Instructions for Zoom Live Captions

Franklin Mingzhe Li
2 min readFeb 14, 2021

We appreciate your efforts to make your Zoom meeting content more accessible through the use of live captioning. If you have any type of Zoom account, it includes live automated transcription as long as the host has closed captions enabled. Here are detailed instructions on how to configure and use the live transcript feature:

1. Log in to your Zoom account through the Web Portal (NOT your local Zoom App).

2. Go to Settings, choose Meeting, and scroll down until you see “Closed captioning”.

On the left, there is a heading for Closed Captioning. The text below reads “Allow the host to type closed captions or assign a participant/third party device to add closed captions.” The toggle to the right is in the ON position. The checkbox for “Enable live transcription service to show transcript on the side panel in-meeting” is checked.
Screenshot of the Zoom settings, Closed Captioning section

3. If you have not enabled it, please activate the toggle button.

4. When you start hosting a new meeting, you should be able to see a new button called Live Transcript in the Zoom Control Panel at the bottom of the screen.

This figure contains several buttons (from left to right): Chat, Share Screen (font color in green), Record, Live Transcript, and Breakout Rooms.
Screenshot of the Zoom Control Panel

5. When you click the Live Transcript button, you will be able to see the following closed caption options: “Assign someone to type,” “Use a 3rd party CC service,” and “Live Transcript.”

This figure first shows two buttons under “Assign someone to type”: “Assign a participant to type” and “I will type.” It then shows a button “Copy the API token” under “Use a 3rd party CC service.” At the bottom, it has a button called “Enable Auto-Transcription” under Live Transcript.
Screenshot of the Live Transcript options

6. Click the “Enable Auto-Transcription” button to turn on Live Transcript, and the live closed captions will be visible to meeting guests automatically.

7. To view the full transcript during a Zoom meeting, click the small arrow at the top right corner of the Live Transcript button on the lower toolbar. The full transcript allows you to see who said what in the dialog. You can also download the transcript by clicking the Save Transcript button in the transcript.

At the bottom, this figure shows three buttons: Live Transcript, Breakout Rooms, and Reactions. The top right arrow of Live Transcript is selected, and it further shows three buttons: Hide Subtitle, Close Full Transcript, and Subtitle Settings.
Screenshot of additional functions of Live Transcript

8. If you want to modify the closed caption display font size, you could click the Subtitle Settings button.

This figure shows an interface of Zoom Settings. At the left tabs, there are “General,” “Video,” “Audio,” “Share Screen,” “Chat,” “Background & Filters,” “Recording,” “Profile,” “Statistics,” “Feedback,” “Keyboard Shortcuts,” and “Accessibility.” The tab of “Accessibility” is selected. The right side shows Closed Caption at the top with three levels (normal, medium, large) of font sizes that could be selected. Then it shows Chat Display Size and Screen Reader Alerts.
Screenshot of the Settings interface

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This document is drafted by Franklin Mingzhe Li, Franchesca Spektor, Nikolas Martelaro, Patrick Carrington, and Sarah Fox.



Franklin Mingzhe Li

Ph.D. student at Carnegie Mellon University | HCI researcher | A11y | Ubicomp | Former Intern @Apple | #UofT | Cook Since Six