Adding real-time/live captions to your Zoom meetings is easy with CaptionSync. In this article, we describe how hosts can provide real-time captions on Zoom.
Requesting Live Captioning:
- To request Live Captioning for your event, log into your CaptionSync account and follow the instructions in our Live Captioning tutorial on how to schedule and choose the appropriate service.
- Add the Zoom link and the password to the meeting next to Audio Source, and provide any additional information in the Comments section.
- If you need to obtain a StreamText URL for your event, as a backup live stream for example, please add that request to the Comments section. E.g.: Please provide a StreamText link. But, note that if you need the live captions to be delivered to both outputs, Zoom and StreamText, you'll need to specifically make that request in the Comments section, at schedule time. E.g.: Please provide live captions on both Zoom and StreamText.
- Once the Live Captioning request is booked, you'll receive a confirmation email from our email@example.com address, with the captioner's information and other details.
Note: If you need to make changes or cancel your existing request, you can do so from within the respective Live Captioning Details page, in your CaptionSync account. But, if you need to contact the captioner just before the session starts, or for urgent changes to the audio source information, please use the captioner's contact information provided in the confirmation email.
Enabling real-time captions on Zoom:
- Ensure your Zoom Administrator enables both the Manual captions and Save Captions options, under Account Management -> Account Settings -> In Meeting (Advanced), prior to the session:
Note: If you want this setting applied by default to all users in your account, click the lock icon, and then click Lock to confirm the setting.
- Webinars: If you are hosting a webinar, you need to invite the writer assigned to the webinar as a panelist, since only users elevated to the panelist role can caption webinars. Note that, you can generate the panelist link in advance using our firstname.lastname@example.org address, but you will still need to add it in the Audio Source field, either at schedule time, or later once the event has been confirmed.
To obtain a copy of the panelist link you just need to go the Invitations tab, on the details of the webinar in Zoom, then click 'copy' next to the corresponding panelist name, and it will display the invite that was sent along with the panelist link.
Starting Live Captioning:
Assigning captioner in Zoom:
- In the Zoom session you're hosting, click Closed Caption in the controls bar, and select the Assign a participant to type option, under Assign someone to type.
- From the participants list, select the AST captioner and click More. Finally, click Assign to Type Closed Caption.
- Viewers can then turn on/off captioning in Zoom as needed, by clicking Closed Caption in the controls bar.
Using 3rd-party integration (API token):
- Ensure the Allow use of caption API token to integrate with 3rd-party Closed Captioning services option is enabled, under Meeting -> Meeting (Advanced) -> Closed Captioning.
- Launch the Zoom meeting or webinar, click Closed Caption, then click Copy the API token. Please share this information with the captioner via Zoom chat, or send it to our email@example.com address, at least 15 minutes before the start of the session.
Note: Closed captioning on mobile devices will appear automatically, if this option has been previously enabled by the user under Settings -> Meetings. To disable closed captions during a meeting, tap on More -> Meeting Settings and toggle the option for Closed Captioning to off.
- Please allow the event to run for 5 more minutes at the end, before closing the Zoom session, to allow for the transcript to be saved.
- Once the session has concluded, we will automatically email you a text transcript, in the next 24 -48 hours, to the address(es) we have on file for the request. The transcript will also be available for download from within the Details page of your Live Captioning request, next to Transcript.
- Additionally, you can order a caption output for your session, in the .srt or .vtt format, from the Request drop-down menu, in the New Live Captioning Request page, at schedule time. If you have ordered a caption output, it will be emailed separately from our firstname.lastname@example.org address, in the following 24-48 hours. Note that, generating a caption output is a service with an extra cost.
- Live Captioning breakout rooms: live captions can only be provided in one breakout room only, and so, if you need to have captions available for multiple breakout rooms within a Zoom meeting, we can deliver captions using a text-feed solution, like StreamText, 1CapApp or Verbitext (if you requested eCART). The audience will then be able to watch the live captions on a separate browser tab. Please make sure to let us know, in the Comments section of the request, when you'll need live captions for a breakout room, so that we can set up the text-feed accordingly. E.g.:
This request is for breakout room #4. Please provide StreamText link.
- You can stream a Zoom webinar or meeting live on Facebook or YouTube along with captions. This allows your viewers to watch the live captions on both Facebook and YouTube, but note that captions can only be turned on/off in Zoom. More information is available in Zoom's Facebook Live and YouTube Live tutorials.
- When sending the Zoom stream to YouTube Live, note that the live captions will also be displayed and recorded in YouTube. Live streams will typically present some delays when compared to the original audio source, and so this can cause captions to also present some delays in YouTube. So, if you prefer not to have the captions show in the YouTube video, you can request to have the live captions delivered via StreamText only.
- Live captions can be recorded along with the video in Zoom, if captions are available in the Zoom meeting room, and you are recording the event to the cloud, and have the Save Captions option enabled (under Account Management -> Account Settings -> In Meeting (Advanced)), prior to the beginning of the session. Zoom will then generate a .vtt caption file for you, along with the video.
- More information about providing Live Captioning for Zoom sessions is available in Zoom's Getting started with closed captioning tutorial.