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Old 03-26-2020, 04:54 PM   #1
Steve Rindsberg
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 7,315
Default Captioning for presentations

I recently spent the better part of a week at Microsoft conference that was converted at the last minute from in-the-flesh-in-Redmond to all-virtual,all-online. Nowhere near as fun as being there with friends, colleagues and acquaintances (and partying with them at end of day) but beat the heck out of having the whole thing canceled. Kudos to MS for pulling it off with way more style and grace than we had any right to expect, given the short timeframe.

Our session leaders used a lot of PowerPoint presentations (our particular group being composed of PPT geeks and PPT being the lingua presenta in that part of the world). For most of the sessions, the presenters used a relatively new feature of PowerPoint, one that "listens" to the presenter and creates subtitles in real time, on the fly. What made it especially useful in our case was that we had attendees from Japan and Korea, some with minimal English comprehension. With a few clicks, the presenter could switch from English subtitles to Japanese or Korean.

Other than one presenter who had a very strong accent, the English subtitles were quite good. The quality of the Japanese/Korean ones was marginal but it allowed the non-English speakers to follow the fairly technical presentations. They do mention that J & K are "preview" languages ... not fully supported at present, but they're working on it.

Info about that here:


Unfortunately, we could only choose one language at a time, so the Koreans and Japanese had to take turns, session by session. And it requires Windows 10.

But it takes a turn into the cloud and gets more interesting:


This lets you provide a short URL and/or a QR code to your audience. They can view your presentation, as you present it, on their laptop, tablet, phone and at their option turn on automatically generated text of what the presenter's saying. In their choice of language. My Japanese friend who attended the meeting tells me that the Japanese is better than the subtitling I mentioned above.

More on this and some other features here:


We live in interesting times.

Steve Rindsberg
and stuff

Last edited by Steve Rindsberg; 03-26-2020 at 05:04 PM. Reason: Correct mistake, add more info
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