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Why Microsoft Word is the Best Tool for Transcription

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Why Microsoft Word is the Best Tool for Transcription

The key to maximizing the return on investment seen from transcription is the speed, accuracy, and overall efficiency with which the transcription can be completed.

A large portion of the responsibility in realizing these goals lies with the person performing the task. As a general rule, the more experienced and skilled a transcriptionist is, the more efficient they will be. It is important to consider the tools a transcription service utilizes, however.

After all, a craftsman without tools cannot produce anything, no matter how talented they may be. This fact rings ever truer in the modern day where technology has widened the gap between those on the cutting edge and those lagging behind.

In the world of transcription, there is no better tool than Microsoft Word. From simple tasks to lengthy and highly-technical jobs, Word offers numerous advantages over alternatives. Read on for an introduction to some of those advantages, how they work, and how they make Word a transcriptionist’s best friend.

Spell Check

Thankfully Word can have more than one best friend; we’re pretty sure most students would lay claim based on this handy tool otherwise. For transcriptionists and college freshmen alike, this built-in feature can be a life saver.

Other than catching potentially embarrassing—and in some cases, dangerous—misspellings, spell check makes the process of transcription much faster by allowing the transcriptionist to focus on one less thing. They simply listen, type, and go back afterward to fix the spelling mistakes that Word highlights.

To save even more time, spell check can actually correct certain words on the fly. This expedites the act of transcribing and the post-transcription editing.

Grammar Check

Similar to spell check, this tool brings attention to certain issues within a document, specifically potential errors in grammar. It can even be told to look for particular problems, making it adaptable dependent on the transcriptionist’s desires.

Improving accuracy without draining exorbitant amounts of time is a boon to both transcriptionist and client, as it positively impacts efficiency in a dramatic way. Word is impressively intuitive, and while the grammar checker has its limits, the benefits of using it are many.

Text Expanders

Where spell check and grammar check primarily save time retroactively, or in editing, text expanders work their magic throughout the process of transcribing. While similar to a smartphone’s autocorrect or text predictor, there are a few key differences.

For each project the transcriptionist can assign particular codes to different words and phrases. From that point forward, they need only to type that code and Word will insert the corresponding word or phrase.

When utilizing this tool, a transcriptionist can drastically cut down on their number of key strokes, which can save substantial amounts of time. Imagine transcribing legal documents where addresses and names are used with absurd frequency. Using a text expander can eliminate the need to type out those things each and every time they occur.

When these three tools are used in conjunction with one another, the result is a quicker, more accurate, and extremely efficient process of transcription that benefits not only the person typing, but the person employing them. Time is money, and Microsoft Word helps maximize the productivity of both.


About the author:

Ben Walker is the founder and CEO of Transcription Outsourcing, LLC in Denver, Colorado, which provides transcription services to the legal, law enforcement, medical, financial, academic, and business industries.  Ben has become known worldwide as an expert in helping companies grow by utilizing the services of freelancers and contracted employees. He makes regular podcast appearances and has been featured in major publications like Forbes, Entrepreneur, and Inc. Magazine.