Subtitles are a new feature in PowerPoint as part of the Microsoft 365 suite. I attended a training session about accessibility the other week and realised that many who have created and run presentations for years would probably be unaware this option exists. A lot of the time this would not matter but what if one of the people you are presenting to is deaf or hard of hearing? Captions would make all the difference.
This feature transcribes your words as you present and changes them to on screen captions. This feature could also be of benefit if presenting to someone who doesn’t speak English as their first language because there is even the option of translating them into another language too.
Setting up subtitles and captions
Subtitle settings allow the spoken and subtitle language to be set, the microphone to be chosen and the location of the subtitles can be chosen.
More settings (windows) enables the default caption settings from within windows to be altered including font size, colour, transparency, style and effects. This can make the captions accessible to an even wider audience if the attendees are still struggling to read the text.
Always use subtitles
The always use subtitles tick box determines whether the captions are shown when the presentation is given.
Turn subtitles on and off while presenting
The captions can be turned on and off using the toggle subtitles icon on the toolbar while the presentation is running. You can also toggle subtitles from the right-click menu, or with the shortcut CTRL + J.
It is a good idea to use a good microphone if using this feature. Avoiding extra background noise as much as possible is also provides a better result. Strong accents can confuse the caption software, speaking in a clearly enunciated way will help.