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Third-party Captions & Webex Events Live Streaming
Third-party Captions & Webex Events Live Streaming

Make your events more inclusive with closed caption or audio interpreting service for live and pre-recorded content

Daniel Murphey avatar
Written by Daniel Murphey
Updated over a week ago

Live streaming your event content gives you the power to reach a global audience and create a more inclusive experience for attendees. If you plan to live stream content, providing closed captions and translations should be at the top of your priority list. That's why we offer Webex Events Closed Captions & Translations and third-party integration options to provide text and audio captions and translation.

Syncwords captions in an Agenda Session live stream on the Web App.

This article explains how to use a third-party human captioning or translation service with the Webex Events Production Studio, Webex Events RTMP, or a Webex Events Simulive stream.

To learn all about the free machine closed captions and translations included with Video on Demand and Webex Events Production Studio, Webex Events Streaming, the Webex Events RTMP Player, and Webex Events Simulive, read our Webex Events Closed Captions & Translations article.

Human caption, translation, and interpretation providers

Human captioning means that real people listen to your stream and provide captions in real-time. Our official partners are SyncWords for closed captioning and translation, and Interprefy for audio interpretation. Other providers like Vitac and Caption Max also work well. The general processes and best practices described in this article should apply to nearly any human caption provider. 👍

Before learning more about our supported providers, here are a few considerations to keep in mind:

  • Captioners generally provide one-to-many translation and interpretation — not many-to-many. This means speakers in a single stream must speak the same language for captioning to work.

  • Human captions and translations are possible with Webex Events Simulive, not Video on Demand.

  • You can only use one type of captions per Live Stream or session. This means you must choose whether to provide either text captions or audio interpretation — not both.

  • Only the Web App supports captions from third parties — not the Mobile App. If you need Mobile App captions and translations, consider using Webex Events Closed Captions & Translations.

  • If you simply want to add machine captions and translations to pre-recorded Video on Demand content, consider uploading those recordings to Video Center and turning on closed captions for each. To learn more about how Webex Events Closed Captions & Translations works with Video on Demand, refer to our Use Video Center for Simulive and Video on Demand article for details.


SyncWords has actual people who listen to your live stream and provide real-time closed captions in multiple languages. If you're streaming pre-recorded video as Simulive content, they'll translate that, too! Attendees on the Web App select their preferred language from the drop-down next to the Show/Hide Captions button below the live stream.

The Show Captions and Hide Captions buttons under a Live Stream in the Web App.

💡 Keep in mind, text captions don't appear when a stream is in full screen mode. Audio Captions do work in full screen.


Interprefy provides actual people who watch and listen to the stream and then simultaneously interpret the speech. Attendees using the Web App simply click the Audio Captions button below the live stream and select their preferred language.

The Audio Captions button.


If you'd like to work with a different captioning or interpreting service, make sure you verify compatibility with Webex Events. A great way to know if a provider is right for you is to simply arrange a test stream with your provider to make sure everything works smoothly. If you have any questions before or after testing with your provider, start a chat with our awesome Support team!

Working with the provider

⚠️ Caution! We highly recommend reaching out to your caption provider at least 4 weeks before your event to ensure you have time to coordinate and test with them.

This section focuses on working directly with SyncWords and Interprefy to purchase and coordinate their services for your event, and the general steps should apply to most other providers.

  1. First, gather the following information:

    • Your event's start date

    • The number of sessions that need captions

    • The language the presenter(s) will speak during the live stream

    • The language(s) captions should be translated into

    • The Web App URL for your Event App

  2. Once you have this information, fill out one of the linked forms below to start the process with Syncwords or Interprefy. After submitting the form, someone will reach out within 1-2 business days. If you're working with a different provider, contact them directly and send them the information noted above.

  3. After sending the initial information, coordinate with the provider on pricing, availability, and scheduling.

Grant access

As you work with the caption provider, you need to provide them with a way to access your live stream(s) so captioners can watch the stream and add captions in real time.

