How can I provide realtime captioning for my Zoom events?

Zoom allows for captions to be streamed directly in the platform, allowing users to see captions and adjust their formatting in the same window as your event.

A Zoom meeting window showing integrated realtime captions.

Integrating captions into your next Zoom meeting or webinar is quite easy. Just follow this simple primer.

Before your event.

Before you start your Zoom meeting or webinar, you’ll need to make sure the host’s account has the captioning module enabled. It’s important to do this before the event, as changes you make in Zoom’s web settings don’t apply to active Zoom events.

Go to https://zoom.us/profile/setting and log in with the account that will host your Zoom event.

In the “In Meeting (Advanced)” section, find the Closed Captioning settings and ensure that the captioning module is turned on.

Connecting a captioner to your event.

When your event goes live, you can connect the captioner to Zoom’s captioning module to stream captions to your event participants.

Find the captioner in the Participants list. They usually rename themselves as “Captioner [Name]” to make it easier to find them. Hover over the captioner’s name, click the More button, and then assign them to type captions.

There will be a short delay before the captions begin appearing. In order to verify that the captions are working, you’ll need to turn the caption stream on in the lower menu bar of your Zoom window and ask the captioner to type some test captions.

Letting your audience know you’re providing captions.

I recommend announcing twice that captions are available to your Zoom audience, once at the very beginning of the event and again after a few minutes (e.g., verbally at the end of the introductory remarks, by typing in the chat box, etc.) for any late-comers.

You can simply say, “Captioning is being provided for today’s event. If you would like to enable the caption feed, use the Closed Caption button at the bottom of the desktop app, or in the Settings section on mobile devices.”