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Make Your Video Lectures Accessible: Auto-Captioning with PowerPoint, Google Slides, and Techsmith Relay

As more and more courses are moving to remote and online formats, online accessibility for students has been brought to the forefront. As educators, we need to think of ways to make ALL of our content accessible to ALL of our students. Sharing a video with your students without captions or transcription presents barriers for students who may have a disability or other access issues. Providing equal access to everyone should be one of the main focuses when creating any online content for students. Let’s take a look at three automatic captioning options for virtual lectures.

Microsoft PowerPoint O365

Microsoft PowerPoint 0365 allows you to auto-caption your words through subtitles while you present. This is helpful if you are doing your lecture through Zoom and would like to have captioning displayed during your meeting throughout your PowerPoint presentation. This feature also allows you to select from multiple different languages. You turn the subtitles on when you select Slide Show and then select Subtitle Settings in PowerPoint. Captions include punctuation and captioning can pick up both the speaker and the participant’s audio during the presentation. To learn more about captioning with PowerPoint, check out this guide.

*Please note, subtitles only work while you are displaying your PowerPoint presentation.

Google Slides

Google Slides also offers auto-captioning in Presentation Mode. This is helpful for giving lectures in a meeting Zoom while you have participants present. In Google Slides, click Presentand then CC to turn on captioning. One thing to note is that only the speaker’s voice is captioned while using Google Slides and captioning does not provide punctuation. To learn more about captioning with Google Slides, check out this guide.

*Please note, Google Slides captioning only works while you are displaying your Google Slides presentation.

Techsmith Relay

Our university instance of Techsmith Relay also provides captioning, but the main difference is that Techsmith Relay is able to generate captions for your videos AFTER they have been uploaded to your Techsmith Relay library. Techsmith Relay is not able to do live auto-captioning like PowerPoint and Google Slides. To learn more about how to generate captions for your videos using Techsmith Relay, check out this guide. If you are interested in attending a Techsmith Relay training, please check our schedule to register here:

To access our university instance of TechSmith Relay, visit and log in with your university credentials when prompted. Please find helpful TechSmith Relay tutorials here.

So, why should you provide captions on your video lectures? Captions make your video lectures more accessible to your students which will ultimately provide a better learning experience for everyone!

For additional questions, please email us at

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