Microsoft is updating Microsoft Word with a transcribe feature that is designed to intelligently transcribe audio like interviews and lectures.
Transcribe in Word works for the web version of Word via the Edge or Chrome browsers.
According to The Verge, the feature will eventually come to the iOS and Android versions of Word. With such functionality in the mobile app, it could make Transcribe in Word a viable alternative to transcription software like Otter.ai.
Transcribe in Word works by using the microphone of your device to make an audio recording, which when done will save with a transcription of the speaker or speakers – Microsoft said that Word can intelligently differentiate between speakers and label them accordingly.
You can also import a recording from another source for the software to transcribe in .mp3, .wav, .m4a, or .mp4 format. These uploaded audio files are limited to five hours of transcription per month, but original audio recorded in Word is unlimited.
For now, only US English is supported but Microsoft said it is “working on support for more languages.”
Once completed, you can edit lines if there are any errors, name the speakers, and quickly reference time stamps. You can then add the whole transcript to the Word document, or by individual line. This should prove particularly useful for reporters who have recorded a whole interview and want to quickly import quotes into an article they have written, all within one Word window.
This is a great feature for a widely used software program like Word to get, but it’s notable that it is for web. It’s unlikely that it’ll make its way to desktop but then again, the act of transcribing something in the first place usually relies on a portable device. But if you’re a student looking to record a lecture, make sure to open Word on your laptop in a browser on Wi-Fi, as the program you have installed isn’t getting the feature.