How to Set Up and Use Subtitles in Microsoft PowerPoint

Adding subtitles to your PowerPoint presentations can make them more engaging, inclusive and accessible to wider audiences. With PowerPoint’s built-in subtitle feature, it’s easy to add real-time captions that display what you’re saying during a presentation.

In this article, we’ll walk through the step-by-step process for setting up and using subtitles in PowerPoint.


Before getting started, make sure you have:

  • PowerPoint for Microsoft 365 (subscription version)
  • Windows 10 or MacOS
  • A microphone connected to your computer

The subtitle feature is not available in PowerPoint 2019, 2016 or older versions.

Step 1: Turn on Subtitles

To enable subtitles:

  1. Open your PowerPoint presentation
  2. Go to the “Slide Show” tab
  3. Click on “Subtitle Settings”
  4. Check the box next to “Always Use Subtitles”

This will turn on subtitles automatically whenever you present your slideshow.

Subtitle settings in PowerPoint

Step 2: Select Languages

You can choose the spoken language you’ll use during your presentation, as well as the language subtitles will display in.

To configure languages:

  1. Under “Subtitle Settings”, choose your spoken language under “Spoken Language”
  2. Select the desired subtitle language under “Subtitle Language”

For example, you can speak in English while subtitles display in Spanish for translation.

Step 3: Customize Appearance

Customize the look of subtitles by:

  • Choosing a location – top, bottom, above or below slide
  • Changing text color, size and more under “More Settings”

Experiment to find the optimal subtitle configuration for your needs.

Step 4: Present Slideshow

During your presentation:

  1. Speak naturally into the microphone
  2. Subtitles will automatically generate and display your words on-screen

You can start and stop subtitles anytime using the “Use Subtitles” button.

Step 5: Export Transcript

If desired, you can export a text transcript of your presentation subtitles:

  1. Click “File” > “Export” > “Create Transcript”
  2. Choose subtitle language
  3. Save exported .vtt file

The transcript can be valuable for sharing, reviewing or translating your presentation afterwards.


Adding real-time subtitles makes your PowerPoint presentations more engaging and inclusive. With Microsoft 365, enabling subtitles is quick and easy across Windows and Mac.

Experiment with languages, positioning and appearance to find what works best for your needs. Subtitles open up your presentations to wider audiences and provide helpful transcripts for future reference.