Zoom- Using captions: Step-by-Step Guidance

We have added a captions function to our Zoom licence.


If you think that you would benefit from being able to read captions/subtitles during your session, please ask your tutor to switch this function on.

How captions work

Once the tutor switches the function on, a Live Transcript CC button will appear on the Zoom control bar.


Clicking on the Live Transcript button will give you a few options. Each student can decide whether they want to see the subtitles or the transcript and can adjust their settings. 



Show Subtitle

You will see the subtitle text under the videos. The default position is in the middle of the bottom of your screen.


You can click and drag the caption box to position it where you want on the screen.



View Full Transcript

The full transcript will be displayed on the right hand side of your Zoom screen.

The text from the Transcript cannot be copied and saved, as this would be equivalent to recording the conversation, which cannot be done without everyone's permission.



Subtitle Settings

You can adjust the size of the subtitle font, as well as the size of the chat box.

You can also find these settings in the Accessibility options in the main Zoom Settings menu.



Limitations of captions

The captions are automatic and they will never be 100% accurate.

The automatic captions cannot be used in a breakout room. 
If a you need captions for group work, there are a couple of ways for your tutor to get round it:

  • they can keep you in a group in the main room to do pair or small group work, whilst other groups are in breakout rooms
  • or you can use chat, not voice, in the breakout room.

Please speak to your tutor to make sure you can participate in your lessons fully.


Speak slowly

The captions are most accurate when one person speaks slowly, clearly and in complete sentences.  They are less accurate when you speak quickly or when several people are having a conversation and the speaker keeps changing. 

If the captions go wrong you may need to re-phrase or repeat a word or sentence.  Be aware that if you pause slightly at the end of a sentence the captions will often go back and correct a word based on context and grammar once it has the whole sentence.


Problem words

Deaf or death - Like all speech to text systems Zoom captions struggles to tell the difference between death and deaf, even in context. It tends to favour ‘death’. This is unfortunate if you attend classes in the Deaf Education Department. We have found you can force it to caption the word ‘deaf’ if you over emphasise the letter F almost as if it were a separate syllable.

Names - Zoom will recognise common names, especially in the context of a sentence. It may recognise a name if you repeat it slowly. If you say each letter slowly and clearly it will spell it out in capitals. 


Need more help?

For more information or to get help accessing your student IT account, complete our online form.
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