Skype, PowerPoint become more accessible with live captions and subtitles

Donna Miller
December 4, 2018

If you're in a call, you can switch the setting on by selecting the "+" icon and toggling "Turn subtitles on".

We're all pretty used to subtitles for movies and TV shows - even if we don't need them, they can prove useful - and Microsoft has now added this feature to Skype.

To celebrate the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Microsoft has announced upcoming support for live captions and subtitles in PowerPoint and Skype.

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Early next year, Microsoft will introduce the same feature to PowerPoint, allowing the speaker's words to appear on-screen as they present. This innovative new feature provides captions and subtitles for presentations in real-time. In a future update, the developers plan to enable an optional separate window for subtitles so you can scroll back in case you miss something.

A similar feature already exists as an add-on called Presentation Translator although it's not quite as robust as what Microsoft is getting ready to bake directly into PowerPoint. Skype will support subtitles in over 20 languages in the coming weeks, and at the beginning they will auto-scroll in your call. If you speak a different language than a presenter or are hard of hearing or deaf, you may not get as much out of a presentation as someone without those barriers.

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