With Which Application Can You Transcribe a Live Zoom Webinar?

André Bastié
André Bastié
Posted in Zoom
5 min read
zoom application

Live transcription can make your Zoom webinar more inclusive and professional. Options include Zoom Live Transcription, Rev, Colibri, and Otter.

Despite the abundance of transcription tools available on the web, finding an application to transcribe your Live Zoom Webinar can be more tricky than it first appears. Unlike Zoom meetings, webinars are typically online seminars, discussions or interviews that tend to have large audiences and one or a small number of speakers or panellists. If you are considering broadcasting a live webinar on Zoom, it’s important to make sure that it is correctly transcribed for maximum impact. Here’s how to find the right application to do that for you.

What is Live Webinar Transcription?

Live webinar transcription is when your webinar transcript text is created in real time. Rather than sending off a recording of your webinar audio for transcription to be added later on, the text will appear on screen in a transcription window as you speak. You can also use captions in your live webinar that will appear at the bottom of the screen, like subtitles in a film.

Zoom Transcription Apps
With live transcription, participants with hearing impairments and non-native speakers can understand your webinar better.

Why Transcribe Your Live Webinar?

Whether you opt for a full transcript or closed captioning for your live webinar, putting text on screen is a great way to improve your presentation. One of the main benefits of live transcription in a Zoom webinar is improved accessibility. Participants who have hearing impairments will be able to follow along live, plus captioning will also make it easier for the general public to understand your webinar, including speakers of foreign languages and those who have difficulty concentrating. Another major benefit of live transcriptions for Zoom webinars is improved engagement levels. As your message will be clearer, thanks to your transcription, your participants will be more focused on the meaning of your words rather than trying to make out what you are actually saying. In short, a live transcription will help to make your presentation more inclusive, as well as making it appear more professional and easier to understand.

The Best Applications to Transcribe a Live Zoom Webinar

There are a lot of different transcription tools to choose from and the vast majority, unfortunately, do not provide live transcribing services. In fact, most transcription companies require you to upload a recording of your meeting or presentation, which they will then automatically transcribe. Even some of the fastest services still take several minutes, making real time transcription impossible.

To help you to find the best application that can actually create real time transcripts on Zoom, we’ve listed some of the most popular options below.

Zoom Live Transcription

One of the simplest ways to transcribe your live video is to use Zoom’s free Live Transcription service. Click on closed captions as host and select your language. Your video will automatically display subtitles, just make sure that you speak clearly and slowly enough for them to update correctly. Things become more complicated if you want to save your captions after recording your webinar. First of all, you’ll need to go to your Zoom account settings in your web browser, not in the app. Sign in and click on Settings, followed by In Meetings (Advanced) which is under the Meetings heading. In the In Meetings (Advanced) section, you’ll need to scroll down and check that you have activated Automated Captions, if you haven’t already, then enable the Full Transcript option and the Save Captions option. Note, you’ll need to have a paid for Zoom account for a transcript to automatically generate in the cloud after recording. For these reasons, you might want to check out some of the alternatives below. However, for real time subtitles that don’t need to be recorded, Zoom automated captions can be really useful.

Apps for Zoom Transcriptions
From Zoom Live Transcription to Colibri and Otter, there are different transcription tools available to help you transcribe your Zoom webinar live for maximum impact


In addition to their regular transcription service, Rev now also provides live captioning for Zoom meetings and webinars. Installing Rev Live Captions is easy and once it is set up all of your future video meetings will benefit from automatic captions. After your webinar ends, you will receive a free transcript of your audio to keep for your records. These notes can also be really useful when you’re planning a follow up video, so you can check exactly what you said to avoid repetition, without having to rewatch, pause and note. With little to no lag and good accuracy levels for a flat monthly fee, the Rev Live Captions service is well worth checking out.


Colibri is an app that has been created as part of the Zoom Apps launch partner scheme. As it works inside of Zoom itself, using Colibri for live transcription and to take custom notes is extra easy. After downloading, press on the apps button during your webinar and select Colibri to see a live transcription. One of the main advantages of this feature is that you can scroll back to keep track of what you or others have said, unlike with closed captions. Another nice feature is that you can also take notes and highlight parts of your transcript to better document your webinar. Colibri is also a good choice for business meetings. If several participants install the app, they will all be able to copy and view the live transcript. What’s more, they will also be able to share the transcript and audio via a link after the recording, making this app much more useful than just a live transcript alone.


Otter can transcribe your meetings and webinars in real time, on the same plan that you use to transcribe your recordings. Another nice feature is the Otter Assistant that can be used to automatically make notes for you to share, even when you cannot join a webinar due to time constraints. Otter is a popular choice for live transcription thanks to its high levels of accuracy. If your live webinar (or business meeting) is under 30 minutes long, you’ll even be able to record and view a live transcription on their basic free plan. It also has a custom user interface that is easy to start using for both your recording and live host events.

Zoom Transcription for Everyone

Whether you are host for an educational or a business related live webinar, you should definitely consider improving its accessibility by providing a live transcrition of your video's audio. Using live transcription often also allows you to benefit from other custom features such as notes that you can share with your team or participants, as well as anyone who couldn't make it on time.

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