In transcription, there are two types of professionals. There are those who type every single word from the very first second of audios to the last one. There is also the other group that uses speech to text automated software’s which helps make transcription worthwhile. I basically fall in the group of transcribers who use speech to text automated software for my transcription and Google docs have made it quite easy for ‘my group’ and me to thrive in our transcription profession.
If you are still typing every single word of audios when transcribing in 2021 then you either don’t respect technology or you are just an individual who enjoys typing because there is no other reason why you shouldn’t be using tools that have been developed to make your work less cumbersome. If you have done transcription for a long time, then you know that from time to time you will have to work on files that have pathetic audios with accents that you can’t keep up with. This is exactly where automated speech to text software comes in handy.
A lot of speech to text software in the market today either have a limit on the number of minutes you can transcribe or require users to pay a subscription fee in order for them to access it. Google docs have become a lot of transcribers’ holy grail because it has no time limit and is very free, meaning you don’t have to pay any subscription fee.
Docs, Google’s free, cloud-based response to Microsoft Word, has a dictation software tool called Voice Typing. It is important to note that this tool has no plugins because it comes already pre-installed. In simpler terms a voice typing software is one where you speak, it listens, and then it automatically transcribes what you say onto a Google Doc. The feature is intended for people who cannot easily type or who prefer to dictate notes. For transcription, you can listen to audio and instead of typing everything you hear, you can basically read it out loud to the software and it will type it for you. That seems like a lot of work alright, but it has been tried and proven that you can place your audio recording close to your phone or machine and the software will automatically type out what it hears. In most instances’ audios work, but the most accurate way to do it is by listening to your audio and then reading it out to the software tool.
You will be surprised by how accurate this tool is. A lot of Speech to text software cannot differentiate between “their” and “they’re” or denote different names correctly, but this software is as good as they get. It can also accurately denote Spanish words and any other languages that you would love to use.
A step-by-step guide on how you can transcribe your audios using Google Docs:
1. Find a quiet space
It is very important to find a silent place when you want to use Google Doc’s voice typing tool. Just like when doing normal transcription, it is advisable to work in a quiet place where there is no sound destruction that would lead you to not hear words easily and correctly. Apart from that general rule, when using Google Doc’s voice typing tool, it is important to be in a quiet place so that what you read out loud isn’t denoted wrongly by the software tool.
If you are in a noisy place where there is a lot of background noise, it will be hard for the voice tool to get you an accurate transcript of your audio.
2. Plug yourself in
Always be sure to use a plugin when listening to your recorded audio. As much as some say that the Google voice tool has no capacity to do a direct transcription from a device speaker, it denotes some sound from time to time that might act as background noise when you are recording your voice. You need to make sure that the voice tool can only hear your voice and not the audio recording.
Use earphones or headphones to listen to the recording, so that when you speak, the Voice Typing tool only hears your voice, not the recording. If you don’t use any form of a plugin, then you will have an inaccurately transcribed transcript. Silence, when using the Google Docs voice typing tool is very important.
3. Open a blank Google Doc
This is self-explanatory because for you to use the Google Doc voice typing tool you should have an open and blank Google Doc.
For those of you who don’t know how to open a new blank page, all you have to do is go to the Google Doc home page, and click “start a new document.” It is the same thing as opening a new word document but, in this case, it is a Google Doc.
This is where your transcript will be typed when you read out loud to the voice typing tool. It is important to have a new blank page so that at least you know exactly where your transcript will be located and how it is named after you save it.
4. Open the Voice Typing tool
Once you have opened a blank Google Doc, you need to open the voice typing tool on the document.
Many people usually forget this step and then conclude that the voice typing tool is faulty or is not working. This is really the most important step in this article because without the voice typing tool open there is no typing that will take place on a Google Doc unless you are doing it manually and that is not what we are trying to do.
To open the Voice typing tool, you can use the shortcut Command+ Shift+ S or you can use the drop-down menu under “Tools tab” and select “Voice Typing”.
5. Ensure the Voice Typing button appears
After you open the voice typing tool, ensure that the typing button actually appears. Just like any software, you will come across malfunctions and this should not deter you from trying again and again. Sometimes you will open the voice typing tab and the voice recording button doesn’t appear. All you have to do is to close your Google Docs and open it again.
When the recording button appears, be sure to click on it. It usually appears on the left side of your document.
6. Ensure your microphone is turned on and your language is set
Anytime you want to use the Google Doc’s voice typing tool, always make sure that your microphone is on and working. The working part is the most paramount because it might be on and not working, so you must ensure that your microphone actually works and works well. Devices and microphones vary, so check your computer manual for instructions. Microphone settings are typically in the System Preferences on a Mac or the Control Panel on a PC.”
As I mentioned this voice typing tool is compatible with a lot of different languages inclusion of accents and dialects. How cool is that? I’ll let you judge once you start using it. Be sure to always select the language you want to voice type. Use the drop-down menu on the recording button to select the language you’ll be speaking in.
7. Click the recording button, and begin speaking
Once you have ensured that your microphone works well and you have selected the language you will speak in, you can click the recording button and begin speaking.
You should click on the recording button and the microphone icon will turn red to show that it is working so you can start recording. This is where you will listen to your recording as you speak it out loud for the tool to type it out.
While you’re transcribing, don’t close the Google Doc window or click into another window. If you do, the Voice Tool will stop listening and transcribing. Always make sure that you speak clearly and a very normal to loud tone and at a normal pace, not too slow or too fast.
8. Go through the transcript as you transcribe.
It is important to go through your transcript as the voice typing tool transcribes it. This will be like proofreading your transcript to make sure that the tool types out accurate words and statements. Also, glitches occur when using automated tools, so it is important to be very keen to rectify any glitch that you might come across. If the tool stops transcribing while you continue to speak, just click the Voice Typing tool button to turn it off, then click it again to turn it on.
These steps are so easy to follow, and once you get used to them, typing out your audio transcripts will be so easy and enjoyable for you. To recap, all you need to do when using a Google Doc for your transcription is to:
- Find a quiet space. …
- Plug yourself in. …
- Open a blank Google Doc. …
- Open the Voice Typing tool. …
- Ensure the Voice Typing button appears. …
- Ensure your microphone is turned on and your language is set. …
- Click the recording button, and begin speaking. …
- Go through as you transcribe.
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