Hotkey settings

The most important configuration options for the hotkeys have been summarized in a separate view of the settings dialog.

The hotkey list


Hotkeys (mostly short keys in German) are keyboard actions that can be used to trigger certain program actions.

A keyboard action can be a single keystroke, but also a keystroke provided that one or more of the control keys (Ctrl, Shift, or Alt) have already been pressed.

This view is dominated by the list of possible program actions that can be triggered using hotkeys. The list is divided into three columns. In the first column the program actions are briefly listed, in the second and third the hotkeys.

The column headed “Hotkey” contains the corresponding hotkey for each program action. The hotkeys entered here only have an effect if the VLC window is the active window.

By default, there are no entries in the column headed “Global”. The user can also enter hotkeys here. These then work globally, even if the VLC window is not the active window.

The hotkey list provides the user with information about which hotkeys are available for which actions. However, it also enables him to define his own hotkeys for each of the actions listed.

Above the list, there is an input field for searching for hotkeys, or rather for actions that can be called up via hotkeys. You enter any search term and all list entries in which the search term is represented are filtered for display.

Change hotkeys or enter new ones:

To change or enter a hotkey, double-click the mouse pointer in the field for which the change or new entry is to be made. A double click in one of the first two columns opens an information window for normal hotkeys, a double click in a field in the third column opens an information window for global hotkeys.

In any case, the following text appears in this information window:

” Press the new buttons for”  plus the action of the respective line.

Now you can enter the hotkey using the desired keys. If the hotkey entered has already been assigned for another action, a warning appears that should not be ignored, otherwise, it will be adopted.

Additional options on this view

  • Mouse Wheel X-Axis Control

    The mouse wheel X-axis can control volume or position. Even can also be ignored.
    This corresponds to the axis of rotation of the mouse wheel. With modern mice, the mouse wheel can not only be turned, the device also reacts to the left or right pressure.
    This option can be used to set whether and how a lateral pressure on the mouse wheel should be evaluated. You can choose between “Volume control”, “Position control” and “Ignore.” Position control means the positioning of the playback position.

  • Ignore volume keys on the keyboard

    When this option activated, the system volume can be changed using the “Volume Up”, “Quieter” and “Mute” keys on the keyboard (if available).
    If disabled and VLC is in the foreground, the volume keys on the keyboard can be used to change the VLC volume.
    If VLC is in the background and the option is deactivated, the system volume is changed using the volume keys on the keyboard.

Interface Settings

In general, the interface of a program is the interface through which the user communicates with the program. With most programs, including VLC Media Player, the user can adapt this interface to a limited extent to his ideas and wishes.

The most important or frequently used setting options for the interface have been summarized in a separate view of the settings dialog.

The interface settings division into the following five subgroups:

  • language
  • Look and feel
  • Instances
  • Privacy / network interaction
  • Playlist


The only setting option in this subgroup is the menu language.
The term “menu language” is not entirely correct, however. What is meant is the language for the entire interface, which is also shown in the quick info.

In the selection list for this option, you can either choose one of the languages ​​offered or the “Automatic” option. In the latter case, VLC uses the system language as the menu language.


This subgroup distinguishes between the two fundamentally different settings

  • Use native style
  • Use custom skin

If the user decides to use the native style option, the following options are available:

  • Show control in full-screen mode

    This defines whether a control (play, pause and stop buttons) should be displayed in full-screen mode.
    The transparency of the full-screen control can be set under Settings – All – Interface – Main Interfaces – Qt .

  • Start with a minimal view (without menus)

    With this option, you can start VLC without menus, i.e. without the main menu and controls.
    If you need the hidden menus after such a start, you can show them again using the shortcut key Ctrl + H or via the context menu (accessible by clicking with the right mouse button outside the area of ​​the playlist), option View – Minimal view.
    With the shortcut key H you can switch back to the minimal view.

  • Pause playback when minimized

    If this option is activated, playback (video or audio) is paused when the window with the interface is minimized. Playback will pause even if the video is shown in its own window However, it will not be interrupted if only the window containing the video is minimized.

  • Integrate video into the interface

    If this option is activated, videos are played in the window with the interface. The size of a video depends on the size of the interface window. This is shown in the size last used when starting VLC. The size of the video and thus that of the interface window cannot be changed using the shortcut keys Alt + 1, 2, 3, or 4.
    Any definition of the video size made via the options Settings – All – Video – Video width / Video height is ignored.
    If this option is not activated, videos are played in a separate window.

