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How to Transcribe Audio in Microsoft Word 365

How to Transcribe Audio in Microsoft Word 365

Microsoft Word has become the go-to software for creating documents. Along with the traditional downloadable Office Suite, Microsoft also offers an online version of Microsoft Word as part of the Microsoft 365 plan. An additional feature available in the online version of Word is an audio transcription feature. This will allow you to convert the audio directly to text. Text can even be separated based on the audio speaker.

Here we show you how to transcribe audio in Microsoft Word 365.

Transcribe Audio in Microsoft Word

First, make sure you are a premium Microsoft 365 subscriber. Open your browser and go to Microsoft Word in Microsoft 365.

Go to the “Home” tab. Click the arrow next to “Dictation” and select “Transcribe” from the menu that appears.


The “Transcribe” pane will open on the right side of the window.

If you wish to upload audio for transcription, you can do so by clicking “Upload audio”. We will focus on doing it directly through “Start Recording”.


You may be asked to give Microsoft permission to access your microphone.


Recording will start automatically, accompanied by a timer. Don’t worry, there is no time limit for recording – you just need to know how long your recording will take. It is recommended to speak slowly and clearly so that Word can easily understand and write down everything you say.


You can pause the recording in between if you need a break. When finished, click “Save and Transcribe Now”.

Microsoft Word may take several minutes to transcribe the audio. Once done, you will see the transcription appear in the same panel. Each section will also have a timestamp and speaker name (in addition to the transcribed text). If Microsoft detects multiple speakers, the separate text spoken by each will be denoted by “Speaker 1”, “Speaker 2”, and so on. If there is only one speaker, it will be denoted by “Speaker”.


As expected from automatic transcription, there may be some inaccurate transcription texts. You can easily edit parts of the transcript by hovering your mouse over the wrong text and clicking the pen icon.


You can also edit the speaker’s name. You can change it to the actual speaker’s name to make sorting text easier later. To do so, just edit the speaker name, and enable the option next to “Change All Speakers”. Click the check mark when done.

If you are an element of what you said or who said what during transcription, simply use the playback controls to listen to your audio recording again. Functions include options to increase / decrease the playback speed, rewind, play / pause, and fast forward the recording.

Once you’re finally done and satisfied with the transcript, simply add it to the document by selecting the “Add All to Document” button at the bottom of the panel.

This will add the recording and transcript content in the document.


Using Audio Recording for Transcription

If you are against doing live recording, you can also use audio files for transcription. In the Transcribe menu, click “Upload Audio” to select your audio. You can upload these audio file types:

  • WAV
  • MP4
  • M4A
  • MP3

Once the file is selected, Microsoft will begin copying the audio file. You can edit a transcription when you’re done, similar to how you would edit a live recording.

If this feature isn’t to your liking, there are plenty of other ways to convert audio to text.

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