Closed Captioning with Otter.ai and Zoom

How to set up Otter.ai to caption Zoom.

This walks through how to set up inline subtitles from Otter.ai’s transcription in Zoom. Otter.ai has it’s own instructions too, but we hope ours are a bit more clear.

Step 1

Set up your Zoom Meeting or Webinar.

If it’s a Meeting, jump to Step 3. For Webinars, go to Step 2.

Step 2

Go to Otter.ai and set the Webinar transcriptions. You’ll need to:

  1. Scheduling the Webinar in Otter to match the one in Zoom
  2. Copying API keys from Otter
  3. Adding them to the Webinar in Zoom

Step 3

Start the Zoom Meeting or Webinar logged in as host.

Step 4

Click on More and Live on Custom Live Streaming Service

An image of the zoom menu bar with the kebab "more" menu showing the Live Custom Stream option.

Step 5

This starts the transcription service in an external browser tab. You can also access it via View Stream on Custom Live Streaming Service.

From the top of the Zoom, window there is a drop-down menu to view the live streaming service.

You can verify it’s enabled too.

From the top of the Zoom, showing the Custom live Streaming Service is on.

Step 6

Click on Closed Caption and Copy the API token in Zoom.

In the Zoom CC menu there's a button to get the API Token.

Step 7

View the live streaming service (Otter.ai) to go to the external transcription (same as step 4).

Step 8

Paste the API token into the text field. Click Save.

An image of the kebob menu in Otter.ai showing where to paste the code from step 5.

Voilà! Your meeting will have Closed Captions in the video and a transcript for viewers to see (if you enabled that option in Step 2.2).

This instruction sheet is current as of Winter 2020 (software changes, so things might move around or change entirely).

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Many thanks to Julian Frommel from CHI PLAY 2020 for these instructions!