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How to use Zoom Linking (stream text directly from TypeWell into Zoom using the 3rd-Party Closed Captioning API)

IMPORTANT: To use Zoom Linking, it's critical to update your TypeWell software to revision 875 or higher. We also recommend updating your Zoom desktop client.

Quick Overview

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

  • The host needs to enable the 3rd-Party 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 live captions on a Zoom meeting

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

How to enable 3rd-party Closed Captioning in the host's Zoom account

As the Zoom host, you need to enable two settings in your account before you start the meeting. Please go to and toggle on both of these advanced meeting options:

  • Closed captioning
  • Allow use of caption API Token to integrate with 3rd-party Closed Captioning services

Live, 3rd party closed captions can be enabled in the host's Zoom Settings, under Manual Options">

How to obtain the API token from Zoom

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

One way is to find the captionist's name in the Participants list, hover over their name, select *More,* and then assign them to type:

Zoom participants can be assigned to write closed captions from the

The assigned captionist should then see a message in Zoom:

Once assigned, the captionist will see a pop-up notification

The assigned captionist can open a Closed Captioning window in Zoom, where they can either 1) caption directly into that window using TypeWell Everywhere OR 2) click on Use a 3rd party CC service to copy the API token to their clipboard.

Most TypeWell transcribers prefer to use the 3rd party CC service so they can type directly into their TypeWell Transcriber software, which is more robust than the TypeWell Everywhere feature.

The API token can be found and copied in the Closed Captioning window

REMEMBER: This 3rd party API token is what allows someone to connect their TypeWell software to the Zoom meeting.  Without that API token, their only option is to type directly into the Closed Caption window within Zoom.

As the host, you can also select Copy the API token to your own clipboard, and then share that API token with the captionist via chat or email.

The API token can be copied by the host in the Closed Captioning menu on the bottom of the screen

NOTE:  If the host account has enabled both manual captions and automated captions in their Meeting settings, this adds an additional step for the host during the meeting.  The will have to "Enable manual captioner" by clicking the "On" radio button, before they can get the API token or assign a participant to type.

Zoom caption menu options when auto and manual captions are both enabled in host account

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.

Complete the Zoom linking setup dialog in TypeWell Transcriber

Also, make sure the Link menu says Linking on.

Master Control for TypeWell Linking is turned on

TypeWell may flash "Zoom (searching)" in the lower-right status bar. Once connected, this will change to just say "Zoom."  Once that status bar says "Zoom," the following things will occur:

  • Participants will see a pop-up notification that "captions are now available."  They can then click on the Live Transcript button and select "Show Subtitle" or "View live transcript."
  • Whatever you type into the TypeWell Transcriber or Connect program 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

TypeWell captions appear smoothly for the participants whether they select "Show Subtitle" or "View full transcript":

  • The "Show Subtitle" view displays about 3 lines of text at a time, near the bottom third of the Zoom window.
  • The "View full Transcript" feature opens a sidebar where the captions appear with time stamps.

We recommend enabling Web Linking and sharing the Web Reader URL with the meeting participants so they have the option to view the full transcript in a separate browser or even on a separate device. (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 both the subtitles and the full transcript. Here's an example that you or the meeting host could share:

Sample of instructions to copy and paste into the consumer's Zoom chat box

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


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.

TypeWell says "Be sure to use the Closed Caption token, not the Invite link."

This message appears when you have pasted a URL that TypeWell does not recognize as a Zoom API token. Check that you're pasting in the full API token, and not the Zoom meeting invitation link.

Note that if you're trying to paste a link in that contains a "" API token and you still see this message, then you need to update your TypeWell software to the latest version! To update, click Help > Check for Updates and follow the on-screen instructions.

Mar 23, 2023

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