skip to content

IT Help and Support

University Information Services
 

If captions have been enabled, you can show or hide them by clicking the closed caption icon – Closed Caption icon – on the right-hand bottom corner of the player.

If you'd like captions and they haven't been enabled, contact the relevant member of teaching staff or Course Organiser. You don't need to have a diagnosed condition to justify asking for auto-captions to be turned on, and you can find email templates for requesting changes.
 

How to use captions

When using captions, you need to remember that they're generated through artificial intelligence and may contain errors. Staff aren't expected or required to check or edit automatically generated captions or transcripts.  In some subjects – particularly with technical or foreign language subjects – staff prefer to provide slides or handouts that they can check and ensure are correct, rather than enable on captions. Therefore, we recommend that you use captions cautiously and always as a complement to the recorded session or lecture handouts – never in isolation.

Where captions are available, you'll be able to change several settings by clicking the three black dots on the right-hand bottom corner of the player, next to the playback quality icon:

 Playback icons

The caption settings provide the following options:

  • Position: You can position the closed captions below the video ('Dock below video') or have it superimposed on top of the video ('Overlay on the video').
  • Colour: There are two colour options for caption text and background, 'Light text on dark background' or 'Dark text of light background'.
  • Size: The caption text can be 'Regular' or 'Large' in size.
     

What to do if you need additional support

If you find that captions can't be provided as routinely as you need, or the accuracy is so poor as to be unmanageable, contact the relevant teaching staff or course organiser as a first step. Staff are normally open and supportive, and may not realise that you are being affected.

If you're a disabled student and unable to get the support you need in this way, contact the Disability Resource Centre. They may be able to help you get a notetaker, assistive technology or other support. You can also contact the Student Advice Service for help with overturning decisions or making a complaint, and the Disabled Students' Campaign for peer support or lobbying for change.

 

Get free live captioning resources

Google Chrome Live Captions

The latest version of Google Chrome (version 89) includes live captions. When turned on, captions will be added to any audio or video played in the browser, including live or pre-recorded sessions in Zoom, Moodle and Panopto. 

If live captions are enabled, Chrome will detect any audio and video in your browser and automatically display captions in a box at the bottom of the screen. You can reposition and resize the box, or close it by clicking the x. 

Live Captions will work for most audio and video if played through your Chrome browser, including Google Meet, Zoom, Moodle and Panopto.

To get Live Captions, you need to (for Mac or PC): 

1. Update Chrome to the latest version

Copy and paste this link into your browser to go directly to the relevant menu item: chrome://settings/help   

  1. Open Google Chrome. 
  2. Open the Chrome menu (the 3 dots in the top right corner next to your picture). 
  3. Click Settings
  4. Click About Chrome. From here you can see which version of Chrome you have and update to the latest version. 

2. Turn on captions 

Copy and paste this link into your browser to go directly to the relevant menu item: chrome://settings/accessibility 

  1. Open the Chrome menu (the three dots in the top right corner, next to your picture). 
  2. Click Settings
  3. Click Advanced
  4. Under Accessibility there should be an option to turn Live Captions on or off. 
  5. The first time you turn on captions Chrome will download speech recognition files. 
     

Caption.ED

Disabled Students: a new tool to provide captions for any live, or pre-recorded learning and teaching content is now available on request.  

If you have a disability and have registered with the Disability Resource Centre, there is an enhanced captioning plug-in called Caption.Ed which the University is able to access for you. This service provides live captions to streamed content and live and recorded on-line teaching sessions, and also the ability to download transcripts.  

If you have registered with the DRC and would like to discuss Caption.Ed with one of the Advisors, please email disability@admin.cam.ac.uk with the subject line ‘Request to access Caption.Ed’. The DRC will then arrange to speak to you.  

Caption.Ed works on PCs and Apple Macs, and can be easily added to Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge. Once installed, you will be able to start captioning learning and teaching content immediately. Caption size and background colour can be customised, and you also have the option to download a text transcript.

Caption.ED can now also be used to capture the spoken voice in in-person lectures - more information here (opens in new window)