What is transcribing: Definition and Uses (Best Guide)

From the educational, governmental or audiovisual production fields, we hear a lot about transcribing.

In simple words, it is to convert spoken language to text, that is, to put a conversation, a speech, a recording, or any audio with a human speech on paper.

That said, there are many types of transcription, many ways to do it and hundreds of elements to keep in mind.

In this article, I will tell you all about what transcription is and all the advantages of this action.

Transcribe definition

Transcription Definition

Transcription is the graphic representation of spoken language in written signs.

Simply put, when we talk about transcribing, we refer to converting speech into text.

In short, transcription is the process of writing in words content that is in audio or recording format.

Nowadays, with the development of technology, you can make recordings and transcriptions at any time. There are even tools that are dedicated to transcribing live audio.

However, their quality is not always the best, and that is why we also resort to manual transcription done by a professional, or to powerful automatic transcription software with an online editor, such as ScriptMe.

This audio transcribed into a written content can be used in many ways. The most common ones are: study, research, video production, analysis, support in the judicial and legal world, among many other utilities.

Main uses of transcribing

Transcription is used in many contexts, one of them is in the legal and judicial framework, because it facilitates access to stories and evidence to carry out their processes.

It is also widely used in organizations transcribing team meetings in which ideas are proposed and discussed. Most importantly, agreements are reached on responsibilities and commitments: transcription allows for monitoring and evaluation.

Another use is in the field of marketing, in product presentation studies, as reactions and impressions are transcribed to evaluate consumer behavior.

On the other hand, it is very useful in the field of qualitative research, because transcription makes it possible to find meanings and meanings that might otherwise go unnoticed.

Advantages of transcribing

The written transcript adds value to you, firstly because it is an accurate source of information. In addition, for a number of reasons that we present here:

  • By having the information written down, you will be able to use it at any time and place.
  • You can have ordered information. You can locate it quickly, analyze it, reach conclusions, and make quicker decisions.
  • Have accessible extracts of conversations, interviews, speeches or presentations. Format them in any way you want and use them to inspire others and build your brand.
  • It allows you to have a written record of what has been done, decided and agreed.
  • You can also optimize the storage space of your recordings.

 Types of transcriptions

There are two types of transcriptions, and the one that is right for you depends on the objective you are looking for.

1. Verbatim transcription

It consists of transcribing all the contents present in the recording. This type of transcription requires high attention and detail orientation.

However, it is considered easier because it does not require editing.

2. Non Verbatim transcription (cleaned up)

What is considered irrelevant is eliminated. This results in a more understandable and fluid text at the moment of reading.

No words or phrases are changed, but content is edited to make the text easier to understand.

Main transcript file formats

There are several formats for transcript files, each with specific uses and benefits:

  1. Word document (.doc) or text (.txt): this is a plain text version of your transcript. This way you can edit it to your style or keep it the same.
  2. HTML: is used if the transcription is to be on a web page. This format is compatible with screen readers, which people with disabilities widely use. Its outstanding benefit is that it allows a screen reader to convert digital text into synthesized speech.
  3. PDF: this is also a plain file. The difference is that the end user cannot edit the content. These files are also easy to upload to the web.

What is a transcription service?

A transcription service is when you delegate the transcription of your audio files to a professional, i.e. a professional transcriptionist or a team of transcriptionists.

There are also automatic transcription services that use applications, websites or software to convert audio to text.

what is transcribing

These services have evolved a lot with technology, being now able to transcribe online and be uploaded to the cloud.

On the other hand, the manual transcription service is in charge of a transcriptionist who picks it up and transcribes it.

Depending on the type of audio, the type of service, and the purpose of the transcription, you will need a generic or educated professional in the subject of your audio.

Once the audio is transcribed, you will be notified by the professional or the platform that the document is ready.

Among other services, they can transcribe podcats to turn them into posts and increase SEO traffic, transcribe videos and audio to text.

A transcription service should offer you: a clear price, quality assurance, fully secure online ordering, easy to use platform and excellent attention and quality of service.

Transcription service

Why you need to use a transcription service?

Because if you don't have the knowledge, time and technological resources, the transcription may not have the quality you want.

If you do it yourself or delegate it to someone else, they may have other occupations, which will delay the transcription process.

Additionally, in organizational, legal, academic or judicial contexts, not faithfully transcribing content can have consequences.


We created this content for you to learn a little more about what transcribing is and as you have seen, it is used in many areas and moments.

Regardless of the context in which you find yourself, you have surely realized how useful it can be for you.

Audio transcription can benefit you greatly in the academic world, transcribing a lecture and preparing for that exam more accurately and reliably.

It will also help you when starting your YouTube channel since the transcription of the video to text will allow you to obtain a higher valuation by the algorithms when it comes to positioning it.

In the judicial field, research and production for television and film, it is also extremely necessary and used source.

Have you ever transcribed something? Were you surprised by all the world behind it?

Emil Nikkhah
Hi, I'm Emil Nikkhah.
For over 25 years, I have successfully built several television post-production companies.
Frustrated by the high cost and slowness of manual transcription and subtitling in this industry, we decided to create ScriptMe, a powerful software for automatic transcription and subtitling.
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