As a streamer you obviously want your stream to be accessible by most people. There’s a few things you can do to make it easier for people to watch and understand. One of them is adding automatic closed captions to your stream. In this Quick Stream Tip I’m gonna explain how to do that by using Twitch’ player native caption feature.
There’s various ways you can add closed captions to your stream. Some streamers use a Twitch extension that viewers van turn on or off. These extensions have various options to select caption font, size, color, location and more. Other streamers have a tool that captures the captions in their stream and therefore as a viewer you have no control over them. We’re going to use a plugin that uses the native Twitch player caption feature. Since this feature is already build into the Twitch player, it is one of the most accessible ways to go and works well on both desktop viewers, as well as people who are watching through the Twitch mobile apps.
First you want to go and download the plugin from the OBS website. If you don’t know how to download or install plugins, be sure to read the post I made on that specific topic. After installing the plugin, you’ll get a new option under the “Tools” menu in OBS Studio, called “Cloud Closed Captions“. Clicking and opening this, brings up the settings for the captioner. In the first window, you want to make sure you enable the captions in the top left corner. After that, let’s dive into the settings!
First off, make sure that the “Captioning Enabled” checkbox is ticked, so that the captions actually work. After that, let’s go over all the settings that we have here:
Caption Source: This is where you’ll select your caption source. This is most likely going to be your microphone, so select that from the drowdown.
Caption When: Here you can select when you want to caption. Unless you want to only caption when another source is streaming, you’re going to want to set this to “When Caption Source is streamed”. This means that whenever your microphone is unmuted and streaming, that audio will be captioned.
Language: Here you’ll set the language that you speak in. Make sure you set it to the language you talk most on stream. Even if this differs from the language you have set in your stream settings. The plugin uses this information to relay to the Speech to Text algorithm so it knows what language it needs to understand and caption.
Profanity filter: By default the profanity filter is turned off. Here you can select to keep it that way, or turn it on, so that any curse words you use, won’t be captioned. Please note though, that this feature is unreliable, so words may or may not still come through!
Output to: If you also record a lot of videos outside of your streams, you want to have a good look at this setting. Here you can select whether the captions should output only to your stream, to local recordings or both.
Lines: By default this is set to 3 and it’s the amount of lines shown on the Twitch player with the captions. I’d suggest not going higher than 3, as sometimes this glitches out the Twitch player.
Force Linebreaks: Pretty self explanatory; do you want the captioner to force linebreaks in long words, or rather have them cut off at the end of a line?
Caption Timeout: Here you can set a small timeout after which the captions disappear from screen if you haven’t said anything new.
Banned words: Also, self explanatory; if you don’t want certain words to appear on the captioned, enter them here
And that’s it, when you’ve set all these settings, you can click the save button to go back to the previous window. Here you can test the captioner to see if everything works (make sure to unmute your mic). Speak into the microphone and your words should appear on the window. Now obviously, depending on your voice and things like volume, accent and such, certain words or sentences may or may not be picked up 100% correct. In my experience though, the captioner does a pretty good job. I’m not a native English speaker, yet I stream in English and most of the time, the captions are correct with what I say!
If you’d like to keep an eye out on the captions itself, the plugin also has a nifty dock that you can add to your OBS window. All you have to do for this is go to the “View” menu, then down into “Docks” and tick the “Captions” button. This will add a small window that you can then drag and resize to have anywhere you’d like on your OBS window. This little dock shows exactly the captions that your audience is going to see, so you can keep an eye out on them if they are actually accurate or not.
I hope this tutorial was helpful to you. If you’d like to watch the video version of this Quick Stream Tip, you can head over to my YouTube channel (where you’ll actually find many more tips and other videos)!