How To Transcribe Audio To Text – A Complete Step-By-Step Guide


As a professional audio transcription company, we know a thing or two about audio transcription to text.

That’s why we can be of great help if you’re looking to learn how to transcribe audio to text. Throughout this article, we’re going to walk you through the process step-by-step.

While transcription from audio can be done in various ways, we’re going to give you a general guideline that should be helpful to you.

How To Transcribe Audio To Text

If you’re looking to transcribe audio to text, ensure you have a word processor and audio player. Apart from your computer or laptop and some time, those are the only things you will need. There are also some other cool tools that you can use, that will make this process a little easier.

But, we’ll cover those at the end of this article. Alternatively, if you would like your file professionally transcribed, you can also contact us for a free quote.

1. Find a quiet space

The first step of your audio to text transcription would be to find a quiet place. Ideally, you will want somewhere with no background noise so that you can hear the recorded audio better.

This won’t only allow you to concentrate better, but it will also become easier to understand the audio. So go ahead and look for a quiet, and ideally silent place to transcribe your audio to text.

2. Get Set up

After you have found your quiet place, it’s time to get set up. If you don’t set up properly, it can make the whole process a lot harder and slower. So, take your equipment and set up properly.

Keep in mind that you have should easy access to your word processor and your audio recording.

This is important, as you will be rewinding the file quite frequently and it will stop you from having to switch tabs which will add a delay to your total time.

3. Find your shorthand

Things that appear constantly are the shorthand. This could for example be the speakers’ names.

So, go ahead and create a reference of shorthand for them. This will stop you from having to write out the names every time when transcribing the recording.

If you’re planning to share the transcription with someone else, you can give them the list of shorthand references or, you can replace them with the actual words at the end.

4. Start Typing

This is the main part of the audio to text transcription, it’s to start typing.

Play the file at your preferred speed, this may be on the regular x1, or it may be x0.75. Whatever it is, listen closely and type as you hear. But, if you need to rewind, make sure to do so. This is also why you must have easy access to the file, as it will stop you from having to switch tabs.

5. Edit

After you have recorded the initial draft, listen over it again while reading through the file you wrote out. This will allow you to pick up any errors that you missed the first time.

Be especially careful of any references, titles, or contexts. These can often be easy to miss when you are typing out the audio word for word.

Read Also: How long does it take to transcribe 1 hour’s worth of audio?

6. Export

Once you have edited the file, it should be ready to export as a transcribed text. What file type you need depends on the purpose of the file. If you’re using the file for your own purposes, a .doc file should do just fine. But, for other purposes, you might need another file type.

To be sure, check with whatever you are using the file to ensure that you are using the right file type. Some other common file types include PDF, TXT, HTML, and ODT.

Tips For Transcribing Audio To Text

Now that you know how to transcribe audio file to text, we just wanted to run you through some tips that will allow you to transcribe better and more efficiently.

Use The Correct Transcription Equipment

Our first tip is to use the correct transcription equipment for transcription audio to text. This is for both when you are recording and transcribing.

If you are looking to transcribe regularly, it would make sense to invest in using a device that is fast, so you don’t get caught up in between waiting for it. Plus, it can also be hard to rewind or skip sections which will make your job a lot harder.

Use Additional Tools Available To You

Our next tip is to use additional tools available to you to help you transcribe faster. There are quite a few. Below, we’ve explained some of those available.

  • Transcription Software

There are various pieces of software out there that will give you advanced options to convert audio and video better such as voice or speech to text. This can speed up the process by automatically converting the recording to written content. It is done by a machine, so it’s not the best quality and you’ll have to do some editor work to get it into good shape. There are many available online and are very easy to use. Simply click the upload button, select add, upload your recordings, select one speaker or multiple, then save and your automatic dictation will arrive by email. You will want to open and edit the file before sending it to your client.

  • Foot pedals

Foot pedals can also help you transcribe audio to text, as they allow you to control the audio file without taking your hands off the keyboard. This means, you can focus on writing, while controlling the audio file, so you’ll be a lot more productive.

  • Word’s Advanced Features

Word actually has some new advanced features itself such as autocomplete, autocorrect, or its built-in dictionary. These can be extremely useful as support for transcriptions.

  • Text expanders

To transcribe from audio to text more efficiently, consider using a text expander tool. They will help you write out words faster, so you can focus on the recording.

Remove Distractions

Quite obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people try to transcribe with their phone close to them, and around endless notifications.

Final Words

We hope you have enjoyed this article on how to transcribe audio to text. If you are looking to transcribe regularly, we do recommend following the tips outlined in this article as closely as possible.

Other than that, it’s just a case of practicing, as you’ll improve as you go along. The more you transcribe, the better you will become at it.

If you’re interested in our professional transcription of audio to text services, you can learn more here. We also translate audio to text if that is something you’re looking for.

Feel free to contact us first, or request a free quote online.

Read Also: How To Transcribe Faster

Transcribe Audio To Text: Frequently Asked Questions

Before we finish off, we just wanted to answer some frequently asked questions which you may have about transcribing audio to text.

Is there an easy way to convert audio?

If you’re looking for a human transcription, the easiest way is to sit down with the right set up and write the text as you listen. But, there is also some other software out there that can do the transcription for you. The only problem with these is that they are extremely inaccurate at times, meaning you’ll have to spend a couple of additional hours editing and guessing the words.

Can you transcribe an audio file?

If you’re wondering how to make a transcript of an audio file, how to transcribe a speech or how to properly transcribe audio file into text, it’s actually very simple!

You can do so simply by listening and typing as you speak. That being said, there are various tools out there today to help you transcribe more efficiently, such as speech to text recognition software or online transcription tools for audio files.

Can Word Transcribe Audio Files?

Interestingly, if you’re wondering how to listen to a Word document, Word does actually let you transcribe audio files. If you are just looking for a basic transcription for yourself and can deal with lots of errors and missing words, then it may be all you require.

But, if you’re in need of a high-quality and accurate transcription, then it will need to be done by humans to ensure accuracy.

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