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Creating a Video Transcript in 4 Easy Steps

While video transcription and audio transcription are similar in the fact that both mediums require a typed up document upon completion, there are a few key differences between the two formats, mainly due to the fact that video transcript documents typically require specific time coding and action descriptions.

While specifics can vary depending on the type of video you are transcribing and specific client instructions, it’s always a good idea to familiarize yourself with the most common formatting requirements of video instruction to ensure your deadlines are met and your work is accepted by the client. If you’re new to video transcription, follow these four easy steps to create a properly formatted document.

Create Your Headers, Footers and Document Title

The first step in creating your video transcript is to create your headers, footers and title. Start by formatting the document title on the top left side, center or top right side of the page. Next, fill in your headers and footers. While specific instructions can vary, you will most likely be required to type the names of the interviewees, cast members or speakers, the date and the video reel number into the header and footer sections of your transcript.

Transcribe Audio, Actions and Background

Once you have formatted your headers and footers, start your video and begin transcribing. While headphones are an important tool for audio transcriptions, they are essential for video transcription as many videos contain background noises and physical actions that must be documented. For example, if you are transcribing an video interview and a plane flies overhead or a technical issue occurs, you may be required to document the action by typing “pause for plane” or “technical.” Additional physical actions may include sneezing, coughing, crying or laughing.

Time Code as Directed

Inserting a time code every thirty seconds to a minute is a common requirement for both audio and video transcription. However, videos often contain two separate time codes, so it’s important to document the correct one. In most cases, clients require that transcribers document the time code that is burned into the actual video as opposed to the minute/hour time code that runs at the bottom of the video player. This is due to the fact that the burned-in time code is set to match up with additional videos that precede or follow the file you’re transcribing.

Insert Video File Number

Once you have completed your transcript, the last step is to insert the video file number, also referred to as tape number, into the required areas of your document. Since you’ve already incorporated it into your headers and footers, all that’s left to do is copying and pasting the file number next to each time code or speaker name, depending on your client’s instructions.

While video transcribing is slightly different than audio transcribing, all you need is a little practice and confidence in your skills to get the job done right. For additional transcription tips and information about online transcription services, visit