Add live captions in OBS Studio

OBS Studio is a popular program used to stream to Twitch, YouTube, Facebook and other platforms. Learn about adding captions to a live stream using OBS Studio and Web Captioner.

Option 1: Closed Captioning

Closed captioning allows you to encode caption data into your stream, and viewers on streaming platforms like Facebook, Twitch or YouTube can toggle the "CC" button in their players to optionally turn on captions.

  1. Make sure you are using OBS Studio version 25 or later.
  2. Download and install the OBS Websocket plugin. (MacOS users: Due to this issue, you must use this MacOS installer until OBS Websocket releases a new version after 4.8.0.)
  3. Restart OBS if you currently have it open.
  4. In OBS, go to Tools > WebSockets Server Settings.
  5. Enable the WebSockets server and set the port number and password. The password is optional but recommended.
  6. Go to Web Captioner settings > Channels, select OBS Studio, and enter your server port and password from the last step.
  7. Add the channel and start captioning as usual.

You won't see captions in OBS, but if you stream to a service like Facebook, Twitch or YouTube that has a "CC" button, you will be able to toggle captions on and off there.

Option 2: Screen Capture

  1. Open Web Captioner and start captioning as usual.
  2. In OBS, create a new window capture source. Name it something descriptive like Captions, and click OK.
  3. In the window list, select the window that mentions Google Chrome and Web Captioner.
  4. You should now see captions in OBS. (If the Google Chrome window you're capturing appears black in OBS, you might need to temporarily disable hardware acceleration in Google Chrome in order to allow OBS to capture the window. Open Chrome settings, search for "hardware acceleration," disable the "Use hardware acceleration when available" setting, and then relaunch Chrome.)
  5. Use OBS's tools for cropping and positioning your captions on your stream.