Closed Captioning / Live Transcription

Closed captioning and live transcription in Zoom allows meeting hosts to assign a participant to type a live transcript, add a professional captioning service into the meeting, or enable the use of free automated transcription. These features allow participants to view subtitles, review a transcript to recall part of the conversation they may have missed, and can be used to meet accessibility requirements for accommodations.

Note: Auto-Transcription accuracy is well-below the level required for accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

When providing professional captions to meet an accessibility need, engaging with these offices with as much lead time as possible can help ensure the service is configured and ready to support your meeting or event.

Enabling Closed Captions or Live Transcription During a Meeting 

The meeting host will control when and if captions appear for participants. Click the Live Transcript button and select one of the three options: Assign a participant to type, Copy the API token to have a professional service provide captions, or Enable Auto-Transcription.

For the host:

1. Click the Live Transcript button located in your host controls.


a. To assign a participant the role of transcriptionist, click Assign a participant to type and specify the participant. For more detailed information on assigning this role, refer here.

b. To request live professional closed captioning, click Copy the API token and refer to Request Professional Closed Captioning in Zoom for configuring this option for your meeting.

c. To use automatic transcription, click Enable Auto-Transcription.

Note: Auto-Transcription accuracy is well-below the level required for accommodations under the ADA.

2. Use the Live Transcript options to assign a different transcriptionist or turn off Auto-Transcription.


For participants:

Once the host has enabled Live Transcripts for the meeting, participants have the option to choose how they want to view the meeting’s live captions or transcript.


  • Show/Hide Subtitle: Show or hide video subtitles at the bottom of the video frame.
  • View Full Transcript: The full transcript will either appear in a side panel or a transcript pop-up window.
  • Subtitle Settings: Open a window where you can adjust the font size of both the subtitles and the chat window.


Closed Captioning and Auto-Transcription Best Practices

  • Use an External Microphone or Headset. An external microphone/headset usually provides better quality audio which will allow for more accurate results.
  • Speak Clearly. Speaking clearly and enunciating will lend itself to a more accurate transcript, especially when using Auto-Transcription.
  • Monitor the Participants and Chat Panels. Please monitor the participant panel to look for nonverbal feedback (i.e. Go Slower) and the chat panel for specific questions or issues with the transcription.
  • Prepare Materials for Captioners. In order to ensure the most accurate captions, please provide the captioners with any presentation materials you may have (i.e. slides, notes, outlines, names, terminology) ahead of time. Most captioning services use stenography equipment that requires this information to be programmed in ahead of time.

Notes for Auto-Transcription

  • Auto-transcription accuracy is not ADA compliant. For accommodations, please refer to the Office of Compliance, Ethics & Equal Opportunity and UNM Accessibility Resource Center for more information.
  • Only the host can enable Live Transcription. Participants will not have access to the Live Transcript unless the host enables it for each Zoom meeting.
  • Auto-Transcription is not started automatically. The meeting host must enable live transcription during a meeting. It does not automatically appear for participants. Click the "Live Transcript" button and select one of the options to enable/view them.
  • Take Turns / Pause Before Speaking. Zoom's active speaker tracking is used to identify the speaker. When another individual begins speaking, it can take a second before Zoom updates the transcript to identify the new speaker.
  • Audio transcription only supports English. Currently, auto-transcription only supports English.
  • Breakout Rooms or Zoom on Linux OS are not supported. Zoom’s live transcription service is does not currently support being used in Breakout Rooms or Linux operating systems.