When & How to Use the Office 365 Transcription Feature

Office 365
Are you looking for ways to make your workday more efficient? Office 365's Transcription feature is a great tool that can help save you time and effort. It allows you to quickly transcribe audio or video recordings into text, so you don't have to waste valuable hours manually typing up notes.

With this feature, it only takes a few clicks to turn any recording into readable text.

In this article, we'll discuss when and how to use the Office 365 Transcription feature for maximum efficiency.

Office 365 Transcription Feature

What is Office 365 Transcription Feature?

Office 365 Transcription is a powerful feature that converts audio or video recordings into text. It uses advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms to accurately convert speech into text with as little manual effort as possible. It supports over 100 languages and dialects, so you can transcribe recordings from almost any part of the world.

Although this feature is powerful, it has difficulties in large-scale implementations and can sometimes produce inaccurate transcriptions, and in these types of tasks, you better use an online transcription service in order to get the best results.

When to Use Office 365 Transcription?

The transcription feature of Office 365 is most useful when you need to quickly convert audio or video recordings into text. It's perfect for situations where you need to quickly jot down notes from an interview, meeting, webinar, lecture, or any other type of recording. It can also be used for speech-to-text applications such as automated customer service bots and dictation software.

Office 365 Transcription

How to Use Office 365 Transcription?

Using Office 365 Transcription is easy. All you need to do is upload an audio or video file into the transcription app and it will automatically convert it into text. Once the text has been generated, you can then edit, format, and save it as needed. Let's take a look at the steps below:

1. Log in to your Office 365 account and open the Transcription app

Simple as it sounds, just access the Office 365 suite, sign in and choose the transcription app. This will open a window with several options such as “Record”, “Upload”, “Transcribe”.

2. Activate the transcription feature

Activate the transcription feature in Word by pressing on the blue microphone located at the right of your main toolbar. Clicking it will unfold a drop-down menu, then click “transcribe” to keep going!

3. Upload the audio or video file

Microsoft Word offers a range of options to accommodate your audio files. By simply clicking "upload file," you can select a .mp4, .m4a, .mp3, or even a .wav file from your computer; however, if you wish to transcribe meetings as they happen in real-time, click the “start recording” button and Microsoft Word will begin noting each speaker's words verbatim.

4. Edit

After Word has completed transcribing your audio, you will then be presented with an editable version of the recorded conversation. Despite its accuracy, it's likely that there may still be errors present in the document. Thankfully, Microsoft provides access to both the full recording and segments from each speaker via time stamps; making it easy for you to correct any mistakes before finalizing the file.

5. Import

After you perfect the editing of your transcript, add either the full transcription or chosen sentences to your Word document by pressing "add all to document" for the whole text, or clicking on a plus sign that will appear when you hover over an individual section if only adding one quote.

An Advantage: It Can Be Easily Synced With One Drive

Office 365 Transcription's most valuable feature is its ability to be synced with One Drive; a cloud storage system. This allows you to store your transcriptions securely and access them from any device, making it much easier to review and update files as needed. Moreover, if you no longer need a transcription, you can easily delete it from the cloud with just a few clicks.

Is Microsoft Transcription the Best Option?

Subscribers of Microsoft 365 can leverage the transcription feature to transcribe audio recordings, but accuracy is a primary issue. On average, users complain about the Word Error Rate (WER) being 16.51%. This may be slightly better than Amazon's speech recognition technology which stands at 18.42%, yet it fails in comparison with an AI-generated automated service which provides only 14.22% WER.

Unfortunately, Microsoft does not provide support if you want to bypass transcript editing completely and just get on with your work. Unlike the PowerPoint subtitles feature, which can be quickly produced with automated captioning; Microsoft Transcription does not offer the same convenience.


Office 365 Transcription is a convenient tool if you need to quickly jot down notes from any type of recording. It's easy to use, integrates with One Drive for quick access and storage, and provides basic editing features that help to ensure accuracy. However, due to its relatively high WER, it may not be the best option if you're looking for a turnkey solution that allows you to bypass transcript editing altogether. Therefore, it's important to weigh your transcription needs against the cost and availability of other AI-powered automated transcript services.

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