Spot Software
The makers of Spot
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If you are having problems with Spot or think you've found a bug:

If none of these solutions helps, feel free to email your problem to us. Please include your Spot version and build number (this can be found under Help, About), the operating system you are using, whether the OS has recently installed an update, a detailed description of the issue you are experiencing and we will respond to your query as soon as possible. If a programming bug has been found in the software, we undertake to correct the problem and make a fix available as quickly as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions


I get an "Out of memory" error message when trying to run Spot
Parts of Spot require version 4.0 of the .NET framework. Recent versions of Windows (8 and 10) have native support for v4, but it may be disabled. To enable it, go to Control Panel, Programs and Features, Turn Windows features on or off, and turn on .NET framework 4.6.
Spot won't open after the latest Windows 10 update
Restart your computer to ensure that the Windows update has completed (you may need to do this several times) and then check that Windows has not disabled the .NET Framework (see above). Also make sure you run Spot as administrator (i.e. right-click the shortcut you use to open the program and select Run as Administrator - this is not the same as being admin on the machine). Some users have also reported that opening Spot as soon as Windows has loaded will do the trick. If the problem persists, you may need to reinstall the program.
Windows says Spot contains a virus
In a recent Windows Defender update, Microsoft mistakenly included spot.exe in its virus definitions. We contacted Microsoft, who confirmed that spot.exe is not infected, and it was immediately removed from the list. See our Spot has a virus video for more information.
I get error message 1721 when trying to install the rental version of Spot
The rental version setup file neeeds to be run as administrator. Right-click the file select and select "Run as administrator".
I'm using the rental version of Spot. When I press F12, the program crashes
This is a known issue with the third-party software protection used in the rental version. To work around the problem, you can either use the standard grab in/out time shortcuts (Shift+Enter/Ins or just Enter/Ins if this option is selected in the Media Preferences, Media Control window) or install a key mapper and set the function of the F12 key to 0.


When I open a video, I get sound but no image (mainly desktop computers)
First of all, ensure you have the latest K-Lite codec pack installed. Reinstall it if necessary. If the problem continues, try converting the video file with Spot's video converter and/or select Video Mixing Renderer 9 on the DirectShow Filters tab of the Media, Preferences window. See also the first and second videos in our video troubleshooting playlist.
When I open a video, I get sound but no image (mainly laptops with NVIDIA and Intel graphics)
This problem is usually solved by switching from dedicated to integrated graphics (or vice versa). To do this, close Spot, open the NVIDIA Control Panel (right-click the desktop), and then click 3D Settings, Manage 3D settings. On the Globla Settings tab, select Integrated graphics (or High-performance NVIDIA processor if integrated graphics is already selected). Now close the NVIDIA Control Panel, open Spot, remove any filters you may have added (optional - see above), and open the video.
A video file won’t open, plays erratically or is out of sync with the audio
Although it’s possible that the video file you are trying to open may be corrupt, a more likely explanation is that your system does not have suitable video splitters and decoders installed and therefore cannot play the video correctly. The default decoders on a typical Windows machine will not let you play back MOV or MPEG-2 files, for example, and may cause problems when attempting to play other video formats. To work around this problem, install a codec pack such as K-Lite and it will automatically configure itself to decode the most common video formats. Spot contains various diagnostic tools that can help troubleshoot video issues, as well - see the user guide for information on how to view the decoder and splitter being used to play the video and how to choose your own. See also our video troubleshooting playlist.
MPEG-4 playback is jumpy
If running on Windows 10, it may be best to disable audio stream switching and Spot's own MPEG-4 decoder in the Media, Preferences window. Don't forget to reopen the video after closing the window. See also the question above. See also the first and second videos in our video troubleshooting playlist.
The video only fills a quarter of the video window
This issue, which is unrelated to Spot, may occur if you are running Windows 10 and have set your Display Settings, Scale and Layout to greater than 100%. To work around the problem, 1) ensure you have the latest K-Lite Codec Pack installed, 2) open the Media Preferences window, 3) click the DirectShow Filters tab, 4) select Video Mixing Renderer 9 (put a tick next to it) then click OK. Now reopen your video - it should automatically resize to fit the window.
My 23.976 fps video does not run in sync with the BITC
Because there is no such thing as 23.976 SMPTE timecode, the burnt-in timecode on a 23.976 frames per second video must be running at 24 frames per second. This means you should open the video at 24 fps and ensure Spot is in 24 fps mode, not 23.976. Note that Netflix videos contain two types of burnt-in timing: one for SMPTE software (such as Spot) and one for media time-based software. It's the SMPTE timecode (normally at the top left of the video) that you need to sync to.
I added subtitles to a video using Spot's video converter, but the subtitles aren't visible
There are several reasons why this might happen:
1. Your Fonts folder has not been set (see pages 86 and 87 of the Spot 6 User Guide for more information).
2. Your subtitles have been timed against the timecode on the source video. If the in cue for the first subtitle in your file is 10:00:02:00, the subtitle may be in sync with the source video when rehearsing in Spot but will not be encoded in the target video as it is only marked for display after ten hours and two minutes. To stop this happening, either time your files starting at 00:00:00:00 or offset the timing of your subtitles.
3. Make sure your subtitle file doesn't contain empty subtitles. All subtitles must have text and valid in and out cues.
4. Check to see if your subtitle colour has been set to black. If it has, use a different colour.
Spot stops responding when a video is playing
Not all video formats are created equal so make sure you have the very latest K-Lite Codec Pack installed. See also question five above.
Audio is not being processed
There could be two reasons for this. Firstly, you may not have headphones or speakers plugged into your computer. If you don't, Windows thinks no audio hardware is installed and audio processing will fail. Secondly, there may be an .srt, .sub or .txt file with the same name as the video in the video folder. If there is, move the file to a different location and reopen the video.


