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How to Get Closed Captioning on a VLC

Updated July 20, 2017

VLC is a free and open-source media player which runs on a variety of operating systems including Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. VLC supports closed captioning, a system of displaying text for the hearing-impaired which summarises the audio in a media file. Closed captions are distinct from subtitles in that they include more information than just the spoken words and are implemented differently than plain-text subtitle files. VLC supports enabling closed captioning support and selecting it on a per-file basis from its menu.

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  1. Download and install the latest version of VLC from the official website, if you don't already have it (see Resources). Older versions of VLC don't have closed captioning support.

  2. Open VLC by clicking "Start," "All Programs," "VideoLAN" and "VLC Media Player."

  3. Click "Tools" and "Preferences."

  4. Click "All" under "Show Settings" at the bottom of the preferences window.

  5. Click the arrow to the left of "Input / Codecs" in the preferences window and click the arrow to the left of "Subtitles Codecs" under it.

  6. Click "VBI & Teletext" in the list.

  7. Click the "Teletext Text Subtitles" box and click "Save."

  8. Open a media file containing closed captioning information by clicking "Media," clicking "Open File," navigating to the file and double-clicking it.

  9. Click the "Video" menu, hover the cursor over "Subtitles Track" in the menu and click "Teletext" in the list.

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About the Author

Chris Hoffman is a technology writer and all-around tech geek who writes for PC World, MakeUseOf, and How-To Geek. He's been using Windows since Windows 3.1 was released in 1992.

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