Managing manual captioning

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Zoom has a variety of options for creating virtual closed captioning in your Zoom meetings and webinars that provide subtitles for video conferencing. This may be used by participants to easily follow the conversations or to meet accessibility requirements.

In meetings, the host or another meeting attendee assigned by the host can provide manual captioning, an integrated third-party closed captioning service can provide the captioning, or Zoom’s automated captions (also known as live transcription) feature can provide automatic captioning through closed caption settings. These same options are available with webinars, although manual captioning can only be provided by the host or a panelist. Any of these captioning options are also viewable in Zoom Rooms

For more information about viewing closed captioning or live transcription as a participant or attendee, please refer to the user guide.

This article covers:

Prerequisites for manual captioning

  • 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
  • Manual captioning enabled

Limitations of manual captioning 

Known issues

  • For webinars, hosts using desktop client versions lower than 5.11.9 can inadvertently cause both manual captioning and automated captioning to be shown at the same time. It is recommended hosts update to version 5.11.9 or higher to avoid this issue. 
    • As a workaround during a live webinar, the host can disable automated captioning to avoid competing captions. 
  • For webinars, hosts using desktop client versions lower than 5.11.9 can inadvertently cause panelists assigned to be a manual captioner to not see the caption window, where they would be inputting captions. It is recommended hosts update to version 5.11.9 or higher to avoid this issue.
    • Manual captioners can access the caption window if they click on the tooltip that appears when the host has assigned them to caption. 
    • If they missed the tooltip, the host can re-assign captioning to them, which will make the tooltip again. 

How to start manual captioning in Zoom Meetings

To start manual captioning in a Zoom meeting or webinar:

  1. Start the Zoom meeting or webinar that you are hosting.
  2. In the host controls, click Moremore-button__1_.png, then click Captions.
  3. Under Host controls, click Set up manual captioner.
  4. Under Enable manual captioner, click the On option. 
  5. In the same menu, select one of the following options:
    • Assign a participant to type: Assigns a participant to type closed captions during the meeting.
    • I will type: Opens the closed captioning window for you to manually type closed captions.
    • Copy the API token: Copy the URL that you can provide to a third-party closed captioning service to integrate the service with your meeting.
      Note: These options are greyed out if Enable manual captioner is disabled above. 

Assign a participant to type closed captions

As the host, assign a participant to type closed captions:

  1. Start a Zoom meeting or webinar.
  2. Start manual captioning.
  3. Click Assign a participant to type
    The Participants panel will appear.
  4. Find the participant who you want to type closed captions and hover your mouse over their name.
  5. Click More more-button__1_.png.
  6. Select Assign to type Closed Caption.
    Note: This option will not appear unless Enable manual captioner is enabled. 

Once the host assigns you the ability to type closed captions, a notification will appear in the assigned participant's meeting controls. To enter closed captions as a participant:

  1. In the meeting controls, next to the Show Captions  option, click the up-caret and select the Show caption window option. 
    This will open up the closed caption box. 
  2. Type the closed captions in the box.
  3. Press Enter to submit your closed captions.

How to use closed captioning in breakout rooms

After you start breakout room sessions, participants can click Show Captions in the meeting controls to view closed captions. If you're the meeting host, we recommend using a third-party closed captioning service if you want closed captions in breakout rooms.

If you want a participant to type closed captions, make sure you assign them permission to type closed caption before starting the breakout room sessions.

Notes:

  • Only one participant can be assigned to type closed captions in a meeting; thus, it is only possible to have one breakout session with closed captioning.
  • Live transcription is currently not supported in breakout rooms.

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