'Header Error' when importing .srt file (Premiere Pro 14.9 or earlier)

Community Beginner ,
Apr 18, 2018 Apr 18, 2018

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I'm trying to import an .srt subtitle file into a large feature film Premiere Pro project and I'm getting an error message saying "The file cannot be be opened because of a header error".

 

Does anyone have any idea what this may be?

 

Below are the first few lines from the .srt file in case there's an obvious formatting issue:

 

1

00:00:01,360 --> 00:00:03,080

You happy boss?

 

 

2

00:00:05,920 --> 00:00:10,440

Ok, so I think we're good to go, and we're just going to do a quick soundcheck.

 

 

3

00:00:11,120 --> 00:00:13,240

Tell us about this village cinema.

 

 

4

00:00:14,080 --> 00:00:15,720

Oh aye, yeah the cinema is going to be great.

 

 

5

00:00:16,000 --> 00:00:20,319

Yeah, going to do it my way though, yeah, confiscate mobile phones on entry.

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correct answers 2 Correct Answers

New Here , Apr 18, 2018 Apr 18, 2018
I had this problem. The error was in the file coding, and not in the caption coding. So...I took my 700 subtitles in my srt file and uploaded them to YouTube as captions for a video file, then I downloaded that srt file from YouTube with fresh file code written for it, and Premiere accepted the import. Good Luck!

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New Here , May 22, 2018 May 22, 2018
For anyone else having this problem, as I was, this is how I solved it  ... I opened the .srt file in a text editor and deleted a blank line at the top of the file and then Premiere Pro was able to open the .srt file.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 18, 2018 Apr 18, 2018

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What version of PR? I have a test .srt, and I just tested it successfully in 12.1.0.

I copy pasted your code into a text file and named it .srt. I can import it without error. Probably from the web, it only had one subtitle till I cleaned out an extra return and space between subtitles and added a final return at the end.

I wondered if the quarter second space between 4 and 5 was an issue, but it displays on the PR timeline okay.

There is, of course, no header in the file; not sure what the error means.

If you provide a link to your file (or send me a PM for an email), I can test to see if there is something about the file itself (ASCII issues?).

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 19, 2018 Apr 19, 2018

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Thanks for the offer, but I've fixed it now.

Cheers

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 19, 2018 Apr 19, 2018

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Excellent. Yes, the "file issues" I referred to was the culprit!

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New Here ,
Apr 18, 2018 Apr 18, 2018

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I had this problem. The error was in the file coding, and not in the caption coding. So...I took my 700 subtitles in my srt file and uploaded them to YouTube as captions for a video file, then I downloaded that srt file from YouTube with fresh file code written for it, and Premiere accepted the import.

Good Luck!

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 19, 2018 Apr 19, 2018

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Thanks - this did the trick for me too.

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 06, 2019 Mar 06, 2019

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Thanks for your answer! i use Aegisub 3.2.2 to output my srt again, and Premiere accept it, too!

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New Here ,
Jan 15, 2020 Jan 15, 2020

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So in case anyone is searching for this present day, none of the fixes exactly in here seemed to work for me or were too complicated/worth the time in trying (ie downloading a random program).

 

MaryBustraan's answer seemed to be the closest so what I did. Here's what I did:

 

- Opened the .srt file in a text editor (I used notepad) and saved it as a .txt.

- Then I went into the file directory and changed the .txt to .srt (View --> Checked the "File name extensions" box)

 

After this, I was able to open the file in Premiere, however, only the first 2 lines of subs showed up in the 67 lines that were supposed to be. Found out that there were some formatting issues. So you may have to go into the text editor and find and fix these issues.

Here are some examples of what I found in my text that Premiere was having issues with importing correctly:

 

Example 1:

52

00:04: 09.220 --> 00:04:17,140

is a way that has always been

characterized by great seriousness

[There was an unnecessary space in the time code, check for uniformity]

 

Example 2:

27
00:02:08.220 --> 00:02:12.200
the top partners in our business.

28
00:02:12.200 --> 00:02:17.220
So definitely a very important impact.

[The start and stop time codes for different lines cannot be the same. I ended up changing line 28's start time to 00:02:12.201]

 

Example 3:

40
00:03:12.220 --> 00:03:15.640
for example: the red, green and white wires

[Premiere didn't seem to like colon in the text portion]

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New Here ,
May 22, 2018 May 22, 2018

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For anyone else having this problem, as I was, this is how I solved it  ... I opened the .srt file in a text editor and deleted a blank line at the top of the file and then Premiere Pro was able to open the .srt file.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 22, 2018 May 22, 2018

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lol. It is possible that that was the actual effect the youtube "conversion" had.

