Home Video Transcription How to Enable Transcription in Zoom: An In-Depth Guide 

How to Enable Transcription in Zoom: An In-Depth Guide 


Zoom is among the world’s most popular video conferencing tools. Millions of users worldwide rely on the platform to connect with their friends and family, speak with their co-workers, conduct meetings, and host events. Over the years, Zoom has come up with several value-adding functionalities that make it much more than a simple conferencing tool. In 2022, it is among the leading solutions you can use for unified communications use cases in small, medium, and large business environments.

Zoom launched a transcription capability for meeting recordings in 2018, allowing users to convert their cloud-hosted recordings into text. It uses an artificial intelligence technique called speech-to-text for this purpose, in partnership with AISense, which rebranded to Otter in 2021. The technology continues to power the platform’s transcription features, which now includes live captioning. In 2021, Zoom announced that users will be able to auto-generate captions during calls, meetings, webinars, and conferences following its acquisition of machine translation company Kites GmbH.

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So, how do you enable transcriptions in Zoom, and how does the feature operate for live meetings and cloud recordings?

How to Enable/Disable Audio Transcription for Cloud Recordings

As a prerequisite, the user should have access to a Zoom Business, Education, or Enterprise license. They also need account owners or administrative privileges to modify transcription settings at the account or group level. Once these prerequisites are in place, follow these steps to enable or disable transcriptions for the entire organization:

1. Log in to Zoom’s web portal.

2. You can adjust your account settings by clicking Account Management from the navigation menu.

3. On the Recording tab, select the Cloud recording option. Ensure the setting is set to On. Click the Status toggle if the setting is disabled. To verify that it has been enabled, choose Turn On in the verification dialog box.

4. Click the Audio transcript checkbox to enable it in the Advanced cloud recording settings, then click Save to continue.

5. Click on the lock icon and then click Lock to confirm the setting if you would like this setting to be mandatory for all users in your account.

After following these steps, all users will be able to generate and access a transcription of cloud recordings from their Zoom account. The transcripts are fully searchable so that users can locate and retrieve specific portions of text.

How to Access Audio Transcriptions for Zoom Recordings

You can automatically transcribe audio from cloud recordings of meetings and webinars. Transcripts are displayed in the list of recorded meetings as separate VTT files once they have been processed. There are several parts to the document. Each portion includes a timestamp that indicates where in the recording it was recorded. It is possible to edit the text to capture words more accurately or add punctuation and capitalization, which the transcript does not capture.

Users can follow these steps to use audio transcriptions:

1. Go to the Zoom web portal and sign in.

2. To access the recordings, click Recordings on the navigation bar. There will be a list of recordings.

3. Click on the meeting name to view the recording. Select the play icon.

4. A video transcript appears on the right side of the screen. To edit a phrase, hover over it and click the pencil icon.

5. Make changes to the text, then click on the tick mark to save your changes.

Zoom also makes audio transcriptions readily available to its users via email notifications. If you recorded a meeting and selected the cloud recording option, you will receive an email with a link to the recording after the meeting ends. If an administrator or the meeting host has turned on the transcription feature, you will receive a separate email linking the transcription VTT file. Keep in mind that there may be a slight delay as the transcription takes some time to process.

How to Enable/Disable Live Transcriptions on Zoom

This feature is available to commercial and free users alike, so there are no particular prerequisites. The user only needs account owner or admin privileges to enable live transcriptions by following these steps:

1. Admins with the privilege to edit account settings should sign in to the Zoom web portal.

2. Select Account Management and then Account Settings from the navigation menu.

3. Go to the Meeting tab.

4. Click the toggle next to Closed captioning under In Meeting (Advanced) to enable or disable the feature.

5. You can verify the change by clicking Enable or Disable on the verification dialog box.

6. You may make this setting mandatory for all users in your account by clicking the lock icon and then clicking Lock, confirming your choice.

Additionally, Zoom offers three features for greater control over meeting transcriptions. You can integrate the meeting with third-party captioning services, enable an automated speech-to-text conversion service, and allow/restrict users from viewing the captions side-by-side with the meeting as a complete transcription.

How to Access Live Transcriptions for Ongoing Meetings

Once the administrator has enabled the feature, meetings hosts can access it by following these steps:

1. Select Closed Caption or Live Transcript when hosting a Zoom webinar or meeting.

2. You can choose one of the following options:

a)      You can assign someone to type closed captions during the meeting. To assign someone to type, click Assign, and you will be able to see the participants. Select the participant you wish to type closed captions for and hover your mouse over their name. Click More and choose Assign to type Closed Caption.

b)     If you click on the second option, the closed-captioning window opens so you can type captions manually.

c)      To integrate a closed captioning service with your meeting, you can provide the URL for the third-party service.

d)     The Enable Auto-Transcription option starts live transcription for the meeting. All participants will get notified when the service is available.

These settings can be applied at an organizational level or a group level, for scenarios where only a few employees need access to transcriptions.

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