Blog Archive

Subtitle your Presentations



When we run webcasts and presentations, we like to include subtitles.  There are a couple of ways we’ve done this with the Microsoft tools and one of those methods is now in the ubiquitous PowerPoint.

Microsoft have done very well in the last few years improving the accessibility tools in Windows and Office and much of this has to do with the improved AI capabilities enabled by Azure.

Office has included a dictate feature for some time, first in OneNote, followed by the mainstream applications.  Dictate allowed users to create notes and documents using voice and also to edit documents and control the interface.

Dictate in PowerPoint now goes a step further by adding real-time subtitling to your slide shows.  There is a bit of a lag and it’s not perfect but it’s easy to use, helpful and included in the application.

To use the feature, open a PowerPoint presentation and click the Slide Show tab and choose your subtitle options, including the languages.  This is not a translation service and I haven’t determined how good the translations might be but the subtitling feature accepts various spoken languages and can display the subtitles in another language.

Subtitle feature in PowerPoint 2019


Next, run the slideshow as normal.  You can use presenter view in the normal way if you choose to.

On the primary presentation screen, move the mouse to view the overlaid toolbar and click the subtitle icon.  PowerPoint is now listening and will display subtitles.

Here’s a video of the feature in action.  I’m using a small headset here and I haven’t tuned my microphone and the results are pretty impressive.  I spotted a couple of minor mistakes during testing but for live, automated subtitling, I think this is excellent.


The subtitling feature is not available if you are recording your slideshow to video, which I think is a big loss as that’s a great way to create accessible presentations that can be viewed later.

And the final point.  The subtitling does not show swear words (although I probably haven’t tested this exhaustively) and as detailed in this previous blog post, I still can’t get this feature to create a £ sign.


Protection from Phishing



You are no doubt aware of phishing attacks.  When emails arrive purporting to be from your bank or the tax office with an urgent message trying to prompt the recipient to click a login button.  The login button links to a web page that looks like the official organisation but of course, is not and the site is trying to gain your login information so they can use it on the legitimate site to access your account.

Spear-phishing is more targeted.  An example is where an email is sent from a person you know and potentially trust.  It might even be a senior figure at your company.  The email will ask for something quickly and again, his is an attempt to catch people whilst they are unwary and trick them into paying a fake invoice or revealing sensitive information. 

Spear Phishing Attack

Here is a snip from an email account and as you can see, we have a message flagged for high importance from the CEO.  Naturally we open it and want to action this straight away.

Outlook (and the Outlook web app) try to catch these attacks and warn the user in a clear way.


When we open the email (and before we even hit reply), Outlook displays a prominent warning that, although the name is similar to someone we receive email from regularly, the email address is unusual.

Outlook 2019 Spear Phishing Attack Warning


This is a great improvement and will hopefully help to reduce these attacks which are easy to fall prey to.