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4 Steps to Adding Closed Captioning to Your Google Meet Recordings

Google Meet call with many participants

Closed captioning your Google Meet calls is a fantastic way to make your recordings much more accessible to team members who weren’t in the meeting. This is especially when you consider that call recordings can become hard to understand by ear alone. Providing captions allows your teammates to learn from the meeting and stay in the loop.

Here are the four steps of how you can add closed captioning to your Google Meet recordings.

1. Record the meeting

There are two ways to record a meeting in Google Meet:

  1. Using the built-in recording feature: Google Meet has a nifty auto-recording tool that records the entire meeting and saves the footage via Google Drive or an email link containing the file. This is available only to those who have a paid account (Business Standard or Business Plus) in Google Workspace.

If you use this feature, remember that: 

  • You can use this feature only if you’re the organizer or in the same organization as the organizer.
  • Using it will notify the other participants that you’re recording the meeting.
  • You can enable Google Meet’s live captioning feature but it will not be recorded along with the session.

2. Using a third-party recording software: There are plenty of free programs that can record your meeting, such as:

  • Bandicam
  • OBS Studio
  • Free Cam

This is great if you want to record the video with live captions and receive the footage right on your desktop. However, keep in mind that the free version of some programs has restrictions like watermarks and time limits and requires a paid account to remove them.

2. Listen and transcribe

Transcribing the meeting is not only an important step in adding captions; it also allows you to easily search and refer to specific parts of the meeting. 

Be prepared: there are some hefty challenges you have to prepare for, like:

  • Playing back some parts again in case you didn’t catch them the first time.
  • Dealing with cross-talk and dialogue that is hard to understand, no matter how many times you listen carefully.
  • Accepting the amount of time you have to spend on making your transcript accurate.

Time and patience are important in effectively transcribing a meeting. Alternatively, you can skip this entire step by using a free automated audio transcription service to save a lot of time, effort, and headache.

3. Add closed captioning

After transcribing the text, you now have to add captions to the footage. There are two ways you can do this:

  1. Use video-editing software: You can use the typical text tool in most video-editing programs to create a captioned video with your transcript. Keep in mind that you have to consider the font size, font type, and proper placement of the captions to make sure that they’re readable. 
  2. Make a .srt file: Using a word processor like Notepad, you can create a “SubRip Subtitle,” or .srt file which adds captions to your videos without affecting the original footage. This is helpful if you don’t need to create a new video file with captioning.

4. Upload captioned video

When you’re done with the captioning, it’s time to upload it. Any video-sharing or file-sharing site will do like YouTube and Google Drive. Just remember that uploading may take time, depending on how large your final video file will be.

Captioning a video can take away a lot of precious hours and energy, but the final product will be worth it especially for your team.