How to Transcribe Using Express Scribe

by Contributor

Express Scribe is a professional grade transcription program that allows you to make written copies of interviews, meetings and other recorded speech. The program doesn't automatically do the transcription for you, although speech recognition is an available option, but it does support variable speed playback and a transcription pedal, both of which are critical to time efficiency when transcribing.

Download and install Express Scribe, if you already haven't.

Attach your foot pedal to the computer. If you don't have one to use, don't worry. Express Scribe allows you to use hot keys in order to perform the same functions.

Load the audio file you're going to transcribe. A simple way to do this is by opening the folder containing the audio file. Then, drag and drop the file into the main Express Scribe window.

Open a text file into which you can transcribe the audio data. Express Scribe will automatically create a Word document if you click on its icon in the main window. If Microsoft Word isn't installed on your system, simply open a new document in whichever word processor is available to you.

Open the File menu and click on "Settings." Look at the options in the "Rewind and Fast Forward" field. Express Scribe lets you change the amount of recorded time it skips when the fast forward and rewind buttons are pressed. The default is half a second, but you can change this by altering the values in the "Step(ms)" fields.

Locate the "Speed" slider in the bottom right corner of the main window. Use it to adjust the dictation playback speed until it meshes well with your typing ability.

Open the Settings menu and click on "Pedal and Hot Keys...". Make a note of the assigned hot key functions so that you don't have to continually switch between Express Scribe and your word processor during the transcription.

Press the play button and begin transcribing.