Convert Slide Notes Into Closed Caption Text in Adobe Captivate

Convert Slide Notes Into Closed Caption Text

Adobe Captivate offers the ability to make eLearning courses accessible (508 compliant). By law, ADA and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, state certain accessibility requirements must be addressed when developing learning materials for electronic dissemination. Distance education course materials must be designed and delivered in such a way that the level of course-taking experience is the same for students with or without disabilities.

As a quick side note, you may want read information about accessibility guidelines:

Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Captivate has the ability to add slide notes and then convert slide notes into closed caption text. Close captioned text appears on the slide during run time. This could be very helpful to know when building your next course. Below is how to convert slide notes to closed captioned text.

  1. Select Window>Slide Notes
  2. In the Slide Notes panel, click the +icon to add a new slide note
  3. Type the slide notes

Next, convert slides notes to closed-captioned text by using the following:

  1. Select the check boxes in the closed captions column and corresponds to the notes that will be converted to closed captions.
  2. Click Closed Captioning.
  3. Click the + icon to add additional closed captions.
  4. To time a closed caption, click the header of the caption that displays the start and end time, and drag the play head in the audio clip.
  5. Click CC Project Settings to change the font, size, color, background, and the number of lines in which the captions must be displayed.
  6. Enable the display of closed captions in the published projects, go to Project>Skin Editor, and click Closed Captioning.

Finally, test your project. You will notice the ‘CC’ button appears in the play bar. While playing the project, click the ‘CC’ button to view the closed captions.

Stay tuned for my next tip on using Adobe Captivate for 508 compliance.











  1. With Slide Notes, do you have any idea why changing a note on one slide would automatically change a note on a different slide, too?

  2. Hmmm… Let us look into that.

  3. We’ve never come across that issue before. Which Captivate version are you using?

  4. I have audio attached to a click box. The audio doesn’t show up in the timeline therefore I can’t seem to add closed captioning. Is this possible?

  5. Do you know how much of the textual slide content (ie: titles, bullet points, alt text for images, etc) gets transferred from Powerpoint to Captivate?

    I ask because it seems like Captivate projects flatten all of the Powerpoint slides into PNG images upon publishing. Which makes me wonder how much of the text content remains machine-readable, even when the “Accessibility” option is turned off.

    I understand that the bullet points etc could be copied from Outline view in Powerpoint to the Slide Accessibility area of Captivate. But what if you already have closed captioning for audio content?

    Do you know how to ensure that those with hearing impairments get closed captioning for audio, while those with visual impairments get text content from the slides?


  6. Hi D.A, great question! Captivate has an awesome way to add CC. Are you adding it the way they described in this tutorial?

    Or how do you have your CC? Because adding like in the tutorial should be sufficient. Good luck, hope this helps. Thanks for your comment.

  7. We still have Captivate 6. I haven’t had to use “closed captioning” since 2008 (Captivate 5). I want to use it as it was originally intended. I want to add slide notes(Articulate Presenter’s terms) for those who are audibly impaired. When I add a closed captioning note it doesn’t save it. Anyone else experience this?

    Perhaps I can follow the youtube video you mentioned above and it will work. I haven’t added the audio to the slides yet. I’m waiting on the SME for those. I was hoping to try out the cc while I wait.

  8. Hmmmmm… let me check with a developer who has some experience with older versions in Captivate. Great question for while you wait for your SME. I’ll get back to you as soon as I know. Have a good day Brenda.

  9. Hi Brenda,

    I talked to my developer and recommends watching this video and following the steps exactly. This should be what you need. Have a good day!

  10. I have found this thread very informative – and I hadn’t even realised that Slide Notes existed before this – BUT…is there a way to add closed captions to a slide that does not have its own audio track? I have created a series of swf. animations in Captivate and then insert them into the ‘Master’ captivate project as objects within separate slides so that they only take up 30% of the total screen size. They play well using this method but I want to have the closed captions displayed on the master file rather than the screen capture swf. animation since it would be too small to read.

    Is there a way of doing this that does not require me having to manually create scores of text boxes and time them on the timleine?

  11. Hi Simon, great question. I would say the easiest way to do this is to take the audio out of the .swf then place it back into captivate as an .mp3 because there isn’t a way to add captions with no audio. Thanks for your comment. Let us know if you need anything else. Have a good day!

  12. Simon,
    Another way to add CC to a slide without audio is to add a snippet of silence to the timeline. That makes closed captioning available, and you’re all set!

  13. Hi Leslie, thank you for adding your thoughts to support Simon. Simon, let us know of you have any other questions.

  14. Is using closed captions the only way in captivate to display slide notes or are there other options? I have a client who has files in captivate but likes the look of the notes feature like it is done in Articulate Storyline and I am looking for simple ways to make this happen and ensure the course is 508 compliant.

  15. Hi Meredith, there is a notes widget. However, I am not exactly sure if it will work. It is worth trying out though. Here is a screenshot.

  16. I am using the canned voice, Paul, and have set up closed captions in slide notes and audio tracks that correspond to the closed captions but include phonetic pronunciations of certain words that are spelled non-phonetically in closed captions. When I publish the file in HTML, the audio and closed captions are correct. When I publish as SWF, the audio track text is replaced by the closed caption text, and certain words are mispronounced. When I publish as video, my table of contents is lost. I want the publish as SWF and maintain my phonetic pronunciations. Is this possible?

  17. Hi Janet, thanks for reaching out to us with your question. I sent your question to our support team to look at your issue. They will contact you shortly through the email you provided. Thank you! Have a good day!

  18. Hello, Is there a way to have the CC show when publishing to a video mp4? I set the first slide to Execute Advanced Action on Enter to Assign the variable cpCmndCC with 1, but it appears to only work when I publish as HTML.


  19. Hi Jodie, good question. I sent your question to our support team to look at your issue. They will contact you shortly through the email you provided. Thank you and have a good day!

  20. I am working in Captivate 8 and am having an issue where I complete the slide notes and use the “text-to-speech” function followed by closed captioning. However, after completing a series of 10-15 slides when I go back through and check them, I have slide notes that have disappeared from one slide and magically appeared on another slide. The audio is not impacted (the audio is correct), but the closed caption text is incorrect when it displays and also in the slide notes. Does anyone have an idea of why that may be happening? Thanks.

  21. Hi – my client has asked for the closed captions to remain onscreen after the VO stops. I’ve tried to accomplish this by appending some silence to the end of the audio track and pausing the slide, with inconsistent results. Is there a better way?

  22. Hi Dennis,

    Great question. I have forwarded this to our tech support. They should be in touch with you shortly.

  23. Hi,
    I am generating TTS from Slide Notes in Captivate 8, however I am having some speed and pronunciation issues. I would love to use VTML; however I need to also use Closed Captioning. Whenever I change the slide notes text, this is of course what appears as my CC. Is there any way to accomplish adjusting the TTS in Slide Notes without affecting the CC?

  24. Hi Shannon!

    This one goes beyond my usual understanding of Captivate, so I’m going to pass it along to our developers to see if they can help you through. If you haven’t already, I’d also suggest that you contact Adobe through their support forums. They could also help!

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