If you want to change the appearance of subtitles and closed captions on Netflix — perhaps to switch font sizes or to add a shadow that would make them more readable — you’d have to access your account on a browser. The process is a lot more complicated than it needs to be if you primarily stream on TV. In fact, I’ve never changed what mine looks like all these years, even if I had previously wanted to. Now, according to TechCrunch, the streaming giant has finally started rolling out the capability to customize subtitle and closed caption text within the TV app itself.
Based on the publication’s report, the feature looks and works similar to Amazon Prime Video TV app’s subtitle adjuster. It allows you to choose between small, medium and large text, as well as between four styles with and without drop shadows. One option is yellow text on a black background for greater contrast if you need it. On the service’s updated help page, it said you can access those controls by going to Settings at the bottom of the screen while a show is playing and then choosing subtitle Size and Style. Take note that it’s not possible to change text appearance for Arabic, Hebrew, Japanese, Korean, Romanian, Thai and Traditional Chinese at the moment.
More and more people are using subtitles in recent years to hear dialogue when sounds are unbalanced and voices seem to be lower in volume than the background, or to watch shows in a foreign language. It’s not just viewers with hard of hearing that use them anymore. And while the controls for the TV app offer fewer customization options than Netflix’s website, they make changing up subtitles’ appearance a lot more accessible.