Microsoft Word has become the go-to software for creating documents. Along with 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 according to 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 Microsoft 365 subscriber. Open your browser and sign 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 part of the window.
If you would like to download an audio file for transcription, you can do so by clicking “Download Audio”. We will focus on doing this directly via “Start recording”.
You may be prompted to allow Microsoft to access your microphone.
Recording starts automatically, accompanied by a timer. Don’t worry, as there is no time limit for recording – it’s just there to let you know how long your recording will be. It is recommended that you speak slowly and clearly so that Word can easily understand and transcribe everything you say.
You can stop recording if you need a break. When finished, click on “Record and Transcribe Now”.
Microsoft Word may take a few minutes to transcribe the audio. When finished, you will see the transcript appear in the same pane. Each section will also have a timestamp and the name of the speaker (in addition to the transcribed text). If Microsoft detects more than one speaker, the distinct text spoken by each will be indicated by “Speaker 1”, “Speaker 2”, and so on. If there is only one speaker, it will be referred to as “Speaker”.
As you would expect from an automated transcription, there may be inaccurate transcribed text. You can easily edit a section of the transcript by hovering the mouse over the incorrect text and clicking on the pen icon.
You can also change the name of the speaker. You can replace it with the actual name of the speaker to make it easier to sort the text later. To do this, simply change the speaker name and activate the option next to “Change all speakers”. Click the check mark when you are done.
If you’re not sure what you said or who said what while transcribing, just use the playback controls to listen to your audio recording again. Functions include options to increase / decrease playback speed, rewind, play / pause and fast forward recording respectively.
Once you are 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 to the document.
Using an audio recording for transcription
If you are opposed to live recording, you can also use an audio file for the transcription. In the Transcribe menu, click on “Upload Audio” to select your audio. You can download these types of audio files:
Once the file is selected, Microsoft will begin to transcribe the audio file. You can edit the transcript once it’s completed, just like you edit a live recording.
If this feature isn’t right for you, there are plenty of other ways to convert audio to text.
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