The subtitles in VLC player are set for the best possible experience. They’re white by default with a black stroke around them. This makes it so that no matter how dark or high light the video you’re watching is, you can still read the subtitles comfortably. That said, just because the default settings are good, it doesn’t mean you can’t customize subtitles in VLC player. The app gives you full control over their appearance.
Customize subtitles in VLC
Open VLC player and go to Tools>Preferences. Select the Subtitles/OSD tab. The first section has nothing to do with subtitles but the two that follow will control their appearance.
The ‘Enable subtitles’ section lets you select the subtitle language that you prefer and the default encoding. The preferred subtitle language, when set, will make it so that VLC automatically picks the correct subtitle language when more than one file is available.
Subtitle effect is where you can customize subtitles in VLC. There’s a Font dropdown which lets you choose the font the subtitles are displayed in. By default, it’s set to Arial but you can change it to any font that’s installed on your system.
The font size is set automatically which is a good thing if you tend to resize the VLC player window however, if you keep it the same size or you always watch in full screen mode, you can stand to benefit from changing the size of the font the subtitles are displayed in. The size is not set in pixels. Instead, you can choose to make it smaller or bigger.
The same holds true for the outline or the stroke around the subtitle text. It’s set to normal but you can make it thick, or thin. Those are the only two options that are available. If it’s still difficult for you to read the subtitles, you should enable the ‘Add a background’ option and this will add a solid color background to the text. The video behind it will be obstructed but that’s to be expected.
Last, you can change the default color and the stroke color of the font from the two color selection boxes. You get a full color spectrum to pick the color for both so you can select whatever is best for your eyes.
There is also a position field that lets you set, in pixels, where the subtitles are displayed. This setting, if you choose to tinker with it, will take a little experimentation to get right.
Can’t see subtitles in VLC? There’s a fix for that.