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What options are available for transcribing or captioning video?

An explanation of some of the terms used on this page:

  • Both transcription and captioning produce text from words spoken in a video, but:
    • Transcription creates a text document without the timing information necessary to synchronize the text with playback of the video. Transcriptions provide text alternatives to audio recordings, but lacking timing information, they do not support understanding PowerPoint presentations or video demonstrations.
    • Captioning includes the timing information necessary to synchronize the display of the text with when the corresponding words were spoken in video. Captions supplement the audio of recordings and are well suited to PowerPoint presentations and video demonstrations.
  • Open captions are part of the video image itself, like text saved into an image to make a meme. Viewers cannot turn off, resize, or change the font, position, or color of open captions.
  • Closed captions can be stored in their own files or right in the video file, but in any case are separate information layered on top of the video during playback. This allows closed captions to be turned on and off as well as adjusted by the viewer to suit his/her/their needs.
  • Subtitles are captions in a language different from that of the words spoken in the video.
  • ASR stands for Automatic Speech Recognition and is performed by a computer algorithm, not a human. ASR-produced captions benefit searches for, and within, videos and can be a starting point for accurate, human-generated captions. However, ASR-produced captions, on their own, do not make a video accessible.
  • Human-generated transcription or captioning provides better accuracy than does ASR.
  • An event is a meeting or webinar.
  • Native support indicates functionality built into the tool or service.
  • A 3rd party is an outside person, group, service, or tool that can provide functionality, generally for a fee.

Comparison of Options


Microsoft Teams

MU Video
Live captioningnative ASR of & in English



  • Only in preview version.
  • Deleted when event ends.
native ASR of & in other languagesNoNo
3rd party ASR of & in
English, other languages


  • No contract with service.


Post-event captioning of recordingsASR of & in EnglishYes
  • automatic for cloud recordings
ASR of & in other languagesNoNo






  • See: Captions
  • No contract with professional service.

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