If you are presenting a slide show to other people who speak a different language, you can use closed captions in Microsoft PowerPoint. This useful feature allows you to speak to your audience without doing the translation work yourself.
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How closed captions work in PowerPoint
If you have members of your audience who speak a different language or dialect, you may want to consider translating the slides or even creating two versions of the presentation. But with closed captions in Microsoft PowerPoint, you don’t have to either.
You can speak in your native language and view real-time captions of anything you say in any other language of your choice. All you need is a connected and working microphone with a stable internet connection for live translation. You can then talk about each slide so that everyone understands.
Point: You may also want to consider using the closed caption feature if your audience members are hearing impaired. You can simply display the captions in the same language as the spoken one.
Set up closed captions in PowerPoint
Open your slideshow in PowerPoint and go to the Slideshow tab to set up captions. On the right side of the ribbon, click “Caption Settings”.
Use the drop-down list to select the spoken language, if necessary, then the subtitle language from over 60 dialects.
If more than one microphone is connected to your computer, choose the one you want to use from the Microphone pop-up menu.
Finally, select the location for the subtitles to appear on the screen. You can display them superimposed at the top or bottom, or above or below the slide.
Adjust the appearance of subtitles
You can also change the appearance of the captions, including the font and the background. Select the Closed Caption Settings drop-down arrow and choose “More Settings (Windows)” on Windows or “System Closed Caption Preferences” on Mac.
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In Windows, you can choose the caption font color, transparency, style, size, and effects using the drop-down lists. Additionally, you can choose a background color and opacity setting, and tone down the window content to improve contrast.
On Mac, you can select a predefined option such as Transparent Background, Classic, or Outline Text. To customize the background color and opacity as well as the color, size, style, etc. font, click the plus sign at the bottom of the list of presets.
Use and control subtitles
Once you’ve set up your captions, they’re ready to use. You can turn captions on by default or turn them on and off during your presentation.
To use closed captions automatically, select the Always use closed captions check box above Closed Caption Settings on the ribbon.
To note: You can always turn off closed captions during the presentation when using the automatic option.
To enable closed captions during your slideshow, you can right click on the slide and select “Start Closed Captions”. This option then becomes “Stop subtitles” if you decide to turn them off.
If you are using Presenter View in Windows, you can use the Toggle Closed Captions icon.
In Presenter view on Mac, use the Closed Captions icon to turn closed captions on and off.
Subtitles in PowerPoint make it easy for you to present your slideshow in almost any language you need.
For help like this in a meeting, learn how to use live captions in Microsoft Teams or how to add live captions in Zoom.