The Amara Editor has a lot of wonderful features that make subtitling easier. Whether you are a beginner or an expert, there is a lot to know and to learn about this subtitling platform.

Screenshot of Amara Editor divided into sections

Let's look at the Amara Editor one piece at a time:

Help Panel

Video Player

Progress Panel


Reference Panel

Typing Panel

Notes Panel

Help Panel (top left)

Detail screenshot of Help Panel in Amara Editor


    1. View/Edit Video Information

You can view and edit the video title and description in a pop-up by clicking the pencil icon. Edits will be displayed on the Amara site.

    2. Keyboard Shortcuts

This panel has clickable buttons that show the most frequently used keyboard shortcuts with descriptions of the actions they perform.

Common keyboard shortcuts:

- Tab key makes the video Play / Pause

 - Shift + Tab makes the video skip back 2 seconds

 - Shift + Enter inserts a line break inside a subtitle

    3. Playback Mode

This menu allows you to set the playback mode. You can choose between automatically pausing the video. But be careful! If you change the playback mode, you might not be able to use the same keyboard shortcuts.

    4. Subtitling Guidelines

Click this link to find Amara's subtitling guidelines or the instructions and style guide for the team which subtitles the video. The guidelines will appear in a pop-up.

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Video Player (top middle)

Screenshot of video player in Amara Editor

This panel displays the video with your subtitles overlayed on it. The video player has a play/pause button, a clickable timeline, and volume control.

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Progress Panel (top right)

Detail screenshot of progress panel in Amara Editor

    1. Save Draft Button

This button saves a new version of the language you are working on. Make sure you always save your work before pausing your work, closing the editor, or switching to the legacy editor!

The “Save draft” button is hidden when you are editing subtitles after they are marked as complete. A "Update Subtitles" button in the Progress Summary.

Note: This button will not end your editing session. After saving a draft, you can continue working on them in the Amara Editor.

    2. Legacy Editor Button

Click this button to switch to the legacy transcription dialog. Please make sure you save any important changes before switching!

    3. Exit Button

This button enables you to close the editor immediately without saving any changes. Use it if you were just testing the editor or if you have changed your mind about editing these subtitles. If you have made any changes you care about, make sure you save them before exiting!

    4. Progress Summary

This summary guides you through the process of subtitle creation, from typing the first line to checking the complete set. It will remind you when something important is missing and allow you to mark your subtitles as complete when you are done.

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Detail screenshot of timeline in Amara Editor

This bar displays the start and end times for each subtitle in the language you are editing. You can drag the vertical edges of subtitle bubbles on the timeline to change the time when a subtitle appears on the screen or gets hidden. The vertical red line marks where you currently are in the video.

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Reference Language Panel (bottom left)

Detail screenshot of reference language panel in Amara Editor

This panel on the bottom left displays existing subtitles for the video. You can use this panel to translate from or a reference version of the language you are editing. If the video already has subtitles in multiple languages, you can choose between different reference languages while editing your own translation! 

    1. Reference Language Selector

Here you can choose any existing subtitles for the video to compare your own subtitles with - just select the language from the drop-down list.


    2. Reference Language Version Pick

By default, the editor displays the last version of the selected reference language -- but you can choose an earlier revision from this drop-down list, if you wish!

    3. Scroll Lock Button

This button has two positions -- Locked (by default) and Unlocked. When it is Locked, subtitles in the reference and the editing panels will scroll up and down together. When scroll lock is Unlocked, scrolling in one panel does not affect the other panel. By default, the top subtitles in both panels stay aligned with each other as you scroll up and down. However, you can align any two subtitles (in unlocked mode) and turn the lock on. This is useful if you have changed the number of subtitles in the version you are editing.

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Typing Panel (bottom middle)

Detail screenshot of typing panel in Amara Editor

The bottom middle panel under the video player is where you type your subtitles. You can add, insert, or delete as many subtitle cells as you need and type text inside them.

    1. Subtitle Tools Menu Icon

To perform mass edits on subtitles (upload, clear, revert) or view warnings/tutorials, click the Subtitle Tools Menu Icon. Learn More >>>

2. Timing Tools Menu Icon

To perform mass edits on timing (copy, clear, shift) or view the timeline, click the Timing Tools Menu Icon. Learn More >>>

3. Active Subtitle Cell with the Cell Menu

The active subtitle cell is the one currently selected (the one you type into). Subtitle cells contain subtitle text and the start times when the text first appears on the screen. 

Subtitle cells have different background colors depending on their status:

- White: active cell, with text

- Yellow: active cell, no text 

- Gray: inactive, subtitle not currently shown on video

- Blue: inactive, subtitle currently shown on the video

Each cell has a wrench icon in the bottom left corner, which becomes visible when you hover the mouse over the cell; hovering the mouse over the wrench icon expands the cell menu. Learn more >>>

4. Subtitle Information Flyout

While you are typing in a subtitle box, a flyout on the right hand shows you the information about the subtitle. It shows a count of characters per line. If the subtitle is synced, it also includes start and end time as well as the number of characters for each video second. This information helps you keep your subtitles easy to read on video screen and compliant with your preferred subtitling guidelines.

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Notes Panel (bottom right)

Detail screenshot of notes panel in Amara Editor

1. Team Note Log

This panel to the right of the typing panel enables collaborators who work on the same videos to exchange notes with each other. If you have a comment or question about a specific subtitle cell, you can insert a timestamp by typing it or by hovering over the subtitle cell and clicking on the clock icon.

2. Team Note Entry Field

Type the text of your note here and click “Post New Note” to post your message.

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