53 Remote Teaching and Captions at McMaster

Summary Table

A summary of available captioning services.
Platform Campus-Supported? Asynchronous/ Synchronous Editable?
Microsoft Teams Yes – UTS Both Can be downloaded.
Zoom Yes – UTS Both Can be downloaded.
Echo360 Yes – Library Asynchronous Yes
MacVideo Yes – MacPherson Asynchronous Yes
Microsoft Stream Yes – UTS Asynchronous Yes
Microsoft PowerPoint Yes – UTS Synchronous No
Camtasia No (License acquired via UTS) Asynchronous Yes
Google Docs – Voice Typing No Synchronous Yes
Google Slides No Synchronous No
Otter.ai No Both Yes
Ava No Both Yes


Campus-Supported Platforms

In order to ensure that support will be available should you require it, it is recommended to choose a solution for your virtual meetings that is supported by the McMaster ecosystem.


Microsoft Teams (Synchronous and Asynchronous)

For live captions:

  • Once a meeting within teams has started, click the More Actions … and Turn on Live Captions options.
    • Additionally, you can select Start Transcription so your meeting attendees will have access to a live transcription.
  • Live captions will then display lower half of the screen. The transcription window can be opened via the More Actions … menu option.
Start the transcription feature in Microsoft Teams.

For asynchronous captions: The transcript will be available for download at the end of the meeting in the meeting chat.

If the option to turn on live captions or the transcript does not appear when you have started a meeting within Microsoft Teams, please contact UTS for support: uts@mcmaster.ca.


Zoom (Synchronous and Asynchronous)

Live captions are now enabled for McMaster Zoom accounts.

  • Login to your zoom account settings on the McMaster Zoom portal by selecting the ‘sign -in’ option near the bottom of the menu options.
  • After login, navigate to ‘Settings’.
  • Select the sub-menu ‘In Meeting (Advanced)
  • Navigate down the page to the ‘Closed Captioning’ section and ensure the following options are active.
    • Ensure Closed Captioning’ is enabled: Allow host to type closed captions or assign a participant/third party device to add closed captions
    • Ensure ‘live transcription service’ is enabled: to show transcript on the side panel in-meeting’.
  • Within your meeting, select the Live Transcript button and “Enable Auto-Transcription” so participants can turn on Live Captions if needed.

For asynchronous captioning: Automatically transcribe cloud recordings.

  • Powered by Otter.ai.
  • Record your lecture by selecting Record, then Record on this Computer.
  • Ensure participant consent is obtained before recording.
    • Alternatively, you can create captions by uploading the .mp4 file to Microsoft Stream, Echo360, or MacVideo and follow the captioning instructions above.

For the most recent updates from UTS, please visit this page.


Echo360 (Asynchronous)

Echo360 now has a built-in transcription editor (April 22, 2020). Click here to learn how to use the Echo360 Transcript Editor.

*Echo360’s transcription editor has “collision detection” to allow for simultaneous caption editing.


MacVideo (Asynchronous)

  1. To view the tutorial on requesting automated captions for your video, visit this page.
    1. Captioning no longer requires the use of the #captionasr tag when uploading.
  2. Edit captions for accuracy by following this tutorial.


Microsoft Stream (Asychronous)

  1. To add captions, upload a video file or export from Microsoft PowerPoint to .mp4.
  2. In the editing menu, select a Video Language from the drop down menu.
  3. Under Captions, select Autogenerate a caption file.
  4. Captions can be downloaded (.VTT) or edited when viewing your video in the Transcript window.
  5. Captions can be edited by more than one user by adding them as an owner of the video.
    1. To complete this, go to Update video details.
    2. Under Permissions, add the McMaster email of your contributor.
    3. Check the Owner checkbox and Apply your changes.
  6. To edit the captions created by a meeting, follow these instructions.


Microsoft PowerPoint (Synchronous)

  1. Open a previously created presentation, lecture, or a blank presentation.
  2. Select the Slide Show tab in the menu ribbon.
    1. When using Office 365, select the Always Use Subtitles button and customize your subtitles using the drop down menu.
      • An SAS case study recommends having captions below the slide.
    2. When using the desktop application for Microsoft PowerPoint, check the Always Use Subtitles box and customize your subtitles with the Subtitle Settings drop down menu.
      • An SAS case study recommends having captions below the slide.
  • Can be utilized with live streaming software such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Webex, or Echo360.
  • If recorded, these captions will become “burned-in” and cannot be edited.


Camtasia (Asynchronous)

Visit Camtasia’s guide on captions here.

You can manually create:

  • Closed captions
  • Open captions/burned-in captions (not recommended)

You can automatically create captions, however accuracy may be poor. You can also create captions by syncing from a script using Windows only.

You can also import or export captions (.SRT file type).


External Caption Solutions

Google Docs (Synchronous)

  • A transcript of your meeting or presentation can be created using the Voice Typing function within Google Docs.
  • This process can run simultaneousy alongside other captioning solutions to provide a more comprehensive solution.

Google Slides (Synchronous)

  1. Open a previously created presentation, lecture, or a blank presentation.
  2. Click View, then Present.
  3. In the menu on the bottom left of the screen, click Captions.
    • Adjust the text location and size as needed.

Otter.ai (Asynchronous and Synchronous)

  • Quick start guide available here.
  • Exporting text as captions (SRT).
  • Free version offers 600 minutes per month. 45 Minutes per session.
  • Generates a transcript in real time of meetings and/or lectures
  • Search by keywords
  • Edit and highlight generated transcripts
  • Share unique link to groups
  • Import audio and video to be transcribed
  • Export audio and text
  • Identifies speakers.


Ava (Synchronous)

Ava is an application that supports the creation of live automatic captions. “Empowering Deaf & hard-of-hearing people and inclusive organizations with the best live captioning solution for any situation.”


Additional Tools

Caption File Conversion

Subtitle Edit

“Subtitle Edit is an easy-to-use video subtitle editor. You can use it to create, modify, and save subtitles. Support for opening and saving subtitles in .srt and .vtt format. Using subtitle format converters (my other APP), you can convert subtitles into more different formats.”

Convert a Script to a Caption File


Accessible Digital Content Training Copyright © by Jessica Blackwood and Kate Brown. All Rights Reserved.

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