Audio transcripts are incredibly useful. There are a variety of reasons why people would need them. Other people need it to take down notes from an important meeting. Some also need it as a convenient way of remembering essential information, while there are others who simply find it much easier to read a transcript instead of listening to an audio recording.
Being provided with a transcription of audio content also just enhances a user’s experience. We all have different ways of processing information.
Sometimes, audio content alone isn’t enough to make us understand the message the speaker is trying to convey due to our different styles of information processing. Other times, it’s due to accent and language barriers.
It’s also important to provide a transcript of your audio content for the benefit of the people in your target audience who have hearing disabilities. Either way, this feature is incredibly useful.
There are several ways you can transcribe audio to text. You could either make the transcription yourself, hire a transcriber to do it or use a variety of audio-to-text tools that are available on the market.
Fortunately, the Google docs transcribe feature is also available which makes translating audio to text has now become much more convenient and easier to access. Not to mention, it’s absolutely free.
How to Transcribe Audio with Google Docs
The Google docs transcribe feature is incredibly handy if you find dictation faster than typing. It’s also perfect for transcribing live video conferences or presentations.
Before you start transcribing with Google docs, make sure that the audio software you’re using is side by side with your Google docs file, or if you intend to speak directly then make sure your microphone is ready. This makes the transcribing process much easier.
Now, here are the steps to translate speech-to-text using Google docs:
Open a blank Google doc file
Go to the Google docs homepage and click on the ‘Blank’ option to open a new document.
If you’re having trouble navigating to the Google docs homepage, you can go to your Chrome homepage and select the ‘More’ option beside your profile to open the dropdown menu. There you can find the Google docs shortcut.
If you’re not using the Google Chrome browser, you can simply look up ‘Google docs’ in the browser’s search bar.
This process also requires logging in with your Google mail. If you do not have one, then you can easily register and open a new Google mail account before proceeding to the next steps.
Go to Tools and then Voice Typing
Once you’ve opened the document, select the Tools option found on the top of the document to open the dropdown menu. There, you can see the ‘Voice typing’ option. When you click on it, a microphone will appear on the left side of your screen.
Keep in mind that this feature is only available when you’re connected to the internet. You will not be able to have this option available to you if you’re accessing Google docs offline.
Select the language you prefer
Above the microphone icon, you can find an option that lets you select the language you prefer for your transcription. Click on it to open the dropdown menu and see all the available languages they have.
You can then start recording and transcribing your audio
When you’re ready, click play on the audio you want to transcribe and then click the microphone icon in Google docs. If you’re transcribing live audio, then simply click the microphone icon and start speaking. It will turn red to indicate that it has started recording.
If you’re speaking directly into your microphone, it’s recommended to use an external one instead of relying on the built-in microphone in your PC or laptop. This allows Google docs to capture your voice better and increase voice recognition accuracy, as well as reduce any errors in the transcription.
But you have to be careful after starting the transcribing process. Once you’ve activated the Google docs transcribe feature, you’re not allowed to leave the page. Even if you switch to a different tab and then switch back right away, it will still automatically turn off the feature.
You would end up losing everything you have transcribed so far until you go back to the document and press the microphone again. This also means replaying the audio file right from the beginning or having to redo your piece and start speaking from the beginning. So it’s better to be mindful about checking emails, for example, while transcribing an online video conference.
When you’re done with your transcription, Google docs automatically saves it to your online drive if you’re connected to the internet. But, if you somehow lost connection in the middle of the process then Google Docs immediately saves it to your device.
Transcribing audio content has also become an important part of content development. It’s a simple way to increase a content creator’s reach through SEO optimization. Studies have shown that adding transcribed files to your audio content or transcribed versions of your audio files increases its visibility and allow it to reach significantly more people than if the transcribed files weren’t there.
But you should be aware that the finishing product from using the Google docs transcribe feature won’t be as perfect as you would probably want it to. If the audio is spoken clearly then it’s easier for Google docs to capture it.
However, if there are any mumbles, stutters, or any other speech that’s less than clear then it might end up being lost on the final transcribed product. Aside from that, Google docs also won’t include any commas, periods, and the like. So, if you want your transcription to be grammatically correct, you will have to manually edit it yourself later. Either way, the Google docs transcribe feature is still incredibly useful and handy. It’s a great alternative for anyone looking for a way to translate audio-to-text without having to spend any money. It may not be perfect, but it can still do its job well.