Microsoft Word: Transcribe or Dictate Audio With Word Online

Microsoft Word is a great app for writing but we’ve always wanted an easy way to convert speech to text within this app. As journalists, we spend way too much time transcribing recorded audio from interviews and even converting voice notes into written text. Microsoft recently launched a new feature for Word with which you can do both those things. Follow this guide as well tell you the easy steps that let you transcribe audio in Microsoft Word.

Microsoft Word: How to transcribe an audio file

To start transcribing an audio file in Microsoft Word, follow these steps.

  1. Go to Microsoft Word online and log in to your account.
  2. After you have logged in, create a new document.
  3. In the Home tab, hit the down arrow right next to Dictate and click Transcribe.
  4. You’ll now see two options — Upload audio and Start recording.
  5. Go ahead and hit Upload audio to upload an audio file for transcription. This takes a little while so don’t close the window or refresh the page while your file uploads. One more thing to note is that you can only upload audio files in wav, M4a, mp4 and mp3 formats.
  6. Once this is done, the transcription will be available to you in the pane right below.
  7. Now that your file is transcribed, you can edit a segment by clicking the pencil icon. After you’re done making the changes, hit the tick icon to confirm.
  8. Besides, you can also add the whole transcription to a document by clicking Add all to document or you can even add a specific section by hovering over the cursor over the section and clicking +.
  9. You can also play around with the audio controls if you want to hear the audio file for making corrections.
  10. Apart from uploading audio, you can also record your audio and transcribe in real time.
  11. To do that, again from the Home tab, hit the down arrow right next to Dictate and click Transcribe.
  12. Click Start Recording to begin.
  13. Once you’re done recording, hit Save and transcribe now to save your file.
  14. After this, you can repeat the earlier steps to edit or make changes.

Transcribe audio to text free online

If you’re looking for alternatives that offer much of the same functionality, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Check out these other options. is a good option for someone who wants to record and take notes in real time. Otter is a paid service that’s available online as well as on smartphones. All you need to do is sign up with your email ID and you’re good to go. It is also pretty easy to use. You can simply import an audio file for transcription or you can record audio in real time. Besides, when your audio has been transcribed, you get options to edit it, share it or you can even export the text or audio if you prefer. Otter offers up to 600 minutes per month on the free tier. However, if you really like the services and don’t mind spending on the features, you can get Otter Premium for $9.99 a month (roughly Rs. 735) or $99.99 a year (roughly Rs, 7,355). Besides, there’s also Otter for Teams that lets you transcribe Zoom meetings. This costs $30 a month (roughly Rs. 2,207) or $720 annually (roughly Rs. 52,970).


Descript is another great transcription service, but unlike Otter, it is only available as an app for Windows and Mac. So, once you have the app installed on your computer, all you need to do is sign up for the service and you’re ready to transcribe. Descript has all the options that let you record, add an audio file, edit it, share it etc., but the catch here is that you only get three hours of transcription time on the free tier. If you want to continue using Descript, you’ll either have to go for a Creator account that costs $15 a month (roughly Rs. 1,107) or if you want the best of the best, you can opt for the Pro account that costs $30 a month (roughly Rs. 2,207).

Google Docs

Google Docs might not be as feature-rich as the other transcription services on this list, but if you simply want to take notes while speaking, then look no further than Google’s offering. To start recording your voice, open Google Docs on your computer > create a new document > click Tools > click Voice typing. Now, all you need to do is speak and Docs will do the rest for you. Of course, you’ll have to tweak your document a bit, but isn’t tweaking a document better than writing a complete one? And the good part is that all of this is free.

Write it down in the comments if you prefer Google Docs voice-typing or are you willing to pay the premium for other transcription services.

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