Day 1 of Google 2018: Closed Captioning

Screen Shot 2018-11-25 at 8.25.32 AM.pngAbout a month ago, Google released a feature with Google Slides that many people didn’t realize that they were missing this feature until it came out. Now, when you are giving a presentation to a group of people, you have the ability to turn on Closed Captioning, or what Google is calling, Captions.

Once the presenter puts their Google Slide presentation in present mode, “Captions” shows up in the tool menu. View the image below for specific location.

Screen Shot 2018-11-25 at 8.41.46 AM.png

Once selected, Google will translate what is being said. There are a couple of things to note:

  • Google is making it known that captions will not be perfect.
  • You will want to be close to your device so that it will pick up your voice.

Below is an example of what it will look like when using captions.


It is important to note that Captions will only capture what is said in the moment and it will not save your content. In other words, if you were to share out the Google Slide presentation to a student or another colleague, they would not have any of the captions from a previous lecture of the slides. Also, if you were to re-present the content from the slides, and you select Captions, it will be as if you had never done it before.

Other Uses and Ideas

#1: For those of you who screencast your content, either for teachers or students, you can use this feature to help with documenting your words (especially those that do not publish on YouTube but through Google Drive instead). For instance, if you plan to use Screencastify to record a 2 minute presentation of your Google Slides, activate Screencastify, put Google Slides into present mode, then select captions icon.

#2: For those students who could benefit from having Captions show up, they could always open up a blank Google Slide presentation on their own Chromebook, put it in present mode, and select Captions. This way, text will show up on their own screen from the conversation that the teacher is having. It is important to note however, this really would only work if the teacher was near the student and their device.

As stated above, this is a tool that I didn’t know we were missing. Whether you realize it or not, there may be people in the room that could truly benefit from closed captioning – even though they can hear perfectly. So moving forward, get into the habit of including this feature every time you present.

And that is my Spiel…


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