Microsoft introduces Transcribe feature in Word for web users with Office 365 subscription

The voice recording support is offered for multiple audio file formats, currently available for Word users who have a Microsoft 365 subscription.

Microsoft has brought transcriptions to its Word service, thus making it easy for people to record interviews or lectures and copy them or edit directly in Microsoft Word. The feature will let users record conversations using other apps, while the option to directly record in Transcribe also exists.

The voice recordings will support .mp3, .wav, .m4a, as well as .mp4 files. It is currently available for web users of Microsoft Word who have the Microsoft 365 subscription.

“Whether you’re a reporter conducting interviews, a researcher recording focus group sessions, or an online entrepreneur recording informal discussions, you want to be able to focus on the people you’re talking to without worrying about taking notes and without having to spend hours transcribing your conversations after-the-fact,” said Dan Parish, Principal Group PM Manager, Natural User Interface and Incubation, Microsoft said in a company blog.

Microsoft has now included a Transcribe feature in Word. Image: Microsoft

Microsoft has now included a Transcribe feature in Word. Image: Microsoft

To use Transcribe in Word, users need to select the ‘Dictate’ button in the menu bar and click on ‘Transcribe’. Here users can either record a conversation live or upload a recorded file.

The transcript will appear alongside the Word document so that you can insert entire quotes by transcribing them with just a click. There is also the option of transcribing the whole recording into a word document. It is supported in the Microsoft Edge browser and the Chrome browsers. While recording and transcribing within Word on the web is unlimited, there are some limitations in place. Users can upload a maximum of five hours of recording every month and each uploaded recording has been limited to 200 MB.

As Tech Crunch puts it, this limit is quite low in comparison with other apps offering transcription services. For example, the startup Otter offers 6000 minutes on its cheapest paid plan where a transcript can be up to four hours in length. The report added that Transcribe for Word was better when it came to detecting different voices in a conversation.

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