Chrome’s inbuilt live captioning tool – with Collaborate (and everything else)

Auto captioning in Chrome

Google have made automatic captions available since last summer on selected Android phones. Google has also used Canary (the beta channel for Chrome) to test them for wider use. Right from the start, several people started to investigate whether or not it would work with Collaborate

Automatic captioning is now available in the stable version of Chrome (thanks to Hamish for alerting us to this). Sarah Halliday, Tara Harper and I tested it, using both Windows and Mac versions of Chrome. It is also available on Linux and Android 10 phones

How to enable captioning

  1. Make sure you have the latest version of Chrome  (you can do this with a UoD Managed Laptop).
  2. Go to Chrome settings (the 3 dots at the right hand end of the top bar).
    • Under Advanced, select Accessibility (A)
    • Enable live caption. (B). If this isn’t present, and you have the latest version of chrome, try closing and re-starting it. When you enable it, you’ll see files downloading – it doesn’t take long
    • You can use the caption preferences to select the colour, location, text size etc. (C)
  3. You should then now see live captions when someone is talking
Enabling Captions in Chrome (Click to enlarge)

A few pointers from our experiments

  1. Your speech isn’t captioned for you
  2. From our (limited) testing, the best option if you have external videos with audio, is to embed the media in Powerpoint, using the media embed option. This could be a You Tube video, or embedding the video file
    • Use the Screen share option in Collaborate, rather than uploading the file. 
    • We found that if you try to use the “share tab” option, and share the audio on that page, then Collaborate has difficulties switching back to captioning from speech. 

Here’s a very quick test


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