contributions would be really appreciated! subed conforms to the REUSE Specification; this means that every file has copyright and license information. If you modify a file, please update the year shown after SPDX-FileCopyrightText. Thank you!

There's a list of authors in the file If you have at any point contributed to subed, you are most welcome to add your name (and email address if you like) to the list.


subed is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

Old versions

subed-1.0.9.tar.lz2022-Sep-15 160 KiB
subed-1.0.8.tar.lz2022-Sep-08 160 KiB
subed-1.0.7.tar.lz2022-Jul-25 159 KiB
subed-1.0.6.tar.lz2022-Jul-22 159 KiB
subed-1.0.5.tar.lz2022-Apr-17 158 KiB
subed-1.0.4.tar.lz2022-Apr-16 158 KiB
subed-1.0.3.tar.lz2022-Feb-07 158 KiB
subed-1.0.2.tar.lz2022-Feb-02 157 KiB
subed-1.0.1.tar.lz2022-Feb-01 157 KiB
subed-0.0.4.tar.lz2022-Jan-24 156 KiB
subed-0.0.3.tar.lz2021-Dec-30 156 KiB
subed-0.0.2.tar.lz2021-Dec-07 154 KiB
subed-0.0.1.tar.lz2021-Dec-03 139 KiB


1 subed news

1.1 Version 1.0.10 - 2022-09-20 - Sacha Chua

Use - instead of : in mpv socket names to see if that will make it work better on Microsoft Windows.

1.2 Version 1.0.9 - 2022-09-14 - Sacha Chua

  • Consolidated the different faces to subed-id-face, subed-time-face, and subed-time-separator-face. Added tests for font-locking. Dropped text font-locking for now since we didn't have a good regular expression for it.


    • subed-srt-id-face
    • subed-srt-time-face
    • subed-srt-time-separator-face
    • subed-srt-text-face
    • subed-vtt-id-face
    • subed-vtt-time-face
    • subed-vtt-time-separator-face
    • subed-vtt-text-face
    • subed-ass-id-face
    • subed-ass-time-face
    • subed-ass-time-separator-face
    • subed-ass-text-face

Thanks to Igor for the bug report!

1.3 Version 1.0.8 - 2022-09-08 - Sacha Chua

1.4 Version 1.0.6 - 2022-07-22 - Sacha Chua

  • Allow mm:ss.000 (optional hours) when validating VTT files.
  • Use just the buffer name hash when naming the MPV socket.

1.5 Version 1.0.3 - 2022-02-07 - Sacha Chua

subed now tries to avoid sorting already-sorted buffers, which should reduce interference with mark rings and other things.

1.6 Version 1.0.1 - 2022-02-01 - Sacha Chua

Added obsolete function aliases in case people are calling format-specific functions in their code.

1.7 Version 1.0.0 - 2022-01-02 - Sacha Chua

Format-specific modes are now initialized with (subed-srt-mode), (subed-vtt-mode), or (subed-ass-mode) instead of the corresponding (subed-vtt--init) functions.

I implemented the format-specific functions with cl-defmethod, so if you have any code that refers to functions like subed-vtt--timestamp-to-msecs, you will need to change your code to use generic functions such as subed-timestamp-to-msecs.