If you were ever in class and wish you could’ve jotted down everything a lecturer said – or perhaps more relevant to some of the writers on this site – tried to capture every word of an interview, then you will know how useful Microsoft Word’s new feature is.
This new feature (as reported in The Verge) will allow users to upload audio recordings of conversations, which will then be transcribed directly into document form and transcribing what each speaker is saying in an easy to read format.
From there, Word breaks the transcription into sections that are easy to playback and edit. Or easy to read, considering that it will no doubt struggle with many different accents and not quite capture everything correctly. Still, if you’ve ever needed to transcribe before, you will know how much of a massive time saver this is and if you’re a journalist regularly conducting interviews, this is an absolute lifesaver.
The new service offers unlimited recording directly from Microsoft 365 or the ability to upload up to 200MB of MP3, WAV, M4A, or MP4 files that have been recorded elsewhere (with a limit of 5 hours a month of uploaded audio).
For now, the service will only be available on the web version of Word, though Microsoft is planning on bringing it to the iOS and Android versions later this year. English is the only support language currently, but expect that to grow as well as the company continues to improve it
If you are not a Microsoft 3665 subscriber though, don’t expect to see this option available for you as Microsoft is making it a subscriber-only feature. If you are a journalist though, you should likely have a subscription anyway and if you are a student, they have special rates for you. So for those who will likely need this the most, that shouldn’t be an issue.
Last Updated: August 26, 2020