Use a screen reader to add closed captions to recorded PowerPoint presentations

Decorative icon. Screen reader content

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

Use PowerPoint with your keyboard and a screen reader to add closed captions to videos. We have tested it with Narrator, JAWS, and NVDA, but it might work with other screen readers as long as they follow common accessibility standards and techniques. 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 shows the captions when you play the video. For instructions, refer to Turn on closed captions or subtitles by using the keyboard.

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. For more info, refer to Create closed captions for a video. To search online for available tools and detailed instructions, type "create vtt file" in your search engine.

To learn which caption file types are supported, refer to Closed Caption file types supported by PowerPoint.

Notes: 

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. Adding captions to a recorded presentation that has only audio narration is currently not supported.

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

  2. In PowerPoint, in the Normal view, navigate to the slide that has the video you want to add captions to. For instructions, refer to Use a screen reader to explore and navigate PowerPoint.

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

  4. With the focus on the video, press Alt+J, N, C, and then 2. You hear: "Captions options, Insert captions menu item."

  5. Press Enter. The Insert Captions dialog box opens. The focus is on the File name: text field.

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

  7. To insert the captions file, press the Tab key until you hear "Insert, collapsed split button," and then press Enter. If you need to add another captions file, repeat steps from 2 to 6.

Remove captions from a video

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

Note: If you have added more than one captions file to a video, the following process removes all captions files from the video.

  1. In PowerPoint, in the Normal view, navigate to the slide that has the video you want to remove captions from. For instructions, refer to Use a screen reader to explore and navigate PowerPoint.

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

  3. With the focus on the video, press Alt+J, N, C, and then 2. You hear: "Captions options, Insert captions menu item."

  4. To remove the captions, press the Down arrow key until you hear "Remove all captions," and then press Enter. The closed captions are removed from the video.

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 create PowerPoint presentations

Use keyboard shortcuts to deliver your PowerPoint presentation

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

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Microsoft 365

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate PowerPoint

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.

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