Microsoft PowerPoint: Present with real-time, automatic captions or subtitles in PowerPoint for the Web

According to Microsoft (2020), PowerPoint for Microsoft 365 can transcribe your words as you present and display them on-screen as captions in the same language you are speaking, or as subtitles translated to another language. This can help accommodate individuals in the audience who may be deaf or hard of hearing, or more familiar with another language, respectively.

There are also position, size, color, and other appearance options for the captions and subtitles to accommodate different environments and audience needs.

For best results, we highly recommend using a headset microphone connected to the device running PowerPoint. Also, the feature requires a reliable internet connection throughout your presentation.

Note: These instructions are for the web-based version of PowerPoint only

Technical Requirements

This feature is compatible with the following web browsers: Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome 34+, Mozilla Firefox 25+

Set up captions and subtitles

You can choose which language you want to speak while presenting, and which language the caption/subtitle text should be shown in (i.e., if you want it to be translated). You can also select whether subtitles appear at the top or bottom of the screen.

Simplified Ribbon:
Subtitle Settings in PowerPoint Online.

Classic Ribbon:
Options for Subtitles and Captions on the classic Ribbon in PowerPoint Online

  1. (Simplifed Ribbon) On the Slide Show ribbon tab, select the drop-down arrow next to Always Use Subtitles to open the menu of options.

    (Classic Ribbon) On the View ribbon tab, select Use Subtitles. Then click Subtitle Settings to open the menu of options.

  2. Use Spoken Language to see the voice languages that PowerPoint can recognize, and select the one you want. This is the language that you will be speaking while presenting. (By default, this will be set to the language corresponding to locale of your web-browser.)

  3. Use Subtitle Language to see which languages PowerPoint can display on-screen as captions or subtitles, and select the one you want. This is the language of the text that will be shown to your audience. (By default, this will be the same language as your Spoken Language, but it can be a different language, meaning that translation will occur.) 

  4. Set the desired position of the captions or subtitles: they can appear overlaid at the top or bottom margin of the slide. The default setting is Bottom (Overlaid)

Turn the feature on or off while presenting

To have subtitles always start up when a Slide Show is presented, select View > Always Use Subtitles.

If you're in the middle of giving a presentation and want to turn the feature on or off, click the Use Subtitles button in Slide Show, on the toolbar below the main slide:

Toggle Subtitles button in PowerPoint Slide Show View.

On/Off keyboard shortcut: J

Tips

  • If you see problems in the captions or subtitles, try speaking more deliberately.

  • Try to avoid or eliminate background noise that may interfere with your voice.

  • Captions & Subtitles depends on a cloud-based speech service, so it's important to have an internet connection that's fast and reliable.

Spoken languages supported by live captions & subtitles (voice input)

Several spoken languages are supported as voice input to live captions & subtitles in PowerPoint for Microsoft 365. The languages marked as Preview are offered in advance of full support, and generally will have somewhat lower accuracy, which will improve over time.

Fully supported languages

Preview languages *

Chinese (PRC)

Arabic

English (Canada)

English (Australia)

English (United Kingdom)

English (India)

English (United States)

French (Canada)

French (France)

Hindi

German (Germany)

Japanese

Italian (Italy)

Korean

Spanish (Spain)

Portuguese (Brazil)

 

Russian

 

Spanish (Mexico)

* "Preview Languages" are not as fully supported at this time. Our recognition of these languages will improve over time.

On-screen languages supported by live captions & subtitles (text output)

PowerPoint for Microsoft 365 can display captions or subtitles on-screen in any of more than 60 languages:

Afrikaans

Korean

Arabic

Latvian

Bangla

Lithuanian

Bosnian

Malagasy

Bulgarian

Malay

Cantonese (Traditional)

Maltese

Catalan

Norwegian (Bokmål)

Chinese (Simplified) 

Persian

Chinese (Traditional) 

Polish

Croatian

Portuguese

Czech

Querétaro Otomi    

Danish

Romanian

Dutch

Russian

English

Samoan

Estonian

Serbian (Cyrillic)

Fijian

Serbian (Latin)

Filipino

Slovak

Finnish

Slovenian

French

Spanish

German

Swedish

Greek

Tahitian

Haitian Creole

Tamil

Hebrew

Telugu

Hindi

Thai

Hmong Daw

Tongan

Hungarian

Turkish

Icelandic

Ukranian

Indonesian

Urdu

Italian

Vietnamese

Japanese

Welsh

Kiswahili

Yucatec Maya

Important information about live captions & subtitles

PowerPoint live captions & subtitles is one of the cloud-enhanced features in Microsoft 365 and is powered by Microsoft Speech Services. Your speech utterances will be sent to Microsoft to provide you with this service. For more information, see Make Office Work Smarter for You.

Technical support for customers with disabilities

Microsoft wants to provide the best possible experience for all our customers. If you have a disability or questions related to accessibility, please contact the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk for technical assistance. The Disability Answer Desk support team is trained in using many popular assistive technologies and can offer assistance in English, Spanish, French, and American Sign Language. Please go to the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk site to find out the contact details for your region.

Reference Page Entry

 Microsoft. (2020). Present with real-time, automatic captions or subtitles in PowerPoint. Retrieved from https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/office/present-with-real-time-automatic-captions-or-subtitles-in-powerpoint-68d20e49-aec3-456a-939d-34a79e8ddd5f#OfficeVersion=Web