7 Tips to Make Transcription Easier

Transcribing the recorded audio from a meeting or interview is not easy. It goes like this: Type. Click “stop.” Type some more. Click “play” and begin typing as fast as you can. Click “stop” and type to catch up. Rewind so you can listen to it again. Wait, what did she say? Rewind again so you can review the entire document and make sure the words are all there.


Transcribing isn’t easy. If you’re not going to hire a transcription service, you can at least make the tedious task a little easier by following these hints to make transcription easier:

  1. Familiarize yourself with the players’ voices. Start your document with the names of the people who are speaking. Listen for a minute to make sure you can differentiate between them. If it’s easier, give them names such as “A” and “B” or numbers, which are shorter and therefore quicker to type.
  2. If you’re using Microsoft Word, use the Auto Correct function to pre-type some common phrases. If you know the audio is about a certain topic or phrase, add that phrase to your Word’s Auto Correct library. Then, you can simply type a shortened version, or initial letters, to save time as you’re typing.
  3. Slow down the audio playback. Most people speak far more quickly than we type. Slowing down the audio will help you capture what they are saying. The voices may sound odd, but it’ll be easier to keep up.
  4. Use quality headphones that cancel out noise. Noises around you will make it more difficult to hear the audio; cancel out the ambient so you can focus on what you are hearing and have fewer playbacks.
  5. Try computer software. There are several programs out there which can help cut down your time in transcribing, if only one person is speaking.  Note, however, you will still need to proof thoroughly for accuracy.
  6. Invest in a foot pedal. A foot pedal used with transcription software operates as the “start” and “stop,” freeing your fingers up for typing.
  7. Take breaks. Transcription can be tedious, and your fingers and brain will need a break every hour or so. Get up, stretch, and move around. When you come back, you will feel refreshed and ready to continue.

If you give these a try and still struggle to transcribe, let us help you turnaround that transcription in no time.