New transcription file

Transcribe in Google Docs: audio to text transcription

Apr 22, 2022 | Blog

This article will review how to transcribe in Google Docs using the Voice Typing feature. This free transcription tool is useful for many tasks besides regular voice typing: you can get your ideas into written form quickly, get rough notes from meetings, and create scripts for speeches as well. Transcripts are useful for a number of reasons: they are searchable, you can use them to create subtitles, and it’s easy to save them for future reference.

Can Google Docs transcribe an audio file?

Not many people know that you can use Google Docs to transcribe audio files (although we don’t recommend it! Instead, use a third-party tool like spf.io to get accurate and quick transcripts from audio files). Remember that using a tool for something other than its primary purpose will give you less than ideal results. If you use Voice Typing to get free transcripts from audio files, the writing will lack punctuation, likely have incorrect or missing words, and need substantial editing afterwards.

These are some benefits to using the Google Docs Voice Typing feature:
-Free: Google Docs requires no fees to start.
-Editable: the text in a Google doc is easy to modify, comment on, and use with collaborators who are helping you out
-Easily shareable: since you’re working directly in Google Docs, you can use the
“share” feature to send your transcript to friends and coworkers

Disadvantages to using free transcription tools like Google Docs:
-No translation
-No time stamps
-No automatic punctuation (you can verbally say “period” or “comma,” but Docs will not transcribe with punctuation. Read more about voice commands here).
-No custom dictionary or automatic spelling corrections (if you want this feature, use spf.io and create your own Autoreplacement Database)

How to use Google’s text-to-speech tool

Once you have an audio file, follow these steps to transcribe in Google Docs:

  1. Create a new Doc:
    Open a new google doc file at ​​https://docs.google.com/document/

    New transcription file

  2. Enable text-to-speech:
    Under Tools, select “Voice Typing”

    Transcribe in google docs - speech to text tools

  3. Select your transcription language:
    When the microphone appears, you can use the dropdown arrow next to the displayed language (in this case, English(US)) to select your language. When you transcribe in Google Docs for bilingual work, you’ll need to pause and turn the microphone off before switching to a new language every time you want to speak a different one.

    Google docs languages

  4. Start transcribing your audio file:
    Start playing your audio file in a different window (make sure it is playing over your speakers, not through a headset!). Click the microphone in Google Docs as soon as possible to capture the sound. The reason you need to do this in order is that If you click away from the Google Docs window, the transcription will stop. The downside is that you’ll lose the first part of your audio or video file as you click into Google Docs to start the transcription.

    Free Transcription Google

  5. Edit your transcript:
    This is the most time-consuming part of this process since you won’t get punctuation added automatically when you transcribe on Google Docs. Note that you can’t edit the text in the document as your video/audio is being transcribed – Voice Typing will add text wherever you put your cursor.

Other ways to use Google Docs speech-to-text:

  • Write more quickly
  • Take notes from a meeting
  • Create a script for a speech

Easy and accurate audio/video transcripts with spf.io

Although the process to transcribe in Google Docs is free, it can take a lot of your time (which may end up being more expensive in the end!). We recommend using third-party tools like spf.io to get accurate transcripts that require less time-consuming editing than free tools will require. This is especially necessary if you have many hours of video/audio to transcribe.

With spf.io, you can even use your transcript to create captions and subtitles. Since we offer many options in our all-in-one tool, you have the freedom to translate your text to over 60 languages! We also offer live captioning for most platforms like Zoom, StreamYard, YouTube, and more.

Tired of trying to transcribe in Google Docs? Simplify your process and get a quote from spf.io for your transcription project!

Ready for the next step?

Find out how spf.io can help you translate and caption your next event.

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