Transcribe Audio to Text in Microsoft Word

How to Transcribe Audio to Text in Microsoft Word

Although typing is the most common method of creating a Microsoft Word document, other options are available. For example, the Microsoft Word Transcribe feature is a convenient option if you are tired of constantly trying to improve your typing speed or prefer not to write.

Microsoft Word Transcribe allows you to convert speech to text. It comes in handy when transcribing a lecture or a Zoom meeting. However, this feature is only available to Microsoft 365 premium subscribers.

This article teaches how to convert speech to text using the MS Word Transcribe feature.

Transcribe Live Audio in Microsoft Word

Microsoft 365 allows users of Microsoft Word online to convert audio directly to text. Also, you have to be a premium subscriber, and there’s a five-hour limit on transcriptions. Below are the steps to transcribe live audio with Microsoft Word Transcribe.

To begin, ensure you have a microphone connected to the computer. It could be an in-built option or a separate mic that you can plug into the PC. However, ensure that the background noise doesn’t get in the way of your live-dictate.

● Step 1: Open Word Online and login if you’re not already signed in.

Open Word Online and login


● Step 2: Next, open a new Microsoft Word document. Click the ‘Home’ tab, and from the list of options available, touch the dropdown arrow next to the ‘Dictate’ tab.

touch the dropdown arrow next to the ‘Dictate’ tab


● Step 3: From the dropdown, select ‘Transcribe’ to proceed.

select ‘Transcribe’ to proceed


● Step 4: If you haven’t transcribed previously, you’ll need to grant Microsoft access to your microphone.

grant Microsoft access to your microphone


● Step 5: A message will appear with two options. You can either upload an existing recording or start a new one. Select ‘Start Recording’ to proceed.

Select ‘Start Recording’ to proceed


● Step 6: Once you select this, the timer will start, and you can begin speaking. However, the transcription doesn’t take place as you speak.

● Step 7: You can pause the recording and proceed with the ‘Dictate’ button. Ensure you leave the transcribe pane open while the recording is going on.

proceed with the ‘Dictate’ button


● Step 8: Once you’re done with the recording, hit the ‘Save and Transcribe Now’ button.

hit the ‘Save and Transcribe Now’ button

It could take a few minutes for Word to transcribe the recording and upload it to OneDrive. This depends on the length of your recording. After the transcription, the transcript will appear in the same pane the recording took place.

Every session comes with a timestamp, speaker name, and transcribed text. When Microsoft detects multiple speakers, it separates the text by speakers.

Transcribe Uploaded Audio File in Microsoft Word

As one of the best transcription software to convert audio to text online, you can also use the Microsoft Transcription feature to convert audio files. This could be handy when users want to transcribe Zoom meetings or lectures.

Follow the steps below to transcribe the uploaded audio file with Microsoft Word Transcribe.

● Step 1: Sign into Microsoft 365 and then open Word Online to proceed.

● Step 2: On the ‘Home’ tab, select the dropdown arrow next to ‘Dictate’ to proceed, and then select ‘Transcribe’ from the menu that appears.

select ‘Transcribe’ from the menu that appears

● Step 3: This opens a ‘Transcribe’ pane. Select ‘Upload Audio’ to proceed. You can upload MP4, WAV, MP3, and M4A audio file types. 

Select ‘Upload Audio’ to proceed


● Step 4: This would open a new window. Navigate to the audio file location and select it. Once you pick the file, click ‘Open.’

Once you pick the file, click ‘Open.’


● Step 5: Microsoft will automatically start transcribing the audio file. Again, the file size determines how long it would take to transcribe. 

● Step 6: Once Microsoft finishes transcribing the audio file, it will appear in the pane where the audio file is. You can edit the transcription and save it to OneDrive when you’re done. 

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How to Edit and Import the Transcript

You might notice that the transcript doesn’t reflect the recording audio accurately. Luckily you can edit the transcription whenever you want. Follow the steps provided below to edit the transcript when you want.

1. How to Edit the Transcript

To edit any section of your transcript, do the following:

● Step 1: Hover the mouse over the text section that needs to be corrected.

● Step 2: A pencil icon will appear; click on it to start editing the transcript in this section. Like every other text in a browser, you can select a section of the text, right-click and view the options available.

right-click and view the options available


● Step 3: Copy or search any part of the text.

Copy or search any part of the text


● Step 4: Use the available playback controls to revisit the audio recording if you want to listen to a part of it. The playback buttons include volume, play, pause, forward, and back.

Use the available playback controls


An excellent addition is the speed control that allows you to change the playback speed from slow to twice normal when you need to skip through the recording. 

change the playback speed


2. How to Rename the Speaker

Another editing feature you can explore on Microsoft Word Transcribe is the changing of speakers’ names. For example, suppose there’s more than one speaker in the audio transcription.

Microsoft distinguishes them as Speaker 1, Speaker 2, and Speaker 3. However, if this is confusing, change it to the speaker’s proper name. Follow the steps below to rename speakers in the Microsoft transcription.

● Step 1: Hover the mouse over the name and hit the pencil icon that appears.

● Step 2: Input the new names.

● Step 3: Ensure you check the ‘Change All Speaker’ box to change the name throughout the transcript.

check the ‘Change All Speaker’ box


● Step 4: Once you change the name, click ‘Done’ to save the changes.

3. How to Add the Transcript to Your Document

You can add a part or the entire transcript to a Word document in many ways. However, the most common choice is the ‘Add to Document’ option at the bottom of the Transcribe pane.

the ‘Add to Document’ option


Once you select this option, the software will add the recording and content of the transcript to your document. You can click the audio link to listen again.

However, you can only edit the text, not the audio, in the Word document. Also, when added, the ‘Audio File’ and ‘Transcript’ lines will be in ‘Heading 1’ while others will be in ‘Normal’ style. 

only edit the text


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1. Why can’t I find the Transcribe option on my Microsoft Word?

The Microsoft Word Transcribe feature only works for Word Online, not the application. Also, you can only sign into Microsoft 365 using the latest version of Chrome and Microsoft Edge browsers, and the transcribe experience works with 80+ locales.

2. Is it free to use the MS Word Transcribe?

No, it isn’t. The MS Word Transcribe feature is only available for Microsoft 365 premium subscribers. In addition, you can only access the feature when you open Word on a web browser.

3. Are there any other alternatives to transcribing audio to text? 

Yes, there are. The Notta Transcribe Audio to Text Online tool is an excellent option for accurat