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7 minute read
7 Jun 2023

How to transcribe audio using Google Docs?

Automatic transcription
Manual transcription

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Transcription of audio content is gradually becoming a crucial part of content development. There are various reasons why anyone would need to transcribe their audio content.

Manually transcribing content takes time and nerves. But transcriptions are important to make your content truly accessible to everyone; including people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Apart from transcription services like Amberscript, which makes it easier and faster for you to transcribe content automatically and manually, there is also Google Docs.

Google Docs, which most people probably don’t know, has many extra features exclusive to Google Chrome users. One of these features allows these users to convert voice notes to text. This feature is known as voice input. We explain these features to you and give you all the information you need to know about automatic as well as manual transcription.

Pros and Cons of Transcribing with Google Docs


  1. Convenience: Google Docs is easily accessible from anywhere with an internet connection. This makes it an ideal tool for transcribing recordings remotely, without having to be physically present in the same location as the recording.
  2. Collaboration: Google Docs allows multiple users to work on the same document simultaneously. This is particularly useful for transcribing long recordings, as it enables multiple transcribers to work on different sections of the recording at the same time, which can significantly speed up the transcription process.
  3. Voice typing: Google Docs has a built-in voice typing feature that allows users to transcribe recordings using their voice. This can be a convenient option for users who find it easier to dictate their transcriptions rather than typing them out manually.


  1. Accuracy: Google Docs transcription is not always 100% accurate. The accuracy of the transcription depends on the quality of the recording, the clarity of the speakers’ voices, and the complexity of the language used. In some cases, the transcription may require significant editing and correction to ensure accuracy.
  2. Limited functionality: Google Docs is not specifically designed for transcription, and as a result, it has limited functionality when it comes to features such as playback speed control, timestamp insertion, and speaker identification. These features can be crucial for certain types of transcription, such as legal or medical transcription.
  3. Security: Google Docs is a cloud-based tool, which means that the transcription data is stored on Google’s servers. While Google has robust security measures in place, some users may be uncomfortable with storing sensitive or confidential transcription data on a third-party platform.

Is Google Docs Transcription good enough?

While Google Docs can be a useful tool for transcribing recordings, it’s important to note that its accuracy may not always be 100%. While the built-in voice typing feature can be convenient, it’s still necessary to carefully review and edit the transcription for accuracy. For specialized transcription needs, such as legal or medical transcription, it may be better to use a dedicated transcription software or service that offers more advanced features and greater accuracy. Nevertheless, by combining the use of Google Docs with the best free audio editing software, users can create polished transcriptions and audio recordings that meet their needs.

Which types of transcription can Google Docs provide

Google Docs can be used for general transcription needs, such as transcribing interviews, podcasts, and meetings. However, it may not be suitable for specialized transcription needs, like legal or medical transcription, as it lacks some features that are often required for these types of transcriptions.

Types of transcription

There are several ways to transcribe your audio content. In general terms, those ways can be classified into two:

Both types can effectively get the job done if one is patient and committed to the process.

Though manual transcription does take time, many people still use it for reasons that include privacy, security, and the likes. Some don’t like the idea of using third-party software or apps to transcribe their audio files. So, the use of manual mode comes in handy.

There are several ways to transcribe your audio files manually. One of such is Google Docs.

Google Docs

Google Docs icon enlarged with magnifying glass

This is a product from Google that enables content developers to write and edit text. Google Docs can transcribe audio to text. This feature is known as voice typing. It is similar to the voice feature on google that allows you to search on the Google engine using your voice.

The voice typing feature on Google Docs is only available in the Chrome browsers.

You can use the Google Docs voice typing feature by following these steps:

  1. Just make sure you are connected to the internet. If you want to access your file offline, use Google Chrome as your browser. You can also download the Google Docs app on your mobile phone.
  2. Visit the Google Docs website.
  3. The process requires that you register your Google mail. If you do not have one, you can easily open a new Google mail account.
  4. Enter your Gmail address and open the docs page
  5. Start a New Document on the page
  6. At the top of the screen, click on the “Tools” option and click on Voice Typing. Alternatively, use this shortcut ⌘+Shift⇧+S / Command CMD+Shift⇧+S. Note that this feature is only available if you are connected to the internet.
  7. Permit the voice typing feature to use your pc or laptop microphone.
  8. Start transcribing your audio by talking into the microphone.
  9. