Tips & How-To's

[How-to] Styled Subs in Linux

This is a guest post by Aditya.

Most anime watchers who download anime must be knowing what styled subs are but for those who don’t know styled subs are special type of subtitles which have different fonts. The picture below demonstrates why exactly styled subs are needed.
Here’s a picture to show a particular video with styled subs disabled

Here’s the same one with styled subs enabled

Now in the next to images notice the position of the word [Fail]

In the first one the word[Fail] is at the bottom and is white in color , while in the second one when styled subs are enabled it is displayed right under the Japanese word for fail and is black in color
Here’s the perfect demonstration of styled sub in windows media player classic with vobsub filter

Here is the same picture in Mplayer without styled subs

Here is the same picture of Mplayer with styled subs

Note that it still isn’t completely perfect but it is almost there

Getting Styled subs to work
Now the best player for these kind of files is SMplayer. Even mplayer does the job.
You can get them from the following places
After downloading SMplayer or Mplayer right click at any part of the player and select preferences(or you can hit Ctrl+P for SMplayer). Now go to subtitles settings, for SMplayer select SSA/ASS Library tab and select use SSA/ASS library, for mplayerunser subtitles & OSD tab select SSA/ASS subtitle rendering.
Here the pictures of the preferences of mplayes and smplayer respectively

Now load the file you want to play and enjoy!
Note: For Mplayer each time you load it you have to select channel 0 for subtitles.


  1. you sure watch a lots of anime :p

    Btw which palyer displays the subtitles best in Linux ?

    I generally use Totem and Mplayer.

  2. Another thing for smplayer (and mplayer). SMplayer will scale the subtitles to the same resolution as the video, even in fullscreen mode by default. So a video with low resolution will display quite unclear subtitles. You can fix this easily by going to Preferences > Advanced > options for mplayer and adding “-vo gl” (without the quotes) to options. Styled subtitles will still be rendered correctly.

    Hope this helps.

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