I can’t type characters in my language
For backwards compatibility, Spot takes a character set approach to dealing with certain languages. If you find you cannot type e.g. Central European characters, click the Edit menu, then select Edit Area, Input Method, Keyboard Mapping.
I can’t raise subtitles using Ctrl+Alt+Up/Down
If nothing happens when you press Ctrl+Alt+Up/Down, then another program on your computer, usually the software installed by your graphics card, has most likely hijacked the key combination. You need to find out which program is the culprit and then change or disable the key sequence.
How do I set a fixed number of characters per line?
Select "Set Characters Per Line Width" from the Subtitle menu. Setting a figure of 36, for example, will ensure that only a maximum of 36 characters are allowed per line. Note that as the only way to set the maximum number of characters per line is by using a fixed width font (i.e. a font in which each letter shares the same width), Spot will change the current screen font to Courier New. This will not affect the target broadcast font.
There is a more elegant approach that lets you keep Arial 16 as the edit font. Change the edit line width to a figure that sets the CPL value on the status bar to approximately 36 (e.g. 5000). Because Arial is a proportional font, this does not guarantee that you won’t be able to type more than 36 characters in a line but it will prevent it from happening most of the time. As you work, keep an eye on the two line length indicators above the current subtitle: if they turn red, one of the lines in the subtitle is too long. When you’ve finished working on your file, a "Too many characters in line check" (or switching to Report view) will pick up any warnings you may have missed.
The spell checker isn’t working
Spot uses Microsoft Word to spell check subtitles so if a version of Word is not installed on your computer, you cannot use the spell checker or the thesaurus. If you do have Word installed and the spell checker is still not working, make sure you have the correct language selected in Spot’s language bar above the video window. If you are working with Spot 6, selecting the new "Spell check using the file save method" option (Tools, Options, General) forces spelling checks to work as they should.
The masculine and feminine ordinals º and ª are lost when saving to an EBU STL file
This happens because the EBU STL format does not support these characters. Either write out the ordinal in full ("A primeira pessoa a pisar a Lua"), use "o." or "a." or choose a different file format.

Subtitling and Translation

If you're looking for in-depth information on subtitling and translation resources, you might like to visit the following pages: