Microsoft’s new Transcribe in Word feature is perfect for anyone that needs to transcribe conversations, like students and journalists. You can either record audio live or upload recorded audio, and Word will automatically transcribe a discussion and separate sections by speakers. Best of all, it’s free for Microsoft 365 subscribers.
To start, the Transcribe in Word feature only works on the web version of Word. You’ll head to the Word live site, and either start a recording or upload one. If you’re recording a conversation live, Word can listen to your microphone and your computer’s audio, which helps you transcribe a video call.
If you prefer, you can record something ahead of time, then upload it to Word for transcription. Word accepts .mp3, .wav, .m4a and .mp4 files. In either case, Microsoft will identify different speakers and separate out the transcribed words accordingly.
When you’re recording live you won’t see the transcription in real-time—Microsoft said its testing found that to be distracting, so hid it from view. When you read the transcription later, you can click on sections to hear the audio that generated the words. That’s helpful if the transcription gets something wrong.
Microsoft says it plans to bring Transcribe in Word to iOS and Android down the road but didn’t mention the desktop version. You’re also limited to five-hours of audio each month. That’s half of what Otter.ai offers free of charge, but unlike Otter, live recordings are done in high quality and automatically loaded to your OneDrive account.
You can access Transcribe for Word today on the program’s web app.