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PowerPoint: Enable Subtitles (Classroom Tech)

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Following a Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principle, offering subtitles for live presentations in a classroom can be an easy way to support all learners, including:

  • those who are deaf or hard of hearing;
  • learners who are impacted by challenges with auditory and visual processes;
  • learners who struggle with verbal comprehension, focus, and concentration;
  • learners who speak a language other than English.

Subtitles are the written depiction of what is heard and being said in a video or live stream. For the purposes of classroom technology, subtitles can be offered through a variety of programs, including Microsoft PowerPoint. This article will focus on how to enable subtitles for all students in PowerPoint.

Enabling subtitles in PowerPoint

1. Begin by opening PowerPoint on the classroom computer’s desktop and selecting the PowerPoint presentation you will be sharing.

2. Under “Slide Show” navigate to “Subtitle Settings” and select the drop-down option. Click "slide show" and navigate to "Subtitle Settings". a. Select the “Spoken Language” option if the presentation will be spoken in any language other than English, which is the default language. b. Select the “Subtitle Language” option if you wish the presentation to appear in any language other than English, which is the default language.
c. Select “Always use Subtitle” if you wish to automatically have closed captions turned on for presentations (recommended).

3. Ensure you have the proper microphone selected so the program can detect what you are saying clearly.

Please note: The default within the classroom may be a computer microphone or document camera microphone; be sure to check that it is picking up the correct microphone before you enable the slide show.

Check to ensure the proper microphone is selected by clicking on "Microphone".

4. Choose where on the slide show you would like the closed captions to appear. Suggested placement is above or below the slides, so it doesn’t disrupt visuals within a presentation. Closed Captions Location

5. Begin the slide show or presentation. You will notice a little red box in the corner of the slide that says “listening”.

6. Begin talking and you should notice the closed captions appear within the presentation.

Example of how the captions will appear once you begin speaking.

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