Is there a video/movie player for Linux that
  (a) has a setting for the transparency/opacity of the subtitles and
  (b) can append/combine subtitles from two subtitles (e.g. SRT) files?


By "transparency/opacity of the subtitles," I do not mean that of the background rectangle for subtitles. (I don't want any background rectangle.) I want the subtitles themselves to be half see-through so they don't entirely blot out the video information.

By "append/combine" I don't mean placing one language subtitles on top and the other at the bottom of the movie screen. Both languages should be at the bottom, one language stacked atop the other.

Potplayer for Windows can do both (a) and (b) (combining multiple subtitles files is called "appending"). It seems SMPlayer can do neither, or I have not found out the how.

I would be happy to receive, as an answer, a Linux video/movie player that can do at least one of (a) and (b). Thank you.


1 Answer 1


in VLC you can have transparent subtitles:

Go to tools, preferences, "Show Settings: All" (bottom left); Select "Video -> Subtitles / OSD -> Text renderer" from the settings tree menu on the left, and then select a text and outline opacity between 0 (invisible) and 255 (fully opaque).

"Appending" sounds like you really just want to glue together two SRT files that, in themselves, have just been split, so that they don't temporally overlap. That can be done using

cat subtitles1.srt subtitles2.srt > collected-subtitles.srt

because the SRT file format is very simple.

If there's really temporal overlap between them, or some timestamps need to be shifted, there's also video editing tools for linux that can do that (not an expert in these, and it'd also leave the scope of your question).

If by "combining" you however really mean that there's e.g. a German and a French subtitle and they should be selectably displayed at the same time, your player needs to support it. I'm not aware of any currently released player doing that.

VLC sadly only gets dual-subtitle support in version 4 (or so I'm told!), a version that's not yet released and hence, not shipped by default in any Linux distro I'm aware of.

I do not recommend this, as it's just asking for trouble to, as a user, try to make a development version of anything run (basically, same as if I would instead of buying a car start building one from scratch using plans that the car designers clearly and very brightly mark as "not ready for public consumption, might explode or be impossible to build, even for experts". But.

You can build it yourself from git, following the official guide, Just make sure that instead of

git clone git://git.videolan.org/vlc.git

you do

git clone https://code.videolan.org/videolan/vlc.git
  • By "combining" I meant your French/German case except that they are to display not only at the same time but at the same place so they look like interlinear translations of each other. Potplayer calls it "appending" though it suggests a cat operation, as you say. Thanks.
    – user480036
    Commented May 8, 2022 at 0:08

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