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How to use Zoom linking

October 1, 2020 Update: To use Zoom Linking, it's critical to update your TypeWell software to revision 873 or higher. We also recommend keeping your Zoom client software updated.

Quick Overview

To stream live text from TypeWell (V8 Premium Transcriber or V8 Connect) into a Zoom meeting:

  • The host needs to enable the Closed Captioning feature in their Zoom account settings before starting the meeting. (This is a one-time change in the host's account settings; then it will stay enabled for all future meetings unless they turn it off.)
  • The captionist needs to paste the API token from the Zoom meeting into their TypeWell software.

Once linked, the participants in the Zoom meeting should see a notification pop up that says, "Closed Caption available."

  • The participants need to click the Show Subtitle setting in their Zoom app in order for the subtitles to be visible.

Student viewing captions on Zoom meeting

A TypeWell transcript can appear in the form of short captions at the bottom of the Zoom meeting screen.


How to obtain the API token from Zoom

As the Zoom host, you can make the API token available to the captionist a couple of different ways.

Click the CC button (on the Zoom meeting control bar) and then click Assign a participant to type. Find the captionist's name in the Participants list. Hover over their name, select *More,*and then assign them to type.

This will give the captionist the ability to open up a Closed Captioning window directly in Zoom where they can click Use a 3rd party CC service to copy the API token to their clipboard.

animated GIF of closed captioning window and copying the API token to clipboard

Alternatively, as the host you can select Copy the API token to copy it to your own clipboard, and then share it with the captionist via chat or email.

closed caption menu options for zoom meeting host

Paste the API token into TypeWell

Under the Link menu in TypeWell, select by Zoom. Click the Enable Zoom linking checkbox. Paste in the Zoom API token for 3rd party closed captioning.

Zoom linking setup dialog

Also, make sure the Link menu says Linking on.

TypeWell Link menu with Linking On

TypeWell may flash "Zoom (searching)" in the lower-right status bar. Once linked, this will change to just say "Zoom" and whatever you type in TypeWell will be transmitted to the subtitle feed in the Zoom meeting.

If you are teaming with a second transcriber using the same API token, please note that only one transcriber should type at a time. Otherwise, the text will appear garbled in Zoom.

What about breakout rooms?

Unfortunately, each breakout room has its own, separate API token. The captionist should be assigned to the breakout room where their services are needed most; they cannot simultaneously be assigned to multiple breakout rooms, nor can they caption more than one conversation at a time.

For captions to appear within a breakout room, the captionist needs to get the breakout-room-specific API token and paste it into the Zoom Linking setup box (in TypeWell) and wait for TypeWell to re-link to Zoom. The participants in that breakout room may need to re-enable the "Show Subtitle" setting as well.

Once the captionist and participants return to the main meeting, the original API token for that meeting must be entered (again, in TypeWell), and the participants need to re-enable the "Show Subtitle" setting.

If this seems too cumbersome, the captionist could simply type directly into Zoom's "Closed Caption" box using TypeWell Everywhere while they're in the breakout room — provided the meeting host has assigned them captioning privileges in Zoom. However, it's important to remember that whatever they type into the closed-captioning window will NOT automatically be saved in the TypeWell transcript. It will need to be manually copied, saved, and then added into the TypeWell transcript after the meeting is over.

Things to consider

The "View full transcript" feature in Zoom does NOT display well when using TypeWell's Zoom Linking feature. Due to the limitations of Zoom's API, we optimized TypeWell's Zoom Linking for the "Show subtitle" view, at the expense of the "View full transcript" view.

We recommend enabling Web Linking and sharing the Web Reader URL with the meeting participants so they can watch the full transcript in a separate browser. (Yes, you can enable both Zoom Linking and Web Linking in TypeWell and stream your text to both places simultaneously!)

We recommend sharing instructions with the meeting participants via the Zoom Chat box, so they understand how to access to both the subtitles and the full transcript. Here's an example that you or the meeting host could share:

paste instructions into the Zoom Chat box

Note that when participants join the meeting late, they cannot see previously-typed messages in the Zoom Chat box. If possible, you should share the how-to instructions at the beginning of the meeting and then again, a few minutes into the meeting.

Troubleshooting

Host doesn't see the Closed Caption menu control?

The host needs to enable Closed Captioning in their Account Settings before starting the meeting.

TypeWell flashes "Zoom (searching)" indefinitely?

Try these troubleshooting steps, in order:

  • Try toggling the master linking control (at the top of TypeWell's Link menu) off and then back on.
  • Check your internet connection.
  • Restart your computer.
Sep 30, 2020