Transcriptionist Tools of the Trade

transcription tools of the trade

Okay, beyond an internet connection, computer audio capability and the ability to type, there are a few basic tools of the trade that can help you maximize your transcription output.

– Typing Tests. The minimum demand for a transcriptionist is typing 55 words per minute or better. If you are finding that you struggle to keep up with the rapid speech during transcription or find that your fingers keep tripping over themselves, try a typing test website such as to help you pick up the pace. Practice makes perfect!

– Quality Headphones. A good pair of transcribing headphones is perfect for drowning out white noise and external distraction. What type is entirely up to you.Though it is advisable that they have their own volume control. Websites like have reasonably priced options if you don’t know where to start.

– Use Start/Stop Software. You don’t have to shell out a bunch of money as a beginner transcriptionist for audio software. Great programs like ExpressScribe ( and Inqscribe ( have free versions for both Mac and PC. With ExpressScribe, or similar products, you can vary the speed of your audio to be compatible with your transcribing speed. Do be wary though, changing the speed can change the quality of the audio.

– Consider investing in a foot pedal. A foot pedal enables you to stop/start, fast forward/rewind with the tap of your foot. You can pick one up on ebay for as little as $10. Keep in mind though, you can surpass this expense by setting up hotkeys in your start/stop software. Hot keys do basically the same thing but as a keyboard shortcut so your hands don’t have to leave home row.

– Speech to Text Programs – Programs like Dragon Dictation ( single speaker transcription so much easier. The limitation is that it is not entirely accurate, especially when it comes to multi-speaker audio, foreign languages and accents.

If you have more questions or comments about recommended products or services that can improve your transcriptionist skills, email us at

Disclaimer – We are a private company and not affiliated with any of the aforementioned and linked companies. They are just awesome enough to gain our referral.