Microsoft 365 now includes Transcription for Word

The business software can transcribe live or previously recorded audio and lets users add all or part of the transcription directly to an associated document.

Transcribe in Word was launched on August 24, 2020, and is poised to compete with other manual and automated transcription services like Rev, GoTranscripts, Descript, and Otter.ai. The tool also gives Microsoft Word and its Dictate tool a competitive advantage against the Google Docs voice typing feature. 

Transcribe in Word provides valuable features for podcasters, interviewers, and journalists. The tool can record audio and save the file to OneDrive, or it will transcribe a previously recorded file. It automatically recognizes different speakers and lets you edit their names. The tool also timestamps both the transcript and the audio file, making for easy navigation within a recorded conversation.

New Transcribe in Word feature available via Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome

The tool is currently available to Microsoft 365 subscribers who log in through the Edge or Chrome browsers. That makes the feature particularly useful for creators who already subscribe to the Microsoft suite, as they don’t have to pay for an outside service for basic transcription needs.

The value of transcriptions

To make a podcast stand out and improve its accessibility for the hearing impaired, many creators supplement their podcast recordings with complete or partial transcripts. A transcript can also improve a podcast’s site standing in search by providing search engines with detailed content that would otherwise remain un-crawlable within the recording. 

Human transcription services are accurate but expensive and time consuming, whereas AI-driven tools often require a lot of manual editing to make the transcript readable. Transcribe in Word brings relative ease to the laborious task with its connections to other Microsoft products within 365 and Word itself,

The future of transcription

As more content creators turn to podcasts, video, and social media niches to find and lock in an owned audience, the technology will continue to improve. Recently, Descript released a filler word detection feature in its software, and Rev added an AI-driven automated transcription service to its existing human transcription features. 

We can also expect to see these tools included in more of our daily-use business and personal content creation software, whether software providers build their own transcription software or partner with existing services. It will be interesting to see the accuracy and value of Transcribe for Word in relation to human transcription.

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Tamara Scott is a writer and content strategist based in Nashville. With a background in English education, she plans and writes clear, instructive content for marketers and technology users of all skill levels. Follow @t_scottie