Zoom - Live Transcription and Caption Service Options

Built-in transcription services can provide the majority of closed captioned needs for any meeting/webinar. For more accuracy and to be considered for high-profile events, an external vendor can be used. Our primary external caption provider, Alternative Communication Services (ACS) can be used to transcribe live events for Zoom in support of online classes, meetings, and events. For automatic captions, Powerpoint 365 supports auto-captions in the Slide Show settings, but it only works when running a powerpoint deck.

The cost for this service is $98/hr for online classes, and $125/hr for non-teaching events and meetings. There is one-hour minimum, and additional time is billed in 15 minute increments beyond the original time estimate. Billing is generated after the class/event/meeting and an invoice sent to you.

Zoom - Live Transcription Service (free)

Zoom has enabled Live Transcription and it is available in every Zoom Meeting and Webinar, providing you are on version 5.5x or newer. The services is built-in and provided by Zoom (Otter.ai). 

As a Meeting Host, in your Zoom Meeting, click on the Live Transcript button on the toolbar.  When the menu appears, select Enable Live Transcription. Once this has been turned on in the meeting/webinar, each co-host/panelist/participant will be notified that the live transcription is available.

Live Transcript Transcript promptTranscription on Toolbar

The transcribed text will appear at the bottom of the Zoom window. Each person's transcription window can be moved, resized, text color changed.

Turn off the subtitles by clicking Live Transcript button in the Toolbar and choosing Hide Subtitles.

To disable this on your Zoom account - 

  • Login to northwestern.zoom.us
  • Click Settings, scroll down to the Advanced Meeting section
  • Disable Live Transcription
  • Enable Closed Caption
  • Click Save
Reverse these steps to reenable the Live Transcript feature.

Alternative Communication Services - Live Human Transcription

2 week request lead-time for ACS due to a worldwide shortage of captioners.

ACS should be considered for high-profile events, events with medical terms or specialized areas that require accuracy.

To order this service, contact ACS directly via email to schedule@acscaptions.com and request remote CART via Zoom. Within your email message, include the following information:

  • The purpose of the event - Educational class ($98/hr), Event/Meeting ($125/hr) or Graduation/Ceremony ($150-180/hr)
  • The date, time, duration, and meeting/course title 
  • The Zoom meeting information - the URL and passcode (if applicable) 
  • The billing contact information (i.e., the person who should receive the invoice)
  • Any materials that will help the captioner prepare for the class/event/meeting
  • Specify if you want captions within the Zoom meeting/webinar or the streamtext service (website)
  • Request that the captioner calls 10 mins before the event begins
  • if you want to embed the captions into the video later on, request an .srt file ($25 per event)
A policy change at ACS has resulted in them not providing the captioner's information. Northwestern clients can make a special request to ask permission for the captioner to provide their cell or email address.  In addition, they can also call prior to the event starting. 

Please request the contact information of the captioner so that you can contact them prior to the event if needed.

Captions in PowerPoint

In PowerPoint 365, go to Slide Show, check Always Use Subtitles, then check Subtitle Settings

  • choose input language
  • select subtitle language
  • select microphone
  • select subtitle location


After enabling these settings, the captions will appear at the location specified while in Presentation mode and will be visible by those within the Zoom session.

Note: This does not provide captions when Powerpoint is not being shared. The AI translation to other languages is not guaranteed to be 100% accurate.

For additional assistance please contact the IT Support Center at 847-491-4357 (1-HELP) or via email at consultant@northwestern.edu.

Keywords:transcription, live, captions, zoom   Doc ID:99098
Owner:Michael C.Group:Northwestern
Created:2020-03-19 08:03 CSTUpdated:2021-03-16 12:05 CST
Feedback:  74   75