If you have a subtitle set that is synced correctly for a video, you may want to use the same timing for translations into other languages or for a later revision of the same language to spare the pain of syncing it manually. With Amara's subtitle editor, you can easily copy existing timing from one subtitle set to another or from one revision to another.


"Copy Timing" command does exactly what its name says - it copies start and end times from line 1 of the source (reference) subtitle set to line 1 of the target set, line 2 of source set to line 2 of target set, and so on, until the last line of the source set or the last line in the target set (whatever comes first).


You can find this feature particularly useful if you have uploaded an untimed translation from a a TXT file, or if you need to correct a translation after the transcript for the video was changed.


To copy timing from one subtitle set to another:


  1. If you have any made any changes to the subtitle text, save them now.
  2. In the reference (left) panel, select the language and version number you want to copy timing from.
  3. Click Timing Tools (clock) icon above the editing (middle) panel and select Copy Timing item from the menu. In the confirmation pop-up, click Continue.
  4. Scroll down to the end of subtitles and check that all the subtitles in the target lines are synced and match the corresponding subtitles in the source set. If something is not right, do not worry - your changes will not take effect until you save them, so don't worry about breaking anything.
  5. If something is not right, you can make corrections - insertdeletesplit, or merge subtitles where necessary - and execute Copy Timing again. You may repeat these actions as many times as needed. Also, you have the option to revert all the changes and reload the last saved version for the language you are editing.
  6. When you are happy with the results, make sure you save your work!


What happens if source set and target set have different number of subtitles?


  • If the source set has more subtitles than the target set (the one you are editing), all the subtitles in the target set will become synced. The start time of the last subtitle in the target set will be earlier than the last subtitle in the source set. Example: if you copy timing from 100 lines of English subtitles to 80 lines of Spanish subtitles, the 80th line of Spanish will be timed as the 80th line of English.
  • If the source set has fewer subtitles than the target set, some subtitles at the end of the target set will remain unsynced. Example: if you copy timing from 100 lines of English subtitles to 120 lines of Polish subtitles, only 100 lines of Polish language will be synced. The last 20 subtitles in Polish will not be timed.


For optimal results, please make sure that the numbers of subtitles in the source and the target subtitles match. If you find they are different, you can:

  • Select another reference language and try again
  • Change the target subtitle set by inserting, deleting, splitting or merging lines so that it matches the source subtitles.
  • Sync subtitles manually.


Not sure how many lines the transcript and the translation have? Please check the subtitle page to find out.

The number of subtitles in the set is displayed on the subtitle page (example) just below the video title and right above the video player: