Encode hardsubs with Handbrake from video with ASS softsubs.

At one time I could make MKV and MPEG-4 videos with hard coded subtitles out of similar files with ASS softsubs that were encoded in the original video with Handbrake. I can no longer do this. I’m trying to figure out what I’m missing. I’m using Handbrake from Packman. I’ve tried other suggested packages to do this but none seem to be able to do this either. Google has not been my friend. The little I’ve read says Handbrake should be able to do this.

I haven’t used handbrake in a while but I do remember there was an option to “burn in” subs
not my picture image found with google search

I’ve tried every combination of “burn in” boxes selected
These are ASS subtitles. Not SRT.
ASS subs are what is found on all anime fansubs.
ASS worked once upon a time.
Handbrake isn’t even finding the subtitle track is seems.
I’ve tried multiple different files too.
I have flies on my hard drive I encoded this way in the past.
I know it’s possible.
You can’t watch these files on any non PC device without the subtitles being burned in.

According to the Handbrake documentation it is supposed to support this format - but I suppose it is possible that Handbrake packaged by Packman has not been packaged with this support built in. I vaguely recall reading some years back that Handbrake is a very difficult application to package.

There are many apps that allow conversion of subtitles from one format to another. Did you try converting the subtitles to SRT ? Handbrake does support SRT with no problems.

afaik both ass and srt are text files ass has more features but both should be supported
if you think it’s a subtitle format issue you could try converting the ass to srt there are several online converters
or use a subtitle editor gnome-subtitles comes to mind
or gaupol

Thanks for the replies.
It well may be that Handbrake no longer is compiled to support what I want to do.

The ASS files are embedded. Not separate text files. The tools I’ve seen so far don’t seem to pick them up.
Now I have some more program names to look for though.

I think that maybe the issue handbrake does not see the embeded subs
afaik you can use mkvtoolnix to extract the subs in ass format
the GUI should have an option to do that I haven’t used it
or use ffmpeg from packman
ffmpeg doesn’t come with a gui but it’s rather simple to use
to extract ssa from mkv try something like

ffmpeg -txt_format text -i mkv_file.mkv mkv_file.ssa

make sure the ssa has the same name as the mkv and rerun Handbrake
you can also run ffmpeg without specifying an output and it will check the file for errors (maybe a corruption prevents handbrake from reading it)

I’ve used mkvtoolnix in both command line and with GUI to extract subtitles - albeit I’ve never tried the ass format.

Typically I play a dozen or so seconds of the video, to see what subtitles are available. Then in a terminal/konsole as regular user type (where ‘input.mkv’ is the name of my video):

mkvmerge -i input.mkv

and that tells me about the subtitles.

Then, if for example the subtitle that interests me is track ‘3’ , for that subtitle (if type .srt), I type:

mkvextract tracks input.mkv 3:subs.srt

where ‘subs.srt’ is an arbitrary file name that I gave to the subtitle text file.

For non-text subtitles, I use a graphical front end tool to “MKVToolNix” to extract subtitles. I launch it with the command: