Microsoft Word, comes a new app for instant transcriptions

Microsoft adds a tool for dictation and speech transcription to Word online: here's how it works and what are the pros and cons

Microsoft continues to enrich its Office suite with new features. Among the latest, just announced, is the possibility to transcribe speech in real time, or from an audio file. This novelty is already active and available for everyone, although with some limitations.

The very interesting thing is that this tool is quite advanced and even recognizes several different people speaking, saving transcripts separately. Those who want to transcribe an interview, for example, can do it extremely fast with the new Microsoft Transcribe (that's the name of the tool). Of course, transcription is more effective when there are several speakers only if the voices don't overlap. Unfortunately, you can only enter one transcription at a time in a document: if you want to enter a second one, the first one will be deleted.

Microsoft Transcribe: how it works

Let's clarify two things right away: the name of the new Microsoft Office tool is in English because at the moment English is the only supported language, and the tool is currently only available in the online version of Word. In the future, most likely, Microsoft will add support for other languages and, perhaps, for other Office products as well. The translation, however, is done online: the audio is sent to Microsoft's servers, which process it and send back the transcript.

There are two ways to use Microsoft Transcribe: dictating the text or uploading an audio file (waw, mp4, mp3 and m4a formats are supported). Dictation is simple and doesn't need much explanation, you just need to remember to activate the microphone. Per caricare il file audio, invece, c’è un’apposita finestra molto intuitiva.

Una volta caricato l’audio, in un modo o nell’altro, compare nella parte destra dello schermo una nuova area dedicata alla trascrizione: in alto c’è il player audio che ci permette di andare avanti e indietro nel file e, man mano che avanza il file, compare la trascrizione corrispondente. A destra della trascrizione c’è un pulsante “+“, che permette di aggiungere quel blocco di testo al documento Word.

Microsoft Transcribe: i limiti

Transcribe è appena nato e, di conseguenza, ha ancora qualche difetto di gioventù. Ogni tanto la punteggiatura non è precisissima e qualche parola pronunciata non benissimo non viene riconosciuta correttamente. Per il resto, a parte il fatto che è disponibile solo per Word online e solo in inglese, è di sicuro un ottimo inizio.