The Complete Course in Audio Transcription (For Beginners)


Why do you need a transcription software?

There are two things you need to transcribe:

  • a word processor
  • an audio or video player.

Without the use of transcription software, you’re going to need to switch from one application to another.

This makes transcribing time-consuming and tedious.

A transcription software makes it easier and faster to transcribe because you don’t have to switch from one application to the other.

The most popular transcription software that transcribers use is called Express Scribe.

Express Scribe

It’s an application you can download for free.

Follow these steps to set up Express Scribe:

1. Download and install Express Scribe on your computer.

2. Go to Options and then Playback.  


3. Set the volume auto-adjust to Weak.


4. Set Clarity low frequency cutoff method to Low bass or Sharp, whichever you prefer.


5. Set Auto-backstep on stop to 2000.


6. Set Rewind to 3000 and set Forward to 3000.


7. Drag and drop your audio file into the dictation panel to transcribe an audio.


8. Highlight the file in the dictation panel then press F9 to play.


You will see at the bottom left of Express Scribe that the audio is playing.

To pause or stop the audio, press F4.

The other playback controls to use are F7 for rewind and F8 for fast forward.

You can adjust the speed of the audio by using the slider. You can either make it slower or faster.

Then press F10 to play the audio at the normal speed.


Adjust the volume by using the slider on the lower corner of the player.


To see the list of hot-keys, go to Options, then click the Hot-Keys tab.


You have the option to add a hot-key, change a hot-key, delete a hot-key, or set to hot-keys to default.

When everything is set up, you can minimize express scribe. Just use the function keys or hot-keys to play and pause the audio while you’re typing.


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