  • Adapt interface to video size

    This option is only available if the “Integrate video into interface” option described above is activated and causes the size of the interface window to be adapted to the video size.
    If a size is specified via the options Settings – All – Video – Video width / Video height, the video will also be displayed in this size, otherwise as large as the respective monitor allows. In any case, the interface window is adapted to the size of the video.
    The size of the video and thus that of the interface window can be changed using the shortcut keys Alt + 1, 2, 3, or 4.

  • Show systray icon

    If this option is activated, VLC places an icon (traffic cone) in the notification area of ​​the taskbar under Windows, which is the area between the list of open programs and the clock, via which simple actions can be controlled allowed. This applies accordingly to other operating systems.
    By simply clicking on this icon, the interface window can be minimized without it being additionally displayed in the taskbar. Another click on this icon shows the interface window again.
    Clicking this icon with the right mouse button opens a context menu with a number of simple control options (minimize, play, stop, previous, next, speed, volume, open media, and exit).

  • Systray popup if minimized

    This option is only available if the above-described option “Show systray icon” is also activated. If VLC is minimized or hidden and the object being played back changes, it causes a notification popup with the artist and the track name to be displayed if the relevant information is available.

If the user chooses the Use custom skin option, he can select a skin file. In addition, he can visit the VLC skin page via a direct link in order to download skins from there.

Since the menu selection is considerably restricted in almost all skin views, you should make a backup copy of the “vlcrc” configuration file before using a skin, otherwise, it may be difficult to return to the standard view returns.


Only the following two options are available in this subgroup:

  • Allow only one instance

    If this option is not activated, the VLC media player can be called up multiple times. Each time it is called, a new instance is started, which can act in its own window independently of other instances.
    However, if this option is activated and the VLC Media Player has already been started in one instance, no further instance will be called up.
    What this means in the practical application will be shown using two examples.
    Example 1If only one instance is allowed, each time a media file is double-clicked, it is added to the playlist of the current instance. The playlist can then be saved with the compilation made.
    Example 2: With two instances, one instance can take a stream and save it to a file. A second instance can playback the file “fed” by the first instance. This enables time-shifted playback of a stream while it is being recorded.

  • Add files to the playlist in 1-instance mode

    The name of this option is not well chosen, because in 1-instance mode, media files are saved regardless of how you proceed (double-click on such a file or Loading the file via the menu option) is always appended to the playlist.
    The only difference is that if this option is activated, playback will not be interrupted. If this option is not activated, the current playback is aborted and the newly loaded file is played back when another media file is loaded.

Privacy / network interaction

Details on this subgroup are also described in Chapter 4.6.1 of the German user manual. The following five options are available here:

  • Album cover download

    Here, a selection list can be used to define how the VLC player can connect to the Internet for downloading album covers. You can choose from the three options Download manually only When playing the title and As soon as a new title is added.
    The setting made here does not only affect the download of album covers, as the wording might suggest. Only if this option is set to When the track is played or As soon as a new track is added and a file “cover.jpg “with the cover image, this image is displayed as the cover, for example.
    From version Weatherwax (2.2.x) something has changed here. Instead of selecting from the above three options, there is only the option Allow network access to metadata, which is activated by default. In contrast to the previous versions, the setting for the Allow network access to metadata option does not affect access to metadata on the playback device.

  • Activate update notification

    This option determines whether the VLC player can check for program updates via Internet access.

  • Update check

    Here the interval, how often should be checked, can be set.

  • Save last playback

    This option determines whether the VLC Player should save the last played objects (images, videos, or audios) in an internal list. These can be reloaded from this list via the menu selection Media – Open recently opened media.

  • Filters for entries last played in the player

    This option allows you to create one or more exclusive filters for the entries last played. Such a filter consists of the respective file type. Several such filters are separated by the vertical line. For example, “mp3 | ogg | wav” would prevent the most popular audio files from being included in the list.


The following three options can be found in this last subgroup:

  • Show playlist tree

    This option can be used to determine whether objects that are not in the same location should be displayed in a structured manner, similar to the Windows Explorer, or unstructured.
    In a structured display, the content of sub-folders can be hidden.

