Video Production/Viewing subtitles
Viewing subtitle files
Sometimes Videos come with an accompanying subtitle file. This is particulary useful in a copy and distribute culture as this can be used as a base for a further translation into a different language.
These files come in many different formats. Some common ones are *.smi, *.str, *.sub
VLC (video lan player) and Subtitles
The preferred cross platform way of playing subtitles is to use the VLC player.
Download VLC player here - http://www.videolan.org/vlc/
To do this you Select File > Open, and after you have browsed for your Video file you can then tick the box marked Subtitle Options  and then browse for the Subtitle file .
To make changes to the formatting of the subtitles as they appear in VLC. Select Settings > Preferences
Then Select Subtitles/OSD and there you can change the position of the subtitles on the screen vertically. You should experiment if you wish to place the subtitle files at the top of the screen.
Using Direct VobSub
This is an alternative way to display subtitle files in Windows is using DirectVobSub. This can be downloaded here http://www.free-codecs.com/download/DirectVobSub.htm.
It is a little bit of software that starts working when you start to play a video file which has a subtile file of the same name [different extension].
When it is running connectly you should see the subtitles appear on the screen. The settings can be configured. If you open up DirectVobSub, then you have many options for changing the way the subtitles look. You can override normal placement of subtitles to display them at the top of the screen - which is very useful if showing films in crowded locations.
Playing Matroska Files with multi-lingual subtitles
Open the video and right hand click on the Video screen. From the Menu select Subtitles Track and select the language track you want
Using Direct VobSub
Download and install Direct VobSub http://www.free-codecs.com/download/DirectVobSub.htm
You may need to install the matroska pack too http://www.free-codecs.com/download/Lazy_Man_MKV.htm
There is a sample multilingual MKV file here http://www.clearerchannel.org/docs/transmission_report_xvid_700kps_mp3_128_matroska.mkv
And then open the file in media player (classic or windows) - Media player classic is available here http://www.free-codecs.com/download/Media_Player_Classic.htm
When you have opened the file, click on the green arrow that appears in your task bar.
Then select the appropriate language from the language dropdown menu.
The correct language should appear as the next title. You can use Media players controls to go back to the start of the file to see the complete video file.