The new transcription and voice commands in Microsoft Word will save you time

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  • 10 months ago
  • Posted: August 26, 2020 at 3:37 am

Microsoft has today launched the Transcribe in Word, a new enhancement in Microsoft 365 meant to harness the power of your voice so you can spend less time and energy creating your best work and focus on what matters most. Transcribe converts speech (recorded directly in Word or from an uploaded audio file) to a text transcript with each speaker individually separated. The feature allows you to record conversations directly in Word for the web, and then transcribe them automatically. 

“Transcribe detects different speakers so after you finish recording, you can easily follow the flow of the transcript. After your conversation, you can revisit parts of the recording by playing back the time-stamped audio and you can even edit the transcript if you see something amiss,” Dan Parish, Microsoft’s Principal Group PM Manager – Natural User Interface & Incubation said in a blog post.  

Basically, MS Word is getting additional functions on its dictation feature that lets you use speech-to-text to author content in Office with a microphone and reliable internet connection. Users will now be able to upload audio or videos recorded outside of Word as one may decide to use other gadgets to capture the content. So whether you record on your phone or via any of the calling and video conferencing software, you will still be able to upload and transcribe your recording since the enhancement supports MP3, WAV, M4A, or MP4 files.  Dictate with voice commands in Word is available in Word for the web and Office mobile for free when signed in to your Microsoft account while the voice commands are coming to Word desktop and Word for Mac apps towards the end of the year, according to Microsoft.

Transcribe in Word, is available in ‘Word for the web’ for all Microsoft 365 subscribers and is supported in the new Microsoft Edge or Chrome browsers. With Transcribe, users are completely unlimited in how much they can record and transcribe within Word for the Web. Microsoft says the current limit for uploaded recordings is five hours per month and each uploaded recording is limited to 200mb. The corporation also says the Transcribe in Office mobile will be coming by the end of the year. Transcribing audio into English (EN-US) is the only language supported, but Microsoft is working to find support for more languages.

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“Transcribe in Word enables you to stay focused on your conversation in the moment, saves you valuable time and energy by transcribing it for you, and is integrated into Word so you can focus on the message of your document and not fuss around with different windows or applications,” Microsoft said.

“Say things like “start list” or “bold last sentence” to let your ideas flow without stopping to adjust your text. Voice commands understand a variety of symbols so you can add things like “ampersand” and “percent sign”, and you don’t have to sound like a robot! We’ve based commands on the way people naturally talk so that you can capture your ideas easily. So saying things like “dot dot dot” when you can’t remember “ellipses” works just as well,” the blog post read.

Transcribe in Word also allows you to work with others since you can collaborate using your voices too. Microsoft says the user’s audio files will be sent to Microsoft and used only to provide you with the transcription service and when it is done, your audio and transcription results will not be stored. You can find more information on how the feature works here: Transcribe your recordings.  

Read Also: The four champs who bagged the Microsoft Game of Learners hackathon.

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