How to Transcribe an Audio File to Microsoft Word

By James Werning

Maybe you want to transcribe the lyrics of a song, the soundtrack of a movie or an audio message. A transcript of these words is a great way to preserve them, e-mail them, post them online or print them. Audio transcription software that converts speech into text is available, but it takes time and effort to train the software to recognize each person's unique voice. Moreover, it is not effective in the presence of background music or noise. Therefore, the best transcription options for the majority of users is to manually type the text into a program like Microsoft Word.

Things You'll Need

  • Microsoft Word
  • Windows Media Player
  • Computer speakers or headphones

Step 1

Open Microsoft Word.

Step 2

Click "Restore Down" in the upper-right corner of the screen if the window is maximized. Drag a corner of the Word window to reduce the size to about half of the screen. Move the mouse pointer over the menu bar or ribbon of the Word window, depending on your version. While holding the mouse button down, drag the window to the top, bottom or side of the screen. Release the mouse button.

Step 3

Press "Alt," if necessary, to view the "File" menu. Click "File," and then click "Save As." Enter a name for your blank Microsoft Word transcript, and then click "Save."

Step 4

Open Windows Media Player.

Step 5

Click "Restore Down" in the upper-right corner of the screen if the window is maximized. Drag a corner of the Media Player window to reduce the size to about half of the screen. Move the mouse pointer over the menu bar of the Media Player window. While holding the mouse button down, drag the window to a position opposite the Word window. Release the mouse button.

Step 6

Press "Alt," if necessary, to view the "File" menu. Click "File," and then click "Open." Navigate to the appropriate audio file. Highlight the audio file, and click "Open."

Step 7

Turn on the computer speakers, if they are not already on. Adjust the playback volume in the computer's taskbar, if necessary.

Step 8

Click the "Play" button to play a few seconds of the audio file, and then click "Pause," playing only as much as you can transcribe at one time.

Step 9

Click anywhere in the Word window, and type the words you just heard.

Step 10

Click "Play" and "Pause" in the Media Player window to begin repeating these steps. Continue alternating between the Media Player and Word window, playing short segments of the audio file and transcribing them.

Step 11

When finished, spell-check the Word document by typing F7. Save the document.

Step 12

Close Word and Media Player.