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Microsoft Enhances Accessibility in PowerPoint for the Web with Closed Captions for Videos

PowerPoint for the web, a part of the Microsoft 365 suite, has introduced a significant accessibility feature by allowing users to insert videos with closed captions and subtitles into presentations. This development not only enhances the inclusivity of presentations for Deaf individuals or those with hearing impairments but also offers versatile benefits for a broader audience.

The inclusion of closed captions in multiple languages is a notable aspect, enabling presenters to connect with diverse global audiences. Beyond accessibility, captions serve practical purposes, facilitating video consumption in noisy environments or enabling silent viewing without causing disturbance. The demand for subtitles has grown across various platforms, and its incorporation into Microsoft's suite aligns with the expectations set by popular applications like TikTok, Netflix, and Zoom.

To utilize this feature, users need to create closed caption files in the WebVTT format, achievable through dedicated caption creation tools or text editors like Notepad. Upon signing into PowerPoint for the web with their Microsoft account, users can create a new presentation, insert a video, and add captions by selecting Video, then Insert Video, and finally Insert Captions.

For those aiming to include captions in multiple languages, the process involves inserting multiple caption files, each renamed with the standard locale at the end of the file title (e.g., "MyClosedCaptions.en.vtt" for English or "" for Spanish).

This move by Microsoft reflects the company's increasing commitment to accessibility. Windows 11 has been touted as its most "inclusive version" of the operating system, featuring updates like live captions in multiple languages and voice-based sign-ins. Earlier in the year, Microsoft introduced the "Accessibility Assistant" for Microsoft 365, notifying users of potentially inaccessible content and unveiling 3D-printed attachments and grips for the Surface Pen. These efforts underscore Microsoft's dedication to making its products and services more inclusive and user-friendly.


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