  • Pause at the last frame of a video

    If this option is selected, playback is paused at the end of each object to be played back, including audio, i.e. the next object is not played back. The playback of the next object can be achieved, for example, by clicking on the “Next track …” button to the right of the stop button.

  • File extension assignment

    When you click on the associated button for this option, labeled “Set up assignments”, a dialog window in the control panel opens (at least under Windows) in which all file types are listed that are from the VLC player can be played.
    The types already assigned to the VLC player during installation are selected. Types that have not yet been assigned can be assigned here.
    The opposite way does not work. So you cannot withdraw assigned types from assignments.

Subtitle & OSD settings

Subtitles are information about a video that is superimposed on the video, on-screen display (OSD), the basic technology for this. Via which not only the superimposing of subtitles but also those of operating, status, and Additional information is supported.

It can therefore be said that settings for displaying subtitles and other objects in the screen display are offered in this dialog view. Such other objects are, for example, the display of the file name, a logo, an action message. Above all, the control that can be displayed in full-screen mode.

Subtitles differ from the other objects only in that they are part of the video, while all other objects are created by VLC.

The Subtitle settings divide into:

  • On-screen display
  • Subtitle language
  • Subtitle Effects

On-Screen Display

The following three setting options are available in this subgroup:

  • Activate On-Screen Display (OSD)

    Only if this option is activated, additional information can be displayed in the video. The exception to this is the control in full-screen mode, which, provided it is activated, is displayed even if this option is not activated here.

  • Show media title in video

    If the name of the video file currently being played is to be shown, it is not enough to just activate this option. The above option must also be activated.

  • Position (of the media title)

    With this, nine different positions from a selection list can be used to determine where the media title should be displayed.

Subtitle language

This sub-group enables the following two setting options:

  • Preferred subtitle language

    In general, you do not need to change anything in this setting, unless the subtitles are not displayed in the desired language. In such a case, enter the first two or three letters of the desired and available language in the input field of this option. You can also specify more than one language. To do this, the individual language abbreviations must be separated by a comma. All entries must be made without quotation marks.
    For example, if the abbreviations are entered for two languages, you can switch between these two subtitle languages ​​using the V shortcut.

  • Standard coding

    The standard coding defines the character set to be used for the subtitle output. During the installation, VLC decides which of the available fonts this should be. You therefore only need to change something very rare for this option. Only the character sets listed in the selection list can be set.

Subtitle Effects

The setting of the subtitle effects is particularly important. The changing backgrounds are the biggest problem. By default, a setting has already been selected that will lead to a satisfactory display in most cases. Contours are also very important because they still allow legibility with a background in the same font color. The display of the subtitles can be designed using the following eight options in this subgroup:

  • Font

    One of the available fonts can be selected via the selection list for this option.

  • Font size

    The font size can be changed relative to the current font size using one of five options in the selection list.

  • Standard text color

    The text color can be freely defined using a color setting dialog.

  • Contour thickness

    The thickness of the contour can be set using the selection list.

  • Contour color

    The color of the contours can be freely defined using a color settings dialog.

  • Add a shadow

    If this option is activated, a shadow is added to the font in addition to the outline.

  • Add a background

    This option enables the subtitle font to be displayed on a background that is in the opposite color to the font.

  • Force subtitle position

    For this option positive or negative values ​​can be entered, which determine how far above or below the set position the subtitles are to be displayed. This means that subtitles can even be pulled down from a video, for example, provided the respective monitor is larger than the video.

VLC Simple Audio Settings

The Audio settings divide into the following four subgroups:

  • volume
  • output
  • Effects
  • title


The two options in this subgroup are interdependent, but only one of them can be activated. The volume can be set between 0% and 200% or between the values ​​0 and 512 (not as shown in the quick info, between 0 and 1024). 100% corresponds to the value 256.

  • Save the audio level between sessions

    This option defines whether the volume level set in the control area should be discarded or saved when VLC is closed. Activating this option means that the last volume level set is adopted each time VLC is restarted.

  • Always reset audio start level to

    This option sets the default volume. This is only important if VLC is started and the volume level set in the previous session was not automatically saved.


The default setting for this option is Standard. With this, VLC tries to choose the best available method. In very few cases
this setting has to be changed. However, if the audio output does
not meet your personal expectations, you can try to achieve an improvement using one of the modules listed in the list.

