How to transcribe your audio to text fast

In 2020, transcribing an audio to text is no longer as tedious as it once used to be. Transcribe is the most comprehensive transcription tool that helps you transcribe audio at least 2-3x faster.

Here's a step-by-step guide to help you transcribe your audio to text:

1. Choose between automatic transcription and self transcription

Transcribe audio to text using automatic transcription or self transcription.

Automatic transcription: For clear and well-recorded audio, Transcribe offers state-of-the-art automatic conversion of audio to text. Get started now.

Self transcription: Prefer to Transcribe on your own? Transcribe 2-3x faster by using features like voice typing (dictation) and our integrated editor + media player. Skip to Step 3 to learn more.

2. For machine transcription, click on "New Automatic Transcription"

Before uploading the file to be transcribed, you can set various options such as choosing to see a preview first or configuring timecodes to be inserted in the transcription.

Various automatic transcription options.

After upload, you will receive an email as soon as the transcription is ready.

3. For self-transcription, click on "New Self Transcription"

Click on "Choose audio/video" to select the recording that you wish to transcribe. We support common audio and video file formats.

Upload audio for self transcription.

Once you choose the file, an audio player will open up right above the text editor.

4. Control the playback of the audio file

Transcribe provides handy keyboard shortcuts to control the playback of the audio. For example, you can slow it down, rewind or skip forward using these shortcuts.

  • Esc: pause/resume
  • F1: slow down
  • F2: speed up
  • F3: rewind 2 seconds
  • F4: forward 2 seconds
  • F6: insert timestamp

Mac users: switch your F1-F11 keys to function as standard function keys

5. You are now ready to transcribe the audio by using Dictation (voice typing)

Click on the green "Dictate" button. Once it turns orange, you can begin speaking.

When the green dictate button turns orage, you can start dictating.

Simply listen to the audio in a headphone and repeat what you hear in your own voice. Transcribe's fast & highly accurate dictation engine will convert your voice to text.

We typically find this method to be 2-3x faster than typing.

While we work on improving the quality of fully-automated machine transcription, you can leverage dictation as a time-saving technique. We support English, Spanish, French, Hindi and almost all other European & Asian languages. Please read this detailed guide on converting your speech to text using dictation.

6. Transcribe audio by slowing it down

If you're unable to transcribe via voice typing, Transcribe's tightly integrated player & editor can still halve the time it would have otherwise have taken you switching between a media player and an editor, while juggling with a mouse and keyboard.

Integrated media player and editor.

You can slow the audio down, listen to it and just type along. Be sure to use the handy keyboard shortcuts mentioned in Step 4 to effortlessly control the audio playback to match your typing speed.

Transcribe will auto-save every keystroke. The transcribed text is stored in your browser and is not sent to our servers. This data is persisted even if you restart your browser or computer as long as you don't clear your browser's cookies or cache.

7. Use Templates and auto loop features for additional help

Be sure to explore the Templates feature using which you can set certain shortcuts to expand into longer words or sentences. For eg, you can set "S1:" to expand to "Speaker 1:" automatically, when you type "S1: ".

You can also use the auto-loop feature to get the audio to automatically pause for a few seconds while you type and then resume, without you having to press pause and play each time.

8. Configure a Foot Pedal for even more help

Using a foot pedal allows you to free up your hands to focus on typing while using your feet to control audio playback. If you do a lot of transcriptions or you're a professional transcriptionist, you can save yourself a lot of idle time using a foot pedal. Saving 2 seconds with every play/pause will quickly add up to a good increase in productivity, allowing you to hyper-optimize your workflow and do more transcriptions in less time.

Transcribe supports the following foot pedals:

  • Infinity USB Foot Pedal
  • Olympus RS26, RS27, RS28
  • vPedal vP-1 USB pedal
  • Philips ACC2310

After you load your audio, simply click on the foot pedal icon in the audio toolbar to get started.

9. When you are done, export your transcript

When you are done transcribing, you can export the text as a .doc file to your computer - just click the export icon in the toolbar above the editor. We affix the date and time to the end of the downloaded file's name so you can easily track multiple versions of your work.


Please refer to our FAQ page for potential answers. If you have any other questions or just want to say hello, feel free to email us at: