How To Use Subtitles In a Zoom Meeting or Webinar

André Bastié
André Bastié
Posted in Zoom
7 min read
What are the prerequisites for viewing captions in a meeting?

Enhance Zoom accessibility with subtitles and captions: a step-by-step guide for seamless communication.

Subtitles and captions are one of the features that make Zoom meetings or conferences attractive. It is a feature that removes barriers between those with language differences and those with hearing disabilities. Using subtitles in a webinar or meeting lets users see everything the speaker says on the screen. Attendees can usually follow every bit of conversation and meet accessibility requirements.

Prerequisites for enabling manual captions

If you own an account or you are an admin, you are qualified to enable manual captions.

Note: Users with clients older than the 5.9.0 version cannot view the automated subtitles or transcriptions. If you have the same version or higher, you can view transcriptions, provided your host runs the same client version or higher and turns on meeting transcriptions.

How to use subtitles in a meeting or webinar Zoom ?

How to Enable Manual Captions for Meetings and Webinars Session Account

If you want to turn on manual subtitles for all attendees in the account, here are the steps:

- If you can edit account settings as an admin, log in to the Zoom web portal

- Go to "account management" from the navigation menu

- Click account settings

- Click "Meeting Lab"

- Enable or disable manual captions by navigating to In Meeting, then Advanced.

- Confirm your settings by enabling or disabling it if the verification dialog pops up.

How to use subtitles in a meeting or webinar Zoom ?

What are the prerequisites for viewing captions in a meeting?

Whether you use a PC or mobile device to access Zoom meetings, you must meet specific requirements to view captions in a meeting. A minimum of the Global version for both the Zoom mobile app and Zoom desktop.

Note: Other than English, you must have a minimum of client version 5.11.9 to get the automated captioning support for other languages in webinars. You must have a minimum of version 5.14.0 to show captions automatically.

Viewing captions and speaking language selections on a desktop

If you participate in an event, you can view closed captioning or transcripts. You can view transcripts while in a Zoom room.

How to see a closed captioning or live transcription during a meeting or webinar

- Log in to the desktop client

- Navigate to the meeting controls toolbar

- Click the "show captions" icon

You may move their position in the meeting window by clicking and dragging captions

Note that Linux only has closed captions but is yet to have live transcription.

Set your speaking language on a desktop

Speaking language in Zoom is vital to carry every participant along. When you enable captions, you may not want to set the speaking language as well. Don't forget that the default language is usually English, but you can include other languages too.

The system will work on your selected language as you speak and caption or translate them in the same language. For example, if you are a host giving a speech in English, and Zoom is waiting for Chinese, there will be inaccuracies in the captions.

- Sign in to Zoom and navigate to the meeting controls toolbar

- Click the "Up" arrow icon beside the "Show captions."

- To select a language, click the "speaking language."

- Choose your preferred language once languages show and click "save."

- Attendees can access the transcribed captions in the selected language


The host's auto subtitle settings will determine the language availability

If you have lower versions than 5.12.9 will instantly see the subtitles, regardless of the language used in communicating at the conference or event. If a user prefers and sets German as the speaking language, he will also see the same language once he turns on the subtitles.

Requesting captions in the meeting

Caption requests are required for participants who want to use captions in a meeting if the host does not permit the captions. The host will also act as a co-host and get these requests from attendees, depending on the settings. The host may accept the request or decline it. He is also responsible for setting the speaking language.

Join a Zoom meeting or webinar

Click "Request Captions" from the meeting controls toolbar

The host and potentially co-host will get the request from the attendees, notifying them through the center meeting window. They will review the request to accept or turn it down. Attendees will see captions immediately if they approve the request.

Automatically show captions when available

At times, you may find it inconvenient to adjust your subtitles all the time if you are in a meeting. However, you may automatically make this happen all the time you are in a meeting. All you need to do is adjust your accessibility settings.

- Log in to the Zoom desktop client

- Go to your profile picture

- Click "Settings" to access the "Accessibility" tab

If you want to allow "enable show caption captions" always, go to closed captioning and click the checkboxes. You can start seeing these captions automatically once you enable them in a meeting or webinar.

View closed captioning or live transcription during a meeting or webinar using iOS and Android

- Log in to the Zoom app from your mobile device

- Participate in a meeting

- Swipe and tap "Captions Icon" from the meeting controls toolbar

- You will see captions at the top of the meeting controls

- Set your speaking language on iOS and Android

The desktop versions, iOS and Android, have the same default language, English. If you set the speaking language on your mobile device, the same language will automatically come up during a live session.

- Log in to the Zoom app

- Swipe and tap "more" during a meeting controls toolbar

- Tap "Settings" under the toolbar

- Select the speaking language option

- Select your speech-language

If you want to return to the meeting, tap "done" and exit the settings

Reliable subtitles in a meeting begin with Happy Scribe

Hosting a Zoom meeting session is one thing, but speaking the language everyone understands is another thing. There's no point in speaking a language nobody understands, but with Happy Scribe, you can get the best transcription services for your live sessions.

With multiple export formats and different languages, your participants can enjoy every meeting. There is a flexible payment plan, depending on what you want. You can also choose between human or Artificial Intelligence transcriptions and get them within an hour.

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