The most important software you’ll need to do digital transcription work from home is transcription software. After installing the transcription software and receiving an audio file, the software will recognize the digital file. The transcriptionist can open the file, hear the recording and transcribe it.
The digital transcriptionist listens to the recording by using transcription software and a foot pedal that is attached to the computer. The software and the foot pedal allow the transcriptionist to start, stop, rewind, forward, slow down and speed up the recording and keep their hands free for typing. You can even use the hotkeys provided with some of the free transcription software to stop, start, rewind and play the recording instead of using a foot pedal. But using a foot pedal will increase your productivity.
Transcription software works similarly to the way tape transcription machines are working. Once you get used digital files, they will be as easy to work with as the old cassette transcribers.
There are several good transcription programs you can download for free. The most popular is Express Scribe.
You should not use speech recognition software for transcription work. You will need a word processing program, usually MS Word. Some legal professionals may require WordPerfect. General transcription work typically requires MS Word. Other software that you may need to use for transcription work includes FTP software to transfer files. Many FTP programs are free.
Typing tutorials can help you improve your typing skills. Text expander software also called abbreviation expanders can save 60% or more of your typing time and for a transcription that can mean that you can save hours of typing every day. If you are typing the same words and sentences over and over again, add them to your text expander. When adding words that you frequently mistype to your text expander, the program will correct your typos for you automatically, saving you even more time. There are free and fee-based text expanders. The cost of text expander programs will more than pay for itself with increased production.
After downloading and installing transcription software and download some practice audio, practice until you’re comfortable with the equipment and with transcription.
After getting familiar with transcription software and building up your speed, start applying for jobs with several transcription companies that accept new transcriptionists.