How to enable subtitles for videos and audios directly in Google Chrome

You may have already encountered this obstacle: opening a file or address with audios or videos and realizing that it is in English, but without any transcription option for those who do not speak the language so well.

Fortunately, the Google Chrome browser has a feature that helps in this situation, at least partially. It is a feature that enables subtitles of videos and audios directly in the browser. This novelty began to be tested in Beta versions a few months ago and, finally, it is now available to all users.

Enabling this option is relatively easy, and while it only works with English audios and videos for now, this can be a way for you to train the language and better understand content in another language.

How to enable subtitles in Chrome

The first step is to open your Google Chrome options page. To do this, click on the button in the form of three vertical dots in the upper right corner of the screen (next to your Google user photo) and go to “Settings”.

The main Chrome settings tab.Source: TecMundo

If you prefer, the menu is also opened with the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + F.

Then, in the menu on the left side, go to the “Advanced” option and select the “Accessibility” topic.

The The “Accessibility” item is where the automatically generated subtitles are.Source: TecMundo

This window concentrates a series of browser features that are useful for people with a disability or limited vision and hearing, including a highlight on objects focused on by the cursor and text navigation.

In that window, find the option “Instant caption” and tap the box to leave it on, with the button turning blue.

Enable the option to turn on the feature.Enable the option to turn on the feature.Source: TecMundo

After that, wait a few seconds until the software package that helps in the identification and transcription of text is downloaded to the browser. This process may take several minutes.

If the feature does not appear for you, you may need to update Google Chrome to the latest version – until the closing of this article, it was in build 90.0.4430.72, which debuted the instant captions feature.

Using the new captions

Ready! If the option is turned on in the settings, a text window with the real-time transcript appears below the screen.

We opened a technology video on YouTube on YouTube to show an example of the ongoing feature. You can adjust the size of the text box, leaving more space in the browser for the text.

A video transcribed by Chrome in the standard text box size.A video transcribed by Chrome in the standard text box size.Source: TecMundo

It is worth remembering that this feature is far from being a perfect transcript: the tool is a speech recognition platform from Google that “listens” to the video content and, in real time, transforms it into text.

Something similar is already done by the company on YouTube and Google Docs, for example.

The caption text box in the larger format.The caption text box in the larger format.Source: TecMundo

The feature works according to the diction of the person who is speaking, in addition to variables such as speech speed, audio quality and amount of noise in the recording environment, among other elements.

The shortcut menu for the instant caption.The shortcut menu for the instant caption.Source: TecMundo

You can still turn the feature on or off through a menu on the top side of the browser, next to the icons of installed extensions. The option allows you to pause the video or turn off the caption.

It is worth remembering that, for now, automatic subtitles are only available in English. Google is expected to add the feature for Brazilian Portuguese and other languages ​​in the near future.

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