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M365 spotlight: Transcribe in Word

Published by Phoebe | Blog | 13 October, 2020

They say that talking to yourself is the first sign of madness, but now it could be the key to increasing your productivity. 

Dictate button in word

Microsoft has added a new feature to the online version of Word, allowing M365 subscribers to transcribe audio directly. Transcribe in Word can capture and transcribe audio from your computer’s microphone, or from existing audio and visual files. This means that, not only can you give your fingers a break by speaking instead of typing, you can create transcripts of recorded conversations or meetings for future reference. 

Transcribe button in Word Online

The feature also comes with a number of impressive extras. It can detect different speakers in a conversation and provide a side by side view of the recording and the transcript for easy comparison and editing. Although Microsoft has imposed a five hour limit on transcribing uploaded content, there is no limit to the amount of your own content that you can transcribe. At present the feature only works for recordings in English, but support for other languages is in the works. 

Microsoft is primarily targeting Transcribe in Word at journalists and students, but its potential business applications are clear. With you and your staff once again being advised to work from home, the option to quickly convert remote meetings into text could prove invaluable. 

The transcripts are good but not perfect, and a certain amount of editing will be required. However, this is nothing compared to the time and effort you could save.