PowerPoint: Turning on subtitles

PowerPoint can create automatic speech recognition (ASR) subtitles during a presentation in a variety of languages. This feature is available on the web, Windows, and Mac versions of PowerPoint.


  1. Click Slide Show.
  2. Click Always Use Subtitles.  Clicking Always Use Subtitles will enable subtitles in your presentations until you choose to turn off the feature by clicking this button again.
  3. Open the subtitle menu by clicking the down arrow or “v” next to Always Use Subtitles.
    Menu highlighting the option
  4. Click Spoken Language to select the language the presenter will be speaking in. Be mindful that PowerPoint will only pick up the speech of the person who is using the computer on which the presentation is running (or a microphone connected to that computer.)
  5. Click Subtitle Language to select the language you want the subtitles to appear in. The spoken language and subtitle language selections do not need to be the same language. (If you choose a subtitle language different than the spoken language, PowerPoint will provide a computer generated translation into your chosen subtitle language.)
  6. Select where you would like the subtitles to appear in your presentation by clicking either Below Slide or Above Slide. (It is a best practice to avoid using the options Bottom (Overlaid) and Top (Overlaid) since both of these options might overlap with your presentation slide text making both your slides and captions difficult to read.)
  7. Optional: You can click Audio Settings to choose which microphone you would like to use to pick up the speech that will be subtitled. This option is automatically set to your computer’s default microphone. To choose your microphone:
    1. Click Audio Settings.
    2. Click the drop down menu under Microphone.
    3. Click on the microphone option you want to use.
    4. Click on your presentation to exit the Audio Settings menu.
    5. Click anywhere on your presentation to exit the Always Use Subtitles menu.

When you start your presentation, subtitles will begin to appear. Usually, the subtitles are delayed for a few seconds when you first start speaking.

If you would like to turn off subtitles in the middle of presenting, you can:

  • Toggle subtitles on and off by pressing the J key.
  • Click the Use Subtitles button on the toolbar below the main slide while presenting.

Windows ()

  1. Click on Slide Show.
  2. Mark the checkbox next to Always Use Subtitle.
  3. Continue at Step 4 of the Web version instructions above.
    Image of the Slide Show options on a Windows system

macOS ()

  1. Click on Slide Show.
  2. Mark the checkbox next to Always Use Subtitle Settings.
  3. Click Subtitle Settings to open the menu.
  4. Continue at Step 4 of the Web version instructions above.
    Image of the Slide Show options on macOS

Best practices

To ensure the best quality subtitles:

  • Speak clearly and deliberately.
  • Eliminate background noise.
  • Ensure a good internet connection.


If you have any additional questions or problems, don't hesitate to reach out to the Help Desk!

Phone: 610-526-7440 | Library and Help Desk hours
Email: help@brynmawr.eduService catalog
Location: Canaday Library 1st floor