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Microsoft Word gains transcription feature on the web

Word Transcription
Word Transcription (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft Word for the web just gained a transcription feature.
  • The feature allows you to transcribe audio from your microphone or from recorded audio files.
  • The feature requires a Microsoft 365 subscription.

Microsoft Word for the web has a new feature that makes it easy to transcribe audio (via The Verge). The feature is currently available for Word for the web, but Microsoft plans to bring it to its iOS and Android apps in the future. You can use the tool to record audio live or transcribe audio files you previously recorded.

The feature is available for Microsoft 365 subscribers. Microsoft has a support page (opens in new tab) that breaks down the feature and outlines how you can use it. You can transcribe up to 300 uploaded minutes per month. There is not a way to increase that limit at this time, which is notable as a competing software, Otter.ai (opens in new tab), provides up to 600 minutes for free each month.

Word doesn't compress audio when it transcribes it, instead saving it as a WAV file. The recorded WAV file is then uploaded to a folder in your OneDrive storage.

The feature supports transcribing audio from a microphone, and audio from .wav, .mp4, and .mp3 formats up to 200MB. Microsoft Word separates speakers in the conversation using artificial intelligence, which makes it much easier to follow along with a conversation.

At the moment, you can only store one audio transcription per document. This should be fine if you plan to transcribe an entire interview or lecture but is restrictive if you plan to put multiple segments of a recording into a document.

You can use the transcription feature now by opening a Word document online, clicking the arrow next to "Dictate" to open a dropdown menu, and then selecting "Transcribe."

To try the new feature yourself head to Office.com (opens in new tab) and login with your Microsoft account to get started.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).

4 Comments
  • Does word web outlook web etc support pen yet and where is fluent design in office.
  • I thought they got rid of the web apps. 🤷🏾‍♂️
  • Is this the equivalent of Dictate feature in full desktop Word?
  • To my understanding, the transscription is based on pre-recorded audio files.
    Dictation could be used like transscription, but doesn't support multiple speakers. Dictation however, isn't limited to 300 minutes a month, of course this will change as time flows, but likely not soon - not even Soon™ That's seems like the biggest differentiator.