Subtitles are a valuable tool for the deaf and people watching movies in a foreign language. But for viewers who don’t need them, they can be a distraction. The ever-present words draw the eye away from the action and spoil lines moments before they’re spoken. If you’re stuck with a computer video file that has subtitles, you can edit them out with false widescreen. Any video editing program that supports multiple video channels will let you accomplish the effect.
1. Play the video file and press the full screen button. Press the “Print Screen” key on your keyboard when subtitles are on-screen. Open a new project in your image editing program, set the pixel ratio to 720 x 540 for NTSC and 756 x 576 for PAL. Click “Paste” to place a screen capture from the movie into the project and re-size the image to fit the project’s ratio. Click the “View” drop-down menu and click “Show Ruler.” Point your cursor at the very top of the subtitle and note the pixel height measurement.
2. Open a new project with the same dimensions as before. Using the rectangle tool, draw a black bar at the bottom of the image file that covers the entire width of the image and extends from the bottom of the image to the pixel height level of the top of the subtitle. Copy and paste the bar to the top of the image. Save a copy of the image. Re-size the image to 720 x 480 for NTSC or 720 x 576 for PAL.
3. Open the video editing program and start a new project. Click the “Add File” button and import the subtitled video file. Lay the video onto the timeline at the bottom of the program window. Click the “Add File” button and import the re-sized black bar image file. Create a second video channel, which will appear as a second time line above the video’s place on the time line. Click and drag the image onto the second video channel. Place the cursor to the right edge of the image file‘s bar on the time line and click and drag it to extend all the way to the end of the video file. Save the project and export it as a new video file.