How To Enable And Use Subtitle Captions And Live Automated Transcription In Zoom

Posted bytfgnetworks_nuk3tc Posted onFebruary 23, 2023 Comments0


The Zoom collaboration tool has recently released a service that automatically transcribes audio from Zoom meetings. This feature has been enabled at Saint Peter’s University across all account levels. If a meeting host enables this feature, it allows meeting participants to view subtitles as well as access and download a full live transcript at any point during the meeting. This article demonstrates how to enable the Live Transcript feature within a meeting (for Zoom Meeting Hosts), and how to use this feature as a Zoom meeting participant to view subtitles and transcription.




The Meeting Host/Organizer

Once a Zoom meeting has begun, a Meeting Host needs to enable the live transcriptions feature in order for meeting attendees to be able to use this tool. The Meeting Host must be using the Zoom Client on a computer, or the Zoom App on a Mobile device, to be able to view and enable this feature; if the Meeting Host uses their browser to join the meeting, they will not be able to enable Live Transcriptions.

For a Meeting Host, The “CC” button (Live Transcript) appears as an option at the bottom of the meeting dock, to the right of the “Record” button. 

Note that if this icon is not visible due to the length of the Zoom window, it can be found under the “…”(More) icon: 

Once a Meeting Host clicks this, several options will appear. The host should choose “Enable Auto-Transcription”. 

Once this occurs, meeting participants on a computer will also see the CC button (Live Transcript) appear in their dock, and can click it, choosing to display subtitles and/or view the Live Transcript. Meeting participants on a mobile device using the Zoom App will automatically begin to see subtitles, and may click the “…” (More) icon to view the Live (Full) Transcript. 

If you are a Meeting Host, once you have enabled the Auto-Transcription,  you may click the carat next to the CC (Live Transcription) button to view/turn off subtitles for yourself, modify the appearance of subtitles, and/or view the Live (Full) Transcript.

Meeting Participant (on a Computer)

Once the meeting host has enabled Live Transcriptions using the steps above, participants on a computer will see a notification appear, and a button for CC (Live Transcript): 

Participants on a computer may click the “Live Transcript” on their screen, and then select “Show Subtitle” to see automated captions.

Meeting participants on a computer may also select “View Full Transcript” to see the Live (Full) Transcript appear in the side bar, from the point they joined. This is updated in real time.

Caption settings can be modified and configured as well, by selecting “Subtitle Settings…” This includes the size and appearance of captions.

Meeting Participant (using Zoom App on Mobile Device)

Once a Host has enabled Auto-Transcription, Participants on a mobile device using the Zoom App will automatically see subtitles appear when people talk.

Using the Zoom App, mobile device Participants can expand the “…” (More) icon to see the Live (Full) Transcript from the point in time they joined. This is updated in real time.

Note:  Zoom App participants on a mobile device cannot download/save or search the transcription log at this time.


Live Transcript

When a Meeting Host enables Auto-Transcription, Participants on a computer (using the Zoom Client or their browser), or on a mobile device (with the Zoom App), can view the Live Transcript. Live Transcription occurs in real time, and provides a time stamped account of discussions and sounds during the meeting, identifying which individual Participants have contributed, and when. 

Live Transcript Using a Computer 

Participants using a computer have a few additional features, compared to Zoom App users. For a meeting Attendee on a computer, clicking the “CC” (Live Transcript” button) will allow selection of Live Transcript; for a meeting Host using a computer, clicking the carat next to “CC” (Live Transcript” button) will display this option.

Note: a meeting Host accessing Zoom using their browser (instead of the Zoom Client) will not be able to enable auto-transcription for the meeting, but can still see subtitles if a co-host using the Zoom Client or Zoom App enables this feature. 

On a computer, the Live Transcript feature pops open to the right side of the screen, and displays the time stamped account of the meeting from the point of time that the participant has joined the session, indicating who has spoken, and when. For both Attendees and Hosts using a computer with Zoom, the “search” feature at the top of the Transcript is available. This allows an Attendee or Host to search for a word or phrase against the transcript log, highlighting all instances of that word or phrase. 

Additionally, Hosts and Attendees on a computer using the Zoom Client on a Mac or PC may download the transcript, by clicking the “Save Transcript” button at the bottom. This will be saved to their computer as a text file, in a “Zoom” folder associated with the meeting they have attended.

At the point that they click the “Save Transcript” button, it will capture all transcript information from the time they joined until they time they clicked the button. If the Host or Attendee clicks the “Save Transcript” button later on in the meeting again, the same text file will update, adding in any new log activity since the last save. Once the meeting has ended, Hosts and Attendees will no longer be able to access the Live (Full) Transcript, unless they have saved it to their computer. 

Hosts and Attendees using a browser to access Zoom, or using the Zoom Client plugin on a Chromebook will be able to use the “Search” feature, but will not be able to download/save the transcript. 

NOTE: If you are hosting a Zoom meeting with Auto-Transcript enabled, be cognizant of your participants – they may not be aware of this feature and that they need to take action if they wish to save the log. Remind them at the end of the meeting of the opportunity to save the auto-transcript log before you end and close out the meeting

Live Transcript Using Zoom App on Mobile Device

Once Auto-Transcription has been enabled by a meeting Host, Participants using a mobile device with the Zoom App can select the “…” (More) option on their device to view the Live (Full) Transcript. 

Participants can click the “back” button at the upper left to exit the transcript log. On mobile devices using the Zoom App, participants are not able to save/download, or search the transcript. 


Other Notes: 

  • If you are hosting a Zoom meeting, we do encourage you to enable the Live Transcript Auto-Transcription feature, as it not only makes your meeting more accessible to participants with hearing impairments or that have volume output issues, but the Live Transcript features will help you and your participants keep an organized record of what was discussed in the meeting.
  • Both Zoom and Google Meet now have automated transcriptions. The key differences are:
    • For Google Meet, subtitles can be enabled at any time by any participant for themselves, while in Zoom, a meeting Host must enable Auto-Transcription for the meeting, after which attendees may enable the feature. 
    • Google Meet does not currently have a Live Transcript feature. 
  • In terms of quality, automated transcriptions are not 100% accurate, and the accuracy may vary based on factors such as volume, clarity, background noise, talking speed, and enunciation. Because of these limitations, if you are required to use speech-to-text support for any compliance or accessibility needs in your meetings and webinars, Zoom recommends using a manual captioner or service that may be able to guarantee a specific accuracy.
  • At the time of this article publication, Google automated transcription accuracy is estimated to range from 65-80%, while Zoom automated transcription accuracy ranges from 60%-75%. While common words and phrases are typically translated well, names, financial and mathematical concepts, places, and industry-specific verbiage may appear mistranslated more often. Both providers are consistently improving the quality of their respective transcription services over time. 

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