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Module: marq
Type Video sub-filter
First VLC version 0.8.0
Last VLC version -
Operating system(s) all
Description Overlays text on the video
Shortcut(s) marq, time

The marq subtitle filter can be used to display text on a video. The time filter was merged with this filter in version 0.9.0, adding time format string recognition. There are two methods of specifying position: coordinate and (since VLC 0.9.0) numbered positions.


  • marq-marquee <string> : Marquee text to display. default value: VLC
  • marq-file <string> : File to read the marquee text from. default value: NULL


  • marq-x <integer> : X offset, from the left screen edge. default value: 0
  • marq-y <integer> : Y offset, down from the top. default value: 0
  • marq-position <integer> : Marquee position: 0=center, 1=left, 2=right, 4=top, 8=bottom, you can also use combinations of these values, eg 6 = top-right. default value: -1


  • marq-opacity <integer [0 .. 255]> : Opacity (inverse of transparency) of overlaid text. 0 = transparent, 255 = totally opaque. default value: 255
  • marq-color <integer> { 0x000000, 0x808080, 0xC0C0C0, 0xFFFFFF, 0x800000, 0xFF0000, 0xFF00FF, 0xFFFF00, 0x808000, 0x008000, 0x008080, 0x00FF00, 0x800080, 0x000080, 0x0000FF, 0x00FFFF } : Color(key) of the text that will be rendered on the video. This must be an hexadecimal (like HTML colors). The first two chars are for red, then green, then blue. default value: 0xFFFFFF
  • marq-size <integer [0 .. 4096]> : Font size, in pixels. 0 uses the default font size. default value: 0


  • marq-timeout <integer> : Number of milliseconds the marquee must remain displayed. 0 means forever. default value: 0
  • marq-refresh <integer> : Number of milliseconds between string updates. This is mainly useful when using meta data or time format string sequences. default value: 1000


Versions 2.0 and later

Example command line use (VLC 2.0.0 and newer):

% vlc --sub-source="marq{marquee=test,color=0xFFFF00}" somevideo.avi

This example displays yellow test text in the top left corner of video

Versions 0.9.0 to 1.1.13

$ vlc --sub-filter 'marq{marquee=$t ($P%%),color=0xFFFF00}:marq{marquee=%H:%M:%S,position=6}' somevideo.avi

This command line will show the stream's title ($t) and current position ($P) in the upper left corner and the current time in the upper right corner. The single quotes ' enclose our $ characters to prevent them from being interpreted as Bash variables.
On Windows the command line would be:

> "%PROGRAMFILES%\VideoLAN\VLC\vlc.exe" --sub-filter=marq{marquee=$t ($P%%),color=0xFFFF00}:marq{marquee=%H:%m%s,position=6} somevideo.avi


The time module has different command-lines than the marq module. This not-functional command snippet overlays a white 12-point time display in the lower left of an input stream or video:


% vlc input_stream --sub-filter=time --time-format %Y-%m-%d,%H:%M:%S --time-position 9 --time-color 0xFFFFFF --time-size 12

marq equivalent:

% vlc input_stream '--sub-source=marq{marquee="%Y-%m-%d,%H:%M:%S",position=9,color=0xFFFFFF,size=12}'

marq equivalent (long form):

% vlc input_stream --sub-source=marq --marq-marquee="%Y-%m-%d,%H:%M:%S" --marq-position=9 --marq-color=0xFFFFFF --marq-size=12

additional marq example:

% vlc input_stream '--sub-source=marq{marquee="%c (Week %V)",color=0xFF0000,opacity=216,size=16,position=4,timeout=500,refresh=1000}'

This overlays a 25%-transparent flashing red 16-point locale-dependent time representation with week number at the top of the input stream or video.


See also

Source code


Colour key
Sample Colour Hex code
Black 0x000000
Gray 0x808080
Silver 0xC0C0C0
White 0xFFFFFF
Maroon 0x800000
Red 0xFF0000
Fuchsia 0xFF00FF
Yellow 0xFFFF00
Olive 0x808000
Green 0x008000
Teal 0x008080
Lime 0x00FF00
Purple 0x800080
Navy 0x000080
Blue 0x0000FF
Aqua 0x00FFFF
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