How to Use Windows 11 Dynamic Subtitles

Windows 11 22H2 update introduced Live Captions, which means you’ll get subtitles for all your videos; even those who don’t have one scheduled.

Dynamic subtitles are a new feature in the Windows series, added with Windows 11 22H2 update. Once enabled, your computer will automatically generate text captions for almost all videos played on your Windows 11 computer; even videos running in the browser of your choice.

Here’s how to start using Live Captions on any video in Windows 11.

How to Enable Live Captions for Audio and Video

Before you can see live captions for your videos, you need to enable the tool in Windows 11. This is a new feature in the Update 22H2, so you can only access it if you’ve updated your copy of Windows. You can enable the feature in three ways.

Go to Settings > Accessibility > Subtitles and use the slider to enable live captions. The first time you enable them, you’ll need to do so from here, as you also need to install a language pack.

Thereafter, you can start using Live Captions by pressing the hotkey Windows+Ctrl+L. This opens the live caption bar, even if the feature is not enabled in settings.

There is also a new control in Quick settings on the taskbar. Open the Quick Settings Panel and click on the Accessibility button to find it.

How to use the live caption bar

Subtitles are displayed in a separate bar rather than above the video itself. You can position the caption bar where it suits you best.

  1. Open the caption bar by pressing Windows+Ctrl+L. The bar will open, floating above all other open windows.
  2. You can move it by clicking on it and dragging it to your preferred position.
  3. To align it to the top or bottom of the screen, click Settings (gear icon) > Position, and choose an option. All open windows will be moved to make room.
  4. Also in the settings menu are the subtitle options, where you’ll find a profanity filter for live subtitles.
  5. There is no button to minimize the caption bar, so if you want to hide it, you have to close it. Otherwise, the caption bar stays onscreen and active even if you close the windows where the video is playing.

You can also caption your speech via a connected microphone. To activate it, activate Include microphone sound in the caption bar settings. When you speak into the microphone, your words appear on the screen.

If you notice subtitles not appearing quickly, or there is lag and jitter, try disable all heavy background apps you have the race.

How to change the style of dynamic subtitles

You can change the style and color of the legend text, the legend background, and the color and opacity of the legend bar.

  1. Open Settings > Accessibility > Subtitles. Under the switch to enable dynamic subtitles, click the Edit button in caption style.
  2. You can give your callout style a name. It will be selectable from the drop-down menu for caption style.
  3. Select the element from which you want to modify Text, BackgroundWhere Window using tabs.
  4. You can then modify the options of this element. Options vary to include font style, opacity, size, and effects.
  5. You do not need to save your new caption style. Return to the previous settings page to see it in the selection drop-down menu.

You can access caption styles from the settings menu in the caption bar.

Using Dynamic Subtitles in Windows 11

Live captions may have been created as an accessibility feature, but the feature has uses for everyone. You can use them to keep track of speech on a video while you work on something else. You can even use subtitles to more easily analyze video content for important keywords.

About Sally E. Bartley

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