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Transcribe Words Faster With These 5 Tips

As a transcriptionist, your wages are directly dependent on your transcription speed. This means that stepping up your transcription game can lead to direct financial gain, making every minute of work more rewarding. Put these five tips into action to transcribe words faster than ever.

Find a Good Transcription Software Program

When you need to pause the audio to type or rewind it to take another listen, clumsy clicks of the mouse don’t cut it. Free and paid transcription software such as Express Scribe let you use a pedal or hot keys to easily control the audio for faster transcribing.

Use an Autocorrect Tool

Going back to correct a misspelling takes precious minutes from your transcription time, so use QuickCorrect for WordPerfect, AutoCorrect for Microsoft Word or any other correcting tool to maximize efficiency. Just remember to carefully edit your piece in case the tool changed one of your misspellings to the wrong word.

Practice Your Speed Typing

Practice is one of the most obvious ways to increase your transcription speed, and it is also one of the most important. Take a typing class or download a good typing program to learn proper touch-typing technique.

Use a High-Quality Headset

Even more important than typing speed is your ability to hear and correctly transcribe words as they are spoken. For clearer audio that lets you hone in on the speaker’s voice, invest in a noise-cancelling stereo headset.

Find a Quiet Work Environment

Being able to focus your full attention on the audio is crucial for quick transcribing, so find a work environment with few noises and distractions. If possible, complete your transcriptions in a closed home office. It’s also a good idea to have an ergonomic office chair and ample workspace to stay comfortable during your long hours transcribing.

Keep in mind that even the best transcriptionist can take up to three hours to transcribe one hour of audio, depending on factors such as language technicality, formatting requirements and fast-paced speech patterns. After honing your own skills, measure your realistic transcription time for an audio segment to determine the minimum you’re willing to charge. For more tips to boost your transcription skills, check out and follow @Transcribe on Twitter.