How to Transcribe Faster

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Most transcribers are self-employed and are paid by the page, so the faster they can transcribe audio to text, the more money they can make. Even transcribers who work for a corporation or other entity and are not being paid by the page will benefit from being able to transcribe more quickly.

  • Use a good-quality stereo headset. The better you can hear what you're transcribing, the more you will be able to type without having to go back over the audio again and again. Stereo is important if your transcribing machine has more than one channel.

  • Work in a quiet environment to maximize your ability to hear the audio. Even with headsets, outside noise can intrude on your ability to hear what you are trying to transcribe.

  • Create templates for your work. If you transcribe medical, legal or other documents on a regular basis, it's helpful to have templates set up for each type of work. All you have to do is fill in the necessary blanks and start typing, rather than having to re-create the documents over and over again. This will speed your transcription rate.

  • Create macros in your software program. Macros are a set of tasks that you ask the program to perform when you hit a shortcut command. For instance, you can create a macro that performs a task when you hit the Alt key and the A key at the same time. That task may be to insert a long sentence you commonly use, then to add a return. Macros will save a transcriber a lot of time and keystrokes.

  • Take advantage of Microsoft Word’s AutoCorrect function or WordPerfect’s similar QuickCorrect function to create shorthand codes for commonly used words or phrases. For example, you can set up QuickCorrect or AutoCorrect so that every time you type the letters “thaobc,” the software will type out “the Homeowners Association of Baltimore Club.” This feature, like macros, allows you to cut down the number of keystrokes you make, increasing your speed.

  • Work as much as possible. The more you transcribe, the faster you will get and the more automatically you'll be able to use your macros and AutoCorrect or QuickCorrect shortcuts.

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