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Transcription Tools

DiRT (Digital Research Tools) has a new home! Please visit Bamboo DiRT to explore this excellent collection of research tools.


Some available software helps you to transcribe text--convert spoken or handwritten works to a typewritten, machine-readable format.



  • Dragon Naturally Speaking: "Surf the Web by voice or dictate and edit in Microsoft Word and Excel, Corel WordPerfect, and most other Windows-based applications. Create voice commands to quickly insert blocks of texts or images — such as your name, title, and signature." (Commercial, PC/Mac)
  • EXMARaLDA: a system for creating, managing and analysing corpora of spoken language transcriptions (Free, cross-platform)
  • Express Scribe Transcription Playback Software: "professional audio player software...designed to assist the transcription of audio recordings. The program is installed on the typist's computer and can be controlled using a transcription foot pedal or keyboard (with 'hot' keys)." (Free, cross-platform)
  • FOLKER: an editor for efficient transcription of audio-recorded multi-party dialog (Free, cross-platform) 
  • FromThePage: wiki-like system for transcribing and presenting handwritten documents.  Extensive support for semantic markup.  (Beta-only, Open-source release scheduled for mid-2010)
  • HyperTranscribe 1.0: "lets you open and play most popular audio and video formats, and provides both graphical and keyboard control to play, pause, and loop playback so your hands never have to leave the keyboard." (Commercial, PC/Mac)
  • InqScribe: "software that supports transcription, analysis, and subtitling of digital audio and video" (Commercial, PC/Mac)
  • MacSpeech Dictate: speech recognition software (Commercial, Mac)
  • ProofreadPage: extension for MediaWiki allowing editing of transcriptions side-by-side with page images.  Used on WikiSource for manuscript and early print transcription projects.  Supports workflow, but no markup.  (Open source, web-based)
  • Stories Matter: oral history database; "clip, index and export audio and video recordings" (Open source, cross-platform)
  • Transana: "Software for the transcription and qualitative analysis of video and audio data" (Commercial; open source, Windows/Mac)
  • Transcriber: "a tool for segmenting, labeling and transcribing speech" (Open source, cross-platform)
  • Transcript: desktop-based manuscript transcription tool.  Supports word-processor-style formatting.  (Free for basic version, Windows-only)
  • Transcription Assistant: "Tool to assist transcribers in creating transcriptions, and incorporate meta-data about each image and transcription that can then be used to search through an electronic library of transcriptions." (Free, cross-platform)

  • Transcriptions: "Text Editor optimized for fast transcription of audio- or video material" (Free, Mac)

  • Voicewalker: "a transcriber's tool, designed to help you transcribe audio or video recordings. VoiceWalker lets you play back the sound in a controlled way, with the benefit of being able to systematically step (or "walk") through a recording, repeating short segments for a specified number of repetitions, then moving on to the next segment." (Free, Windows)




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