Microsoft Word has become the go-to software for creating documents. Alongside the traditional downloadable Office Suite, Microsoft also offers an online version of Microsoft Word as part of the Microsoft 365 package. An additional feature available in the online version of Word is an audio transcription feature. This allows you to convert audio directly to text. The text can even be separated based on the audio speaker.
Here we show you how to transcribe audio in Microsoft Word 365.
Transcribe Audio in Microsoft Word
First, make sure you are a premium subscriber of Microsoft 365. Open your browser and log in to Microsoft Word on Microsoft 365.
Open the “Home” tab. Click the arrow next to “Dictate” and select “Transcribe” from the menu that appears.
The “Transcribe” pane will open in the right side of the window.
If you want to upload an audio for transcription, you can do so by clicking on “Upload audio.” We’ll focus on doing it directly through “Start Recording.”
You may be asked to give Microsoft permission to access your microphone.
The recording will start automatically, accompanied by a timer. Don’t worry, as there’s no time limit for the recording – it’s just there to let you know of how long your recording is. It’s recommended to speak slowly and clearly so Word can easily understand and transcribe everything you’re saying.
You can pause the recording in between if you need a break. Once done, click on “Save and Transcribe Now.”
Microsoft Word may take a few minutes to transcribe the audio. Once done, you’ll see the transcription appear in the same pane. Each section will also have a timestamp and the speaker’s name (in addition to the transcribed text). If Microsoft detects multiple speakers, the separate text spoken by each will be denoted by “Speaker 1,” “Speaker 2” and so forth. If there’s only a single speaker, it’ll be denoted by “Speaker.”
As is expected from an automated transcription, there may be some inaccurate transcribed text. You can easily edit a section of the transcript by hovering your mouse over the incorrect text and clicking on the pen icon.
You can also edit the name of the speaker. You can change this to the speaker’s actual name to make it easier to sort the text out later. To do this, simply edit the name of the speaker, and enable the option next to “Change All Speaker.” Click the checkmark when done.
If you’re unsure of what you said or who said what during a transcription, simply use the playback controls to listen to your audio recording again. The functions include options to increase/decrease the playback speed, rewind, play/pause and fast forward the recording respectively.
Once you’re finally done and satisfied with the transcript, simply add it to the document by selecting the “Add All to Document” button at the bottom of the pane.
This will add both the recording and the content of the transcript in the document.
Using an Audio Recording for Transcription
If you’re opposed to doing a live recording, you can also use an audio file for transcription. In the Transcribe menu, click on “Upload Audio” to select your audio. You can upload these audio file types:
Once the file is selected, Microsoft will begin to transcribe the audio file. You can edit the transcription once it’s done, similar to the way you edit a live recording.
If this feature is not of your liking, there are many other ways you can convert audio to text.