Quick Tips on Shortcuts for Beginner Transcribers

Quick Tips on Shortcuts for Beginner Transcribers

Whether you’ve just started a job as a transcriber or you’re thinking about it, you should consider using AutoCorrects and Macros. They can save time, headaches, and increase accuracy if done properly. Below are some quick and easy guidelines to help you get started.


How to make custom AutoCorrects in MS Word 2010:


File > Options > Proofing > AutoCorrect Options


  • DO make sure they are unique. For example, you may run into issues with the AutoCorrect “st” since you’ll probably abbreviate the word “street” at some point.
  • DO use them for time-consuming proper nouns. For example, I use “wdc” for “Washington, D.C.”
  • DO use them for parentheticals. I use “iii” for “(Inaudible.)” and “aaa” for “(Applause.)”
  • DO use them to replace embarrassing typos (I’ll leave this to your imagination).
  • DO NOT go overboard. If there are too many, you may wind up typing them inadvertently.

How to make Macros in MS Word 2010 (good for shortcuts with formatting):


View > Macros (click down arrow) > Record Macro > Keyboard > Enter shortcut key (for example, ALT + [letter]) > Assign > Close > Type and format full version > Click down arrow > Stop Recording.


  • DO use macros for colloquy. For example, instead of typing and formatting the following ID, I just press ALT+O:




  • DO reuse Macros for new transcripts. For general transcription, where speaker IDs change all the time, you’ll want to reuse the same Macros. I use ALT+X and ALT+Y for new speakers.


I find shortcuts to be extremely convenient, but many transcribers don’t bother adding more than the bare minimum. Having switched computers, I know what a pain it is to add them back again. However, if you plan to transcribe for a long time, or if you’re sick of misspelling the same word again and again, I say shortcuts are the way to go.

Do you agree? Let us know in the comments!

Image by Andrew Milko

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