Add Closed Captions to recorded PowerPoint presentations using a screen reader

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This article is for people who use a screen reader program with the Office products and is part of the Office Accessibility content set. For more general help, see Office Support home.

Use PowerPoint 2016 with your keyboard and Narrator, the built-in Windows screen reader, to add closed captions in videos. With closed captions, you can open up your presentation to a larger audience, for example, people with hearing disabilities or those who speak languages other than the one in your video.

The video player in PowerPoint 2016 shows the captions when you play the video. For instructions, refer to Turn on closed captions or subtitles.

Closed captions are stored in a text-based file with a .vtt filename extension. You can create a closed caption file on your own or use a caption creation tool. To search online for available tools and detailed instructions, type "create vtt file" in your search engine. To see which caption file types are supported, refer to Closed Caption file types supported by PowerPoint.

Notes: 

  • New Office 365 features are released gradually to Office 365 subscribers, so your app might not have these features yet. To learn how you could get new features faster, visit When do I get the newest features in Office 2016 for Office 365?.

  • This topic assumes that you are using the built-in Windows screen reader, Narrator. To learn more about using Narrator, go to Get started with Narrator.

  • This topic makes note of the JAWS functionality as well. To learn more about JAWS for Windows, go to JAWS for Windows Quick Start Guide.

  • This topic assumes you are using this app with a PC. Some navigation and gestures might be different for a Windows phone or tablet.

In this topic

Add closed captions to a video

You can add captions to presentations that you've recorded with video narration, screen recordings and any other video except online videos that you insert into PowerPoint. Currently, adding captions to a recorded presentation that has only audio narration is not supported.

Prepare a text-based caption file with a .vtt filename extension before adding captions. For instructions on how to create closed captions, refer toCreate closed captions for a video.

  1. In PowerPoint 2016, in the Normal view, navigate to the slide that has the video that you want to add captions to. For instructions, refer to Learn how to navigate PowerPoint using accessible features.

  2. On the slide, press Tab until you hear the video announced.

  3. On the video, press Alt+J, N. You hear: "Playback tab."

  4. Press C,2. You hear: "Insert captions menu item."

  5. Press Enter. You hear: "Insert captions dialog, file name, editable edit."

  6. In the Insert Captions dialog, press Tab and the arrow keys until you locate the caption file, and then press Spacebar.

  7. Press Tab until you hear "Insert, collapsed split button" and then press Enter.

  8. If you need to add another caption file, just repeat the process.

  9. Play the video and check that the captions appear correctly. You may need help from a seeing person to do this.

Remove captions from a video

If you need to edit a closed caption file that is inserted in a video in PowerPoint 2016, you can first remove the file, modify it, and then add it back to the video. Before removing the file from the PowerPoint 2016 video, make sure you have the original copy of the closed caption file stored on your PC.

If you have added more than one caption file to a video, the following process removes all caption files assigned to the video.

  1. In PowerPoint 2016, in the Normal view, navigate to the slide you that has the video that you want to add captions to. For instructions, refer to Learn how to navigate PowerPoint using accessible features.

  2. On the slide, press Tab until you hear the video announced.

  3. On the video, press Alt+J, N. You hear: "Playback tab."

  4. Press C,2. You hear: "Insert captions menu item."

  5. Press R. The closed captions are removed from the video.

Technical support for customers with disabilities

Microsoft wants to provide the best possible experience for all our customers. If you have a disability or questions related to accessibility, please contact the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk for technical assistance. The Disability Answer Desk support team is trained in using many popular assistive technologies and can offer assistance in English, Spanish, French, and American Sign Language. Please go to the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk site to find out the contact details for your region.

If you are a government, commercial, or enterprise user, please contact the enterprise Disability Answer Desk.

See Also

Create a presentation from a template using a screen reader in PowerPoint

Use a screen reader to insert and edit pictures and tables in PowerPoint

Use keyboard shortcuts to deliver your presentation

Basic tasks to create a presentation in PowerPoint with a screen reader

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Learn how to navigate PowerPoint using accessible features

Expand your skills
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