The list can be reached by clicking on the small black triangle on the right edge of the button. Their content also depends on the respective operating system and the system equipment. The following settings are probably always offered, at least under Windows:

  • Win32 WaveOut expansion output

    This setting also offers the option “Use S / PDIF if available”. “S / PDIF” stands for “Sony / Philips Digital Interface”. So if you have this interface available and want to output via it, you should switch from the standard-setting to this.
    Even if AC3 sound files (Dolby Digital) and the available output channels are only output in stereo, you should try this setting.

  • File audio output

    This setting can be used to redirect the audio output to a file. However, there are probably only a few cases in which this option can be used sensibly.

  • DirectX audio output

    With this setting, as with the setting for “Win32 Wave Out Extension Output”, the option “Use S / PDIF if available” is offered.
    In addition, the device via which the output should be made can also be specified here. This is particularly interesting for all those who have an additional sound card in addition to the sound chip on board.

  • Audio memory output

  • This audio output module, like the “Win32 WaveOut extension output” or the “DirectX audio output”, belongs to the “test settings”, ie to those that should be tested in the event of problems with the standard output.
  • Dummy audio output

    With this setting, audio output is only performed “pretend”. In rare cases, this may be necessary to simulate a video without an audio track.


The following six options are summarized in this subgroup, which, in the opinion of the developers, are among the relatively large number of setting options for influencing the audio output that is most frequently desired and can also be used:

  • Activate audio tone time-stretching

    If this option is activated, the user has the option of influencing the tempo for the audio playback, i.e. playing it faster or slower without changing the pitch.
    The easiest way to make such a change is to use the shortcut keys (see there). However, you can also expand the toolbar for playback with corresponding switch icons.

  • Normalize the volume to

    With this option, you determine whether audio objects should be normalized during playback. If one decides to normalize, the target value for normalization must be set. VLC specifies a setting between 0.5 and 10 as useful for this. The greater this value, the more moderate the normalization will be.
    With this “loudness normalization”, the volume of the audio object is calculated according to the average deflection of parts that have already been played and, if this is higher than the target value, is adapted to this. It is thus possible to adjust the volume corresponding to the human loudness perception, for example, to match several pieces of music to one another or to avoid loudness jumps at program transitions in radio and television.

  • Gain Mode

    This option, like the previous one, is a form of normalization. You should therefore consider whether it makes sense to activate both options at the same time. At least one should carefully examine the effect of simultaneous use.
    This option allows three settings, None, Title, and Album. Depending on the setting, this form of normalization is not used or is used for all audio objects, a distinction being made again between an individual evaluation for each individual object and a joint evaluation and treatment for an entire album (the content of the playlist).

  • Dolby Surround

    There are three possible settings for this option: “Automatic”, “On” and “Off”. The default setting is “Automatic”.
    When set to “Automatic”, VLC normally detects when an audio source has been created with Dolby Surround and plays it back accordingly. If this is not the case, setting this option to “On” means that VLC will use the Dolby Surround settings when playing back all audio objects. This is usually also advantageous for audio objects without Dolby Surround.
    However, if you only have two speakers in your system, you should set this option to “Off”, otherwise when the Dolby Surround signal (AC-3 or A / 52) is reproduced,

  • Headphone surround effect

    Activating this option can lead to a significant improvement in sound quality, especially for headphones.

  • Visualization

    This option can be used to activate a window with a visualization of the sound playback for audio files. The following setting options are available for this:
    Standard: With this setting, there is no visualization.

    Visualization filter

    A sound spectrum with the individual frequency ranges is shown in the form of a bar chart.libprojectM effect: A very large number of different visualization effects can be activated with this option. VLC provides the necessary plug-in for this, but not the individual effect files. You can get these yourself, for example, from projecM .
    These effect files (of the .milk type) can be copied into any folder. The path must be entered in the advanced settings All – Audio – Visualizations – projectM . The projectM plug-in randomly selects a new effect for each next audio stream to be played back.Goom effect: An effect that is very computationally intensive and, if it can be shown at all, can very easily lead to disruptions in audio playback.

    Window Decorations

    Under Settings – All – Audio – Visualizations there are further options that can be used, for example, to define the size of the visualization area. If the visualization area is to be displayed without a window frame, the window decorations option must be deactivated in the simple video settings.

    The visualization should be deactivated for the output of audio-set videos, which should be the rule, otherwise, VLC will output the visualization of the audio stream in an additional window that is usually covered by the video window.


