How To Transcribe using Express Scribe

For anyone in the transcribing business, the job can be repetitive but needs to be done in a manageable speed and accuracy. If you can have the software that can let you transcribe audio and video files faster and accurately, it would be a great help in easing your load. Well you’re probably lucky because there is! The software is called Express Scribe and it runs smoothly with PC, MAC or Linux systems. The best of all is – it’s free to download in the Internet. Of course you can’t use the software well if you don’t have the transcribing tools like foot pedal and a headset. So after you complete your tools, it will be the time to proceed with the tasks using Express Scribe. Read on how to transcribe using it.

  • Download and then install Express Scribe. Go to to download the program. Follow the installation wizard to successfully install it on your computer.
  • Connect your foot pedal to your computer. Foot pedals are optional. But if you already have one, connect it to your computer. If there isn’t any available, Express Scribe permits the same functions using hot keys (although it would be easier to have a foot pedal instead).
  • Set up the hot keys. Hot keys functions to minimize going back and forth between Express Scribe and word processing. It creates short-cut keys that you can use. Just remember that you should create hot keys combinations that are easy to memorize and type on the keyboards. In the main window, go to the Scribe tab pull down menu, click on “preferences.” Click on the hot keys tab and check the box that says enable system wide hot keys.
  • Set up your default word processor. The most common word processor usually is Microsoft word. You can open your word processor from Express Scribe itself. Set the default for the word processor by opening a blank document and click on add and set as default. If you are using MAC, you can change the default word processor to TextEdit.
  • Start a transcription process by loading the audio or video. Open the Express Scribe program. Click on the icon “load” and find the files that you are going to transcribe. It would be best to organize your files so make separate directories for different projects. You can load more than one file at a time by pressing the command key while selecting. You can select files by dragging and dropping them into the Express Scribe window.
  • Play the file using the tools in the main window. Express Scribe’s main window consists of standard icons like play, rewind, stop and forward to help you control the track. There are advanced tools like “playback position” sliders and speed control. Click on play to run the track. Once the track is played, the multichannel display dialogue box will appear that will allow you to adjust the left and right volume as well as if you want to turn any channel off. Click on the stop button if you wish to stop.

The speed slider comes in handy if you are a bit slow in typewriting skills. You can control the speed of the track without changing the pitch and the words are still clearly audible.

Now you can start transcribing the audio or video files. Bear in mind that you should write accurately and don’t forget to do a spell check and grammar check after every transcription.


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