Video calls and meetings are great, but they leave a lot to be desired when it comes to accessibility. Fortunately, Zoom has the ability to create live closed captions in real-time during meetings. We’ll show you how it works.
Zoom’s live closed captions differ from the standard closed captions in that they’re automatically generated by AI. At the time of writing, you have to submit a form to request the feature on your account. You can do so at this Google Form.
When live captions have been enabled on your account, Zoom will inform you by email. We can then toggle it on and start using the feature in meetings.
How to Turn on Live Captions on Zoom
First, sign in to the Zoom website in a web browser such as Google Chrome and select “Settings” on your account page.
Scroll down to the “In Meeting (Advanced)” section and toggle on the switch for “Closed Captioning.”
After you toggle the switch, a pop-up will explain that you must also enable “Save Captions.” Click the “Enable” button to do so.
Next, under the “Closed Captioning” toggle, there will now be a box for “Enable live transcription service to show transcript on the side panel in-meeting.” Check the box and click “Save.”
Live captions are now enabled on your account. They will be available every time you host a meeting.
How to Use Live Captions in Zoom Meetings
Once you’ve enabled live captions on your account, it’s super simple to use them in a meeting. You do need to be the host, though. Live captions can be turned on from the desktop apps on Windows, macOS, and Linux as well as from the Android, iPhone, and iPad apps.
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On the desktop client, click the “Live Transcript” button in the toolbar.
A menu will open with a few choices. For live captions, select “Enable Auto-Transcription.”
The transcribed text will appear in a translucent black box at the bottom of the Zoom window.
In the mobile apps, tap the three-dots menu icon in the bottom toolbar.
Next, select “Enable Live Transcript” from the menu.
The transcribed text will appear underneath the video.
That’s all there is to it! Keep in mind that this is AI-powered, so the accuracy isn’t going to be spot-on. In fact, it can be pretty bad sometimes. If it’s your only option, though, it might be worth a try.