How to Manage closed captioning and live transcription in Zoom App

This post was most recently updated on July 28th, 2022

If you use Zoom for video conferencing, you can use it to create virtual closed captioning for your Zoom meetings or webcasts, which provide subtitles for video conferencing in real-time. In order for participants to follow the conversation easily, or to satisfy accessibility requirements, this can be used.

It is possible to provide manual captioning to meetings by the host or another meeting attendee assigned by the host, or it can be done using an integrated closed captioning service from a third-party, or it can be done using Zoom’s automatic captions (also known as live transcription) function through its closed caption settings. On the other hand, the host or a panelist can be the only person who can provide manual captioning for webinars, although the same options are available. Zoom Rooms also give users the option of viewing each of these captioning options.

I invite you to refer to the User Guide if you are interested in more information regarding closed captioning and live transcription as a participant or attendee.

Prerequisites for closed captioning and live transcription

Closed captions

  • Zoom desktop client (enter or view captions)
    • Windows: 3.5.37712.0111 or higher
    • macOS: 3.5.37712.0111 or higher
    • Linux: 3.5.37712.0111 or higher
  • Zoom mobile app (view captions only)
    • Android: 4.0.21521.0116 or higher
    • iOS: 4.0.21521.0116 or higher

Automated captions (live transcription)

  • Zoom desktop client
    • Windows: 5.0.2 or higher
    • macOS: 5.0.2 or higher
  • Zoom mobile app
    • Android: 5.0.2 or higher
    • iOS: 5.0.2 or higher

Limitations of real-time transcriptions

You can also use our automated live transcription option if you are unable to provide captioning manually or with a third-party service. However, it has certain limitations you should know about. At the present moment, only English is supported for live transcription. The accuracy of this feature is greatly dependent on many factors, such as but not limited to:

  • Noise in the background
  • As well as the speaker’s vocal volume and clarity
  • And his or her ability to understand and pronounce the English language
  • As well as dialects specific to a particular geographical area or community

Since many of these limitations apply, we recommend using a manual captioner or service that may be able to guarantee a certain level of accuracy if you are required to use speech-to-text in order to meet any accessibility needs or compliance requirements.

Note: The number of participants or third-party services you are able to assign to manually caption a video is limited.

How to enable meeting/webinar captions and live transcription

Admins and account owners with access to the account management system are able to enable or disable the services closed captioning and live transcription. A closed caption can either be added by the host or a participant or third-party service if the option for Manual captions is enabled in the account settings.

How to start Closed Caption or Live Transcript in Zoom meetings

When you are starting a Zoom meeting or webinar with Closed Captioning or Live Transcript:

  1. If you have enabled the Closed Caption or Live Transcript features in the Zoom meeting or webinar that you are hosting, click the respective option.
  2. Select one of the following options:
    • Assign a participant to type:
    •  During the meeting, you can assign a participant to type closed captions.
    • I will type: You will be able to manually type closed captions in the closed captioning window once you have opened it.
    • Copy the API token: If you wish to integrate third-party closed captioning into your meeting, you may copy the URL that you can provide to a third-party closed captioning service.
    • Enable Auto-Transcription: You will be allowed to begin live transcriptions after enabling this setting. Participants will receive a notification once the service is available. In order to offer this option, web settings must be enabled.

How to assign a participant to type closed captions

Host

Assigning a participant to type closed captions is as follows:

  1. Using the Assign a participant to type button, you can assign a participant to type.
    This will open the Participants window.
  2. To type closed captions, find the participant whose name you want to type. Hover your cursor over their name.
  3. Select “More Info”.
  4. You will be given the option to assign captions.

Participant

You will receive a notification in your meeting controls once the host has granted you the ability to type closed captions. You will need to follow these steps to do this.

  1. You can close the caption by clicking on Closed Caption.
    Once the box appears, you can close the caption.
  2. Once the box appears, you can type the closed captions.
  3. Once you have typed your captions, press Enter.

How to use closed captioning in breakout rooms

If you start breakout sessions with closed captioning, participants can access closed captions by clicking the Closed Caption button in the meeting controls on the meeting screen. As the meeting host, we recommend that if you want closed captioning in breakout rooms, you use a third-party closed captioning service.

It is important to assign a participant permission to type a closed caption before the breakout room sessions are started if you would like a participant to type a closed caption.

Notes:

  • It is thus possible only to have one closed captioning breakout session in a meeting, because one participant can be designated to type closed captions during a meeting.
  • There is currently no live transcription available in breakout rooms.

How to make participant requests to enable live transcription

It is also possible for meeting participants to request that live transcription be enabled for your meetings or webinars during the event. It is possible to set this option on the meeting controls, which eliminates the need to request the feature via verbal request or via chat, and makes it so that it cannot be interrupted.

  1. As the host of a meeting or webinar, you can start one.
  2. You will be asked whether to enable live transcription when a participant or attendee requests that it be enabled. The participant requesting this feature is anonymous, so you may not see the name of the person who requested it.
  3. There are a few options you can choose among:
    • Enable: This option allows live transcription to be used by anyone attending the meeting or webinar.
    • Decline: It is our regret that we cannot provide you with live transcription at this time. Those who wish to have their own transcription can do so later on.
    • Decline and don’t ask again:Do not enable live transcription for this meeting and any future meetings.

When using the Windows desktop client or MacOS desktop client, you can also disable the ability to make requests before each individual request that is made.

  1. The host of the webinar or meeting has to click on Closed Caption or Live Transcript to enable closed captioning.
  2. If the feature is disabled, participants cannot request live transcriptions during the webinar. If the feature is disabled, participants will not be able to make requests during the webinar.