In this last subgroup, there are two more options.

  • Preferred audio language
    This option is particularly important for playing back films with multiple audio tracks, each in a different national language. By entering so-called country codes, you can determine which of the audio tracks should be played back with the video.
    Such country codes are the first two or three letters of a country. For example, “DE” or “DEU” can be entered for German and “EN” or “ENG” for English.
  • Send played song statistics to
    This option is only relevant for users of the Internet radio You have to enter your username and password here when activating so that VLC can transfer the music titles the user has heard to

VLC Simple Video Settings

The most important or frequently used video setting options have been summarized in a separate view of the settings dialog. The video settings are divide into the following four subgroups:

  • display
  • DirectX
  • Video
  • Video snapshots

Display Settings

This subgroup contains the following six setting options for displaying the video:

  • Fullscreen

    If this option is activated, videos are output in full-screen mode immediately upon start-up.

  • Accelerated video output (overlay)

    Under “ Overlay video output” For the playback of videos, the VLC tries to use the hardware acceleration of the graphics card by default. However, especially if the driver for the graphics card is not updated, this can lead to display problems (jerky images or other image disturbances). In such cases, this option should be deactivated.

  • Use hardware conversion from YUV to RGB

    If this option is activated, VLC tries to use hardware acceleration when converting YUV (color model for analog television) to RGB (color model for digital display devices).
    According to the tooltip, this option has no effect when accelerated video output is used.

  • Always in the foreground

    By default, the activated window is also in the foreground, i.e. it is not completely or partially covered by any other window. If you activate this option, however, the window with the video output is always in the foreground. Even if the window with the VLC interface or any other program window is activated, the VLC video window remains in the foreground.

  • Window decorations

    The frame, header, setting buttons as well as window icons and labels are called window decorations and are output as standard for each window. This can be prevented by activating this option.

  • Output

    By default, VLC tries to use the best method for outputting a video. In the vast majority of cases. Therefore, no change is required here. However, if there are problems with playback in individual cases, it may also be due to the wrong choice of VLC. In such cases, one can check the other relevant output methods. Which methods are offered in the selection list also depends on the respective system or the system configuration? For output on a monitor or a similar device, the output methods such as “video memory output”, “statistics video output” or “color ASCII art video output” are definitely not relevant.

DirectX Settings

The only option in this subgroup is the display device. The “device” (monitor, projector, etc.) is used to display the video. The available devices are displayed in a selection list. Since, at least under Windows, this can already be specified via the system settings, there is seldom the need to change anything to the default setting Standard.

Video Settings

The following three setting options are available in this subgroup. The first two belong together thematically:

  • Deinterlacing

    For this option, there are three setting options On, Automatic, and Off
    “On” and “Off” are self-explanatory and with “Automatic” VLC decides whether deinterlacing should be used.

  • Mode

    With this option, a mode can be selected from a selection list that VLC should use for deinterlacing. By default, the mode is matching used. You should only change something about this if you know exactly what effects a change will have.

  • Force aspect ratio

    This option allows you to force a certain aspect ratio, for example, 16: 9, for the playback of the videos. For example, you can use this to force playback of DVDs in 4: 3 format or those without format information in 16: 9 format. The image is not cropped but rather compressed or stretched.
    Note for Mac users:
    This option is missing in the Mac version. It can be found there under the name “Aspect Ratio” under the advanced setting options in the “Video” group.

Video Snapshots Settings

A video snapshot is a single frame (image) of a running video that can be “shot” at any time. Simply click the video snapshot button in the advanced controls or by pressing the Shift + S shortcut.
The following four options offer the possibility of setting certain preferences for video snapshots:

  • Directory

    This option allows you to set the location where snapshot files are to be saved.

  • Prefix

    Using this option, you can specify the first part of the name for snapshot files, which is the same for all snapshots.

  • Sequential numbering

    If you activate this option, VLC uses consecutive numbering for the second part of the name for snapshot files. Otherwise, this part of the name consists of a time specification that corresponds to the point in time at which the snapshot was taken.

  • Format

    This last option can be used to determine whether snapshots should be recorded in PNG or JPG format.

For example, if you were to enter “SS_” for the prefix, not activate sequential numbering and choose the “jpg” format, a snapshot taken on 03/18/2013 at 3:31:28 PM would receive the following name:


The hour, minutes and seconds, the latter with two decimal places, are specified for the time.