Subtitles, love them or hate them, they are an essential part of constructing a programme for domestic or international distribution. Jan Willem den Bok has written a plugin that speeds up the process of building subtitles in a show on an FCPX timeline.


For my work as a filmmaker I need to be able to translate my interviews a lot. I’ve written my own plugin FCPXTRA Subtitle to do this. A free 5-day trial can be found on my website.  I created a demonstration video of FCPXTRA Subtitle to show how easy it is to use.

I needed a good solution for subtitles and captions. Not only for the final edit, that needs to be translated for broadcast here in the Netherlands, but also for translation while I’m still on location somewhere in the world.

To translate my footage afterwards back in the Netherlands is often too expensive or even impossible, so I have to do it on location with a local translator because I often deal with languages and dialects that are so local that I can’t even find a translator here in the Netherlands (for instance the Inuit-people of Kamchatka, a jungle tribe in the Philippines, or locals in South Sudan (check my vimeo page for more

That’s why I wrote FCPXTRA Subtitle, a plugin that uses Applescript GUI Scripting to create subtitles INSIDE FCPX. Inside means no more fiddling around with external applications, exporting xml’s, importing SRT of STL files. I’ve done all that too much by now, only because creating subtitles in FCPX was too clumsy for me.

Before I wrote my FCPXTRA Subtitle plugin the best and fastest way to do subtitles in FCPX was to listen to my interview, set in-point, listen, set out-point, go back to in-point, open the inspector and type the right text…time and time again. Super-clumsy.

I think now I’ve created something better...

fcpxtra girl hasselblad


I think my own plugin FCPXTRA Subtitle is the best solution out there. To me it is, anyway. And now I have written it, I discover much more benefits. Not only to translate languages, but also to annotate certain clips without using markers. I mean, markers are nice, but (sub)titles help me to explain more about the edit while I’m previewing it.

With the great benefit that they appear in your Timeline-browser (shift-cmd-2, click ‘Clips’ and then ‘’Titles’), so you can have an overview of your stuff. Besides that you can always change the position and length of subtitles (with markers you can’t…easily)

Changing the layout of FCPXTRA Subtitles is easy. Simply select as much subs as you like and change the size, font, color or whatever you like in the Inspector.


But the best thing is to combine it with dictation in FCPX. Then translating goes really fast.


So that’s it. Like to try it out? A free 5-day trial can be found on my website. If you like it, you can buy FCPXTRA Subtitle for just $50.


janwillemdenboknl logo 0041My name is Jan Willem den Bok. I’m a Dutch filmmaker using FCPX fast and easily. But I think for my work some things can be done better. I think FCPX not only stands out as a super fast editing-application, it’s also very strong in adding information to your footage. After huge projects (> 5Tb) I really need to get a grip on my footage. That’s why I create my own plugins to work even faster with this.


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