Microsoft Word can now transcribe audio

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Microsoft Word now brings new features related to voice. The popular text editor will recognize voice commands and will automatically start transcribing dictated texts.

The new feature works in a similar way to some services already existing in the technology market such as Otter.ai. This means that the user can start recording transcriptions in real time, or upload audio or even video clips.

The transcribed text can then be heard, in paragraphs, for example, at different speeds. The system is capable of recognizing the speech of different actors and marks those entries, after the user identifies the names of each one.

To use the feature, you must have a Microsoft 365 subscription. There is a limit of five hours of transcription per month and 200 MB of file uploads. At the moment, the dictation and transcription functionality can only be found in the web version of Word.

Microsoft does not compress the audio for transcribing. Instead, it is captured in WAV format and loaded directly into a new folder on its own OneDrive storage. At this stage, the news is not yet available in Portuguese in Portugal.

In practice, the text that is transcribed will be in a new sidebar, located in the region to the right of the application. The user can also take notes along with the recording and insert parts of the transcript as soon as it is completed. It is still possible to rename each of the identified speakers. After doing this, the user can also move the words that have been transcribed into the Word document. The main issue is that the accuracy of the feature depends directly on the quality of the recording.

Still, Microsoft has announced that the feature will be released for applications for Android e iOS Word by the end of 2020.

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