If you have Office 365 (the subscription version that is always updated), there’s a new feature coming out that is truly extraordinary! If you’re in the Office Insider program, you may have it already. Otherwise, you’ll get it when it’s rolled out to everyone with Office 365.
As you talk, PowerPoint will display what you are saying on your slides — or translate it into any of more than 60 languages. 60!
Right now, it understands 6 spoken languages:
- Chinese (PRC)
- English (Canada, United Kingdom, United States)
- French (France)
- German (Germany)
- Italian (Italy)
- Spanish (Spain)
They’re working on several more spoken languages.
Why is this important?
This feature is ideal when you’re speaking to people who might be:
- Deaf or hard of hearing
- Not fluent in the language you’re speaking
The fact that PowerPoint can do this as you speak is amazing.
Setting up subtitles and translation
To set this up, on the Slide Show tab, check Always Use Subtitles. (You can always turn this off.) But you can also turn the feature on or off on the fly, during a presentation:
From Slide Show view: Hover your cursor over the lower-left corner of the slide to display the icon menu and click the Subtitles icon or right-click and choose Start Subtitles. (These are toggles so you do the same thing to stop subtitles.)
From Presenter view: Click the Toggle Subtitles button beneath the main slide.
You can also set the position, size, color, and more of the subtitles:
- From the Slide Show tab, choose Subtitle Settings
- From Slide Show view, right-click and choose Subtitle Settings
The Subtitle Settings is also where you can choose from over 60 languages. You’ll see the Star Trek twist in the video below.
You’ll get the best results with a good microphone and, if you might be moving around, a headset. The feature also requires an Internet connection.
You can read more about this feature here.
Watch the feature in action
I recently did a session on Presenter View in my Power Pointers Quarter Hour training program and included a demo of this feature, which you can see below. In the video (under 6 minutes), I try out the translation into French and Klingon–yup, you can do that. (If you don’t know, Klingon is a language that was created for the TV show, Star Trek.)
Will you use this feature? If so, how? Leave a comment! And please share this with other presentations who might need to know about subtitles and captions, using the Share buttons below.