If you are looking to transcribe an audio or video file, using the correct online transcription tools can make things a lot easier for your translation services.
They can help you transcribe audio files by taking some of the work off your shoulders. That’s why throughout this article, we’re going to take a look at the best online transcription tools to use.
No matter whether you’re looking to start transcribing your own files or do it as a profession, you should be able to find some useful programs on this list.
Free Online Transcription Tools
Before we talk about some of the paid versions of online transcription tools, we wanted to highlight some of the free online transcription options out there.
- FTW Scriber
- Words Free Features
Some of these transcription programs do have paid versions, but we’ve explained them in full detail below.
OTranscribe is one of our favorite pieces of free transcription software. You can access it directly in your web browser, meaning you won’t need to download anything onto your computer.
What OTranscribe does is that it allows you to control the audio file and the text editor in the same window via your keyboard.
This means it eliminates the additional hassle of having to switch tabs. What we also liked about OTranscribe is that it auto-saves your work.
Using a piece of transcription software like OTranscribe can improve your speed a lot.
Plus, if you are looking to manually transcribe a YouTube video, this tool can also play out YouTube videos in the same tab.
One thing to note about this free transcription software though is that it can only save files as an RTF file.
So, if you are looking for another file type just make sure to copy & paste the transcription into another document where you can save it as your preferred file type.
Another great tool that is very popular within the transcription industry is ExpressScribe. This free transcription app can be downloaded to your computer, but also has a paid version you can use if you wish.
What this tool does is that it allows you to control your keys via a foot pedal. This, of course, has the benefit that you won’t need to take your hands off the keyboard to control your audio files.
For professional transcribes this tool or something similar is a must, as it helps you transcribe your audio file much more efficiently.
3. FTW Scriber
Our third choice of best transcription software is FTW Scriber.
This is also a downloadable tool and allows you to manage your audio files easier while listening to them.
It’s simply a small orange box that you can move to your preferred spot on your screen.
Inside the box, you can control the audio. This allows you to also control the audio inside of the same tab as your text file.
Now, you can manage the file easily which can be especially helpful for files that have a lot of background noise.
It can even be used on your phone or tablet for easy convenience.
The only not so good part of this free tool is that it’s only available for windows and android operating systems.
InqSqribe is another good option for more efficient and effective transcription.
What it does is quite similar to OTranscribe with the main difference being that it runs on your computer, so it will have to be downloaded.
But the unique thing about InqScribe that some of the other programs don’t have is the number of options it has to create shortcuts & snippets.
This allows you to insert entire phrases & frequently used expressions with ease to help you create transcripts in a shorter time.
The Transcribe program for automatic transcription is also a great free tool if you’re not looking for the highest accuracy. It allows you to convert your file to text automatically by recognizing your voice and guessing the words.
Now the keyword here is guessing, as no automatic AI transcribing software will ever create the same quality transcripts as humans.
If you need an accurate transcription of your audio / video files and you aren’t short on time, you should always go for a manual transcript.
But, luckily Transcribe also lets you work on your files manually. Plus, the cool thing about it is that it has some text expanders and other similar features to help you create a transcript of your audio and video files more efficiently.
It can also not only be used for audio but video too.
6. Word’s Free Features
Our final favorite free transcription tool is the free features that you will find inside of Word. These include autocorrect, Autotext, keyboard shortcuts & more.
If you feel the most comfortable typing transcripts in Word, then these definitely makes sense. You can also combine this with other programs on this list such as FTW Transcriber to manage everything easily.
This will allow you to transcribe at a higher speed because you will have the features inside of Word as well as easy access to the audio.
Other Transcription Tools Worth Mentioning
Of course, there are also some other great pieces of transcription tools out there. Below, we gave them a quick outline in case they sound of interest to you.
- Foot pedal
You probably know what a food pedal is, as we have mentioned briefly in this article. But, for a professional transcriptionist, this is key as it allows you to manage the audio with your foot i.e you don’t have to take your hands off the keyboard.
No matter what type of writing you’re doing, Grammarly will always be an extremely useful tool. When you transcribe audio or video files fast, it can be quite easy to mess up the grammar & spelling of words.
The Grammarly app gives you all the correct suggestions which improve your spelling accuracy. This can also be extremely useful for interviews where it can sometimes be hard to understand the speaker due to background noise.
This can also improve the quality of your overall transcription.
Occasionally, as a transcriptionist, you will have to edit audio. This might be when your clients send you several interviews that need to be cut into one, or something similar.
Here, you can use Audacity if you want to edit them easily. It’s completely free, so it’s a nice option.
You can also use it to clean up audio recordings if you want.
As you have seen throughout this article, there really are a lot of apps that can improve your transcription quality & efficiency.
Of course, you don’t have to use all of these free programs. But, there should be at least one that can help you.
If you have enjoyed this article, you can check out some of our recent posts on transcription below as you might enjoy them too.
Online Transcription Tools: Frequently Asked Questions
Last but not least we also wanted to cover some frequently asked questions about online transcription tools.
Which tools are best for a complete beginner?
If you’re a complete beginner and don’t like using other software than Word, we recommend starting with Word and combining it with FTW Scriber.
However, if you don’t mind using other software you can also try some of the others on this list. It all comes down to preference, so it would be quite hard to pick out one that is best.
Which tools can improve my quality?
Grammarly is a great tool to use to improve your overall spelling & grammar accuracy. Apart from that, most tools are there to help you be more efficient, instead of more accurate.
One of the best ways to improve your quality is to practice. With time, you will learn and your quality will improve.
When you start, you simply don’t have the experience, but that will change as you go along.
Which tools can help me transcribe faster?
Almost all of these programs can help you transcribe faster. Especially, any of the tools mentioned that can create keyboard shortcuts, or allow you to access everything in one tab, etc.
If you would like to learn more about transcribing faster, you can read how to transcribe faster to help your next transcription be quicker.