If you're using live captioning with Webex Events Production Studio, provide a Speaker Link for each Session you need captions for. This ensures that the captioner can see and hear the stream with as little delay as possible. If you plan to go live multiple times in the same Studio, make sure you communicate that with your captioner.

If you're using pre-recorded video to stream a Simulive session, or if you're using another streaming platform, create an attendee profile for each captioner so they can watch and provide the captions for the live stream from the Web App.

💡 Keep in mind, we recommend that you make sure each captioner can log in to the Event App well before the event starts so everyone is prepared.

Send pre-recorded video (optional)

If you're using pre-recorded video for a hybrid or Simulive stream, it's a fantastic idea to provide video files and associated scripts to your captioner at least one week ahead of the stream. Since your captioner can prepare and review captions before the stream, this provides your viewers with a highly accurate captioning experience.

Even though captions for Simulive content can be prepared in advance, you should still set up an attendee profile for your captioner. They'll watch the stream in the Web App and make sure the prepared captions are in sync with the video at all times.

Add the Widget Code or URL

Any closed caption provider must give you a unique Widget Code for each stream that will have captions. Others, like Interprefy, supply a URL for each. Once you have your Widget Codes or URLs, you're ready to enter them in your Event App.

⚠️ Caution! When you paste in the Widget Code or URL, be very sure you're pasting in the correct code for each Session or Live Stream. If you paste in the wrong code, captioners may be confused or unable to provide captions.

  1. Edit each Session or Live Stream feature that will include captions and activate the Enable Closed Captions toggle. This reveals the Closed Caption Provider drop-down.

  2. Select Syncwords, Interprefy, or Other if you're working with a different third-party provider.

  3. Paste the Widget Code or URL for that stream into the Embed your URL here field.

  4. Click Save Changes.

The Enable Closed Captions sections in the Edit Live Stream modal and the Edit Session modal.

Now you're ready to go with captions. Keep in touch with your captioner about any last-minute schedule changes or delays. When the live stream starts, so will the captions! 👍

Captions in practice

If you're using visual closed captions, attendees simply click the 'Show Captions' button beneath the live stream to turn on closed captions. If the caption provider is supplying multiple language translations, the attendees will also select a language preference. To turn off closed captions, attendees click the 'Hide Captions' button.

Captions hidden and visible in the Web App.

If you're using audio captions or translation, the button will say 'Audio Captions'.

The Audio Captions button.

Attendees click the button to open the modal and select a language. Once they select a language, they'll start hearing the captions right away, and they can close the modal.

💡 Keep in mind, attendees should mute the live stream audio so they don't hear two different audio tracks.

The Audio Captions modal that appears after an attendee clicks the Audio Captions button.

Now you know how to implement third-party captions for your live streams! Don't have the budget for captions with every live stream? Webex Events Closed Captions & Translations is available for Webex Events Production Studio, Webex Events Streaming, the Webex Events RTMP Player, and Webex Events Simulive at no additional cost. For Video on Demand content, Webex Events Closed Captions & Translations is also available for all videos you upload to Video Center!

Pro Tips! 😎

  • Provide your caption provider with information early (e.g. names of speakers, topic descriptions, etc.) to set them up for success.

  • Arrange a test stream with your caption provider to make sure everything works smoothly before your event starts or even before you contract their services!

  • SyncWords advertises support for English, Spanish, Portuguese, and French since those are the most commonly requested languages. However, they support many more. Contact your provider for more information on supported languages.

  • When a stream is over, download the recording and send it to your caption provider to merge the captions with the recording and then distribute it with the captions. If this service is critical to your event, verify that providers offer it before contracting their service.

  • Many caption providers can give you a transcript of captions for a session. If this service is critical to your event, verify that providers offer it before contracting their service.

Questions? Chat with us, email, or attend a Face to Face session.

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