Managing manual captions

Zoom has a variety of options for creating virtual closed captioning in your Zoom meetings and webinars that provide subtitles for video conferencing. This may be used by participants to easily follow the conversations or to meet accessibility requirements.

In meetings, the host or another meeting attendee assigned by the host can provide manual captioning, an integrated third-party closed captioning service can provide the captioning, or Zoom’s automated captions (also known as live transcription) feature can provide automatic captioning through closed caption settings. These same options are available with webinars, although manual captioning can only be provided by the host or a panelist. Any of these captioning options are also viewable in Zoom Rooms

For more information about viewing closed captioning or live transcription as a participant or attendee, please refer to the user guide.

This article covers:

Prerequisites for manual captioning

How to start manual captioning

Start manual captioning in a Zoom meeting or webinar

  1. Start the Zoom meeting or webinar that you are hosting.
  2. In the meeting controls toolbar, next to the Show Captions icon , click the up arrow icon
  3. Under Host controls, click Set up manual captioner.
  4. Under Enable manual captioner, choose On
  5. Select one of the following options:
    • Assign a participant to type: Assigns a participant to type closed captions during the meeting.
    • I will type: Opens the closed captioning window for you to manually type closed captions.
    • Copy the API token: Copy the URL that you can provide to a third-party closed captioning service to integrate the service with your meeting.
      Note: These options are greyed out if Enable manual captioner is disabled above. 

Assign a participant to type closed captions

As the host, assign a participant to type closed captions:

  1. Start a Zoom meeting or webinar.
  2. Start manual captioning.
  3. Click Assign a participant to type
    The Participants panel will appear.
  4. Find the participant who you want to type closed captions and hover your mouse over their name.
  5. Click More more-button.png.
  6. Select Assign to type Closed Caption.
    Note: This option will not appear unless Enable manual captioner is enabled. 

Once the host assigns you the ability to type closed captions, a notification will appear in the assigned participant's meeting controls. To enter closed captions as a participant:

  1. In the meeting controls, next to the Show Captions icon , click the up arrow icon and select the Show caption window option. 
    The closed caption text box will open. 
  2. Enter the closed captions in the text box.
    Captions will appear for all participants viewing captions as the captioner types in the text box. 

How to use manual captions in breakout rooms

After you start breakout room sessions, participants can click Show Captions in the meeting controls toolbar to view closed captions. If you're the meeting host, we recommend using a third-party closed captioning service if you want closed captions in breakout rooms.

If you want a participant to type closed captions, make sure you assign them permission to type closed caption before starting the breakout room sessions.

Note: Only one participant can be assigned to type closed captions in a meeting; thus, it is only possible to have one breakout session with closed captioning.