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Word: Convert voice to text

November 10, 2020

Update October 2021: If you have an Android device with Office installed on it, you can both record and transcribe text using it. For details, see: https://office-watch.com/2021/voice-recording-in-office-for-android/

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In my previous post, I showed you how I extracted the audio (voiceover) from an MP4 Zoom presentation. Once I had the audio track as an MP3 file, I now had to look at how to convert that to text as automatically as possible. Yes, there are many tools out there that do this, but I thought I’d start with something I already had—Microsoft Word.

According to various internet sites, you just have to upload the audio file and click ‘Transcribe’. The problem was that I couldn’t find this option in my Word for Windows (Office 365). On reading closer and looking at the screenshots I found on the internet, I realised that while I didn’t have this option available in my installed copy of Word, it WAS available in the online version of Word available from my Office online account, which I rarely use.

Some of these instructions may vary for you, depending on how you have your One Drive / Office online account set up. Also, I couldn’t get this transcribe function to work in Chrome, but it did work in Firefox.

  1. Log in to your OneDrive / Office online account.
  2. Click the icon that shows the list of Office apps.
  3. Select Word then open a new (blank) document.
  4. Click Dictate button on the far right of the ribbon, then select Transcribe from the available options. 
  5. Click Upload Audio, then navigate to and select the audio file you want to transcribe.
  6. Wait. It can take about an hour to transcribe an hour-long audio file of speech; the progress bar shows how much has been done. 
  7. Once the audio file is converted, the transcribed text will either be in the Word document or ready to paste into the Word document.
  8. Save this document as you would normally (Optional: download it to your computer).
  9. Edit the file, as required.

[Links last checked November 2020]

3 comments

  1. […] This post is about getting the audio out of the MP4 recording. I’ve done another on using Word to automatically convert it into text (https://cybertext.wordpress.com/2020/11/10/word-convert-voice-to-text/). […]


  2. […] testing I can say that it was Camtasia. I exported the narration to an MP3 file, then used the online version of Word to transcribe it to text and it was perfect, whereas the Camtasia version was […]


  3. […] of Word 365 on your PC, only via the web app)—use Word online to transcribe it for you (see https://cybertext.wordpress.com/2020/11/10/word-convert-voice-to-text/), or use another Office online app, Microsoft Stream, to do the transcription (time stamps get […]



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