Subtitles, Shortcuts and Shuttles

Subtitles, Shortcuts and Shuttles

By Bernd Werner

Shortcut keys are a great way to increase your productivity when timing/spotting subtitles. Professional subtitling software, like e.g. SubtitleNEXT, lets you assign all the functions you need to specific keys or key-combinations on your keyboard.

In SubtitleNEXT you can find this option under Options > Customize Keyboard:

Here you can assign all functions you need to keys or key-combinations of your choice and then save it as preset. You can then display all assigned shortcuts in a list, print it out and post it next to your computer screen if you like.


Another option that works exceptionally well for me, is the use of a separate device to control these functions: the ShuttlePro or the ShuttleXpress by Contour.

ShuttlePRO v2

around $99


around $60

The device is connected to your PC via USB and works as an extension to your keyboard. All buttons, as well as the jog-wheel and the shuttle-wheel, can be assigned to different functions for different programs.


How to install ShuttlePro or ShuttleXpress on your PC

Download and install the latest driver software for your device from After the installation, you will see the Control Panel for your device (in my case: ShuttleXpress).


You can also see the Shuttle symbol in your taskbar. By clicking on it, the Control Panel opens up.


In the dropdown menu under Application setting, you can find several presets for all kinds of software. In order to use the device with SubtitleNEXT, you have to create new settings and connect them to the program.


  1. Click on Options and choose Create New Settings and then Create Empty Settings.
  2. A file-explorer window opens up, and you have to select the SubtitleNEXT.exe-file. In my case, it is in this folder: C:\Program Files (x86)\PlayBox Technology Europe\Subtitle NEXT\bin.
  3. Then click on Open.
  4. Open SubtitleNEXT and follow the steps above to view the list of shortcuts.
  5. Choose those functions you would like to assign to your Shuttle device and note down the appropriate shortcut keys.


I picked the following functions:


Function Shortcut key
Play with Preview and Pause Ctrl+Space
Insert Subtitle at Current Time Shift+Ctrl+Enter (is not assigned by default)
Set In-Time (Take In) Alt+F9
Set Out-Time (Take Out) Alt+F10
Split Subtitle at Current Time Ctrl+ZIRKUMFLEX (looks like this: ^)
Next Frame Ctrl+F12
Previous Frame Ctrl+F11


  1. Next, go back to the Shuttle Control Panel. Now you have to assign the shortcuts you noted down to each of the buttons and/or the jog and shuttle wheels:


For example:

I want Button 1 to set the In-Time. So I choose it from the first dropdown menu on the right. You can see the highlighted button in the picture on the left.

Then I choose Type Keystroke from the second dropdown menu on the right.

Click into the field which says Not assigned and press the keys you want to assign (here: Alt+F9).

You can leave the rest unchanged, but you might want to add the function in the comment field.

Click on Apply and continue with the other buttons in the same way.


I want the jog wheel (the inner wheel) to move the video forward or backward frame by frame. So I assign Ctrl+F11 to Jog Left and Ctrl+F12 to Jog Right.


You can leave both, the Control Panel and SubtitleNEXT, open while you are assigning the keys. Thus, you can try right away if it works.


Always make sure to select SubtitleNEXT from the Application setting dropdown menu, because when you close and open the Control Panel, it automatically shows Global Settings.


Happy Subtitling!

Author: Bernd Werner