One of the reasons to ask for the file and not just some code from it!

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New Here ,
Jun 18, 2019 Jun 18, 2019

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Thankyou @MaryBustraan! Very easy fix. Deleting the blank lines at the top of the file worked for me also

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 15, 2020 Jan 15, 2020

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Thanks Mary. You saved my day.

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New Here ,
Dec 21, 2020 Dec 21, 2020

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That was the most relaxing thing to learn today. Thanks for sharing this timesaving "know how"

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New Here ,
Sep 07, 2018 Sep 07, 2018

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Hi

I had the same issue and the YouTube trick is too much complicated.

The main reason why Premiere does not import the SRT file is that it recognises only text files saved with Windows and not with macOS's TextEdit. The latter encodes slightly differently the line breaks.

Here's the method that works all the time: just open the SRT file in BBEDIT (the app is free forever despite the message proposing you to pay to unlock advanced features but you don't need them) and Save As... and be sure to use the following options.

And if the last subtitle does not appear, just add an extra one with dummy content.

Screen Shot 2018-09-07 at 09.32.51.png

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New Here ,
May 04, 2021 May 04, 2021

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LATEST

Thanks for this, was having a nightmare but will make my week a lot easier. #not all hero's wear capes

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Explorer ,
Dec 12, 2018 Dec 12, 2018

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None of stated above work for me (Win 7,  Premiere cc 2017)

*.srt file should be in this specific format ( seems "-->" is important)

coding: utf-8

example:

1

00:00:03,330 --> 00:00:08,450

This is my first title

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New Here ,
Jan 22, 2021 Jan 22, 2021

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As silly as I feel now, this fixed it for me - the srt template I had downloaded had used only '->' so I replaced all for '-->' and it worked fine! 

Reminds me to do things properly in future, not use quick shorcuts off the web! Thanks

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New Here ,
Oct 16, 2019 Oct 16, 2019

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This is fixable on MAC within Text Edit.  Just open the file with text edit and remove any spaces at the beginning of the file.   

Also - make sure the file is not saved as "Rich Text Format". You can change this in the "Format/Make Plain Text" option.  

Screen Shot 2019-10-16 at 4.43.34 PM.png

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Explorer ,
Apr 30, 2020 Apr 30, 2020

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On PC, the fix was pretty simple for me.  I took a file which generated the error, opened in Notepad, clicked Save As, changed the filename, and then selected "Encoding: UTF-8" and clicked Save.  That file imported just fine with no errors.

2020-04-30-SaveSRTforPremiereImport.PNG

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New Here ,
May 29, 2020 May 29, 2020

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I'm also having this problem, on Premiere 14.0 on Windows 10.  I've tried everything in this thread and nothing has helped.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 30, 2020 May 30, 2020

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Videurgist,

 

The devil is in the details. There are multiple causes for this problem, and some require more troubleshooting than others.

 

 I'll send you a PM.

 

Stan

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New Here ,
Jun 01, 2020 Jun 01, 2020

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I solved the problem.  My srt file was formatted incorrectly.  I found this article on troubleshooting srt files, which lists all the formatting requirements.  It turned out the srt file the client sent me was missing some digits in the timestamps.  The correct format is

 

1
00:00:00,000 --> 00:00:05,000
Subtitle text here

 

But the timestamps in my file were as follows:

 

1
00:00:00,000 --> 00:00:05
Subtitle text here

 

And some of the entries has only one digit for the minutes instead of two, like 00:3:33,000 instead of 00:03:33,000.

 

I went through and manually fixed all of these, which was fine because it was just a 5 minute video.  I'm not sure if there are programs that will automatically detect and fix these kinds of errors.  I downloaded Aegisub and it wouldn't open the file before I fixed it, but it did tell me that there was a timecode error on line 2 (the first line with an error), so that was something.

Premiere imports the file fine now.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 01, 2020 Jun 01, 2020

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Videurgist,

 

Thanks for sharing the .srt. And yes, you've done the heavy lifting by fixing the format errors.

 

I opened the file with my favorite captions app, SubtitleEdit. It opened the file fine, despite the errors. SE has a "List View" and "Source View," and even in the Source View, upon import, it corrected the errors you describe. However, since the milliseconds information was missing the the original file (as seen in a plain text editor), it simply inserted ,000 for the milliseconds, and this likely shortened the caption length by up to a second. Using its Tools -> "Fix Common Errors" was not necessary.

 

The only significant error it caught when I ran the fix errors tool was that Caption 43 appeared to have the wrong starting seconds (13) instead of 4. It finds a number of stylistic issues, but nothing worth mentioning here.

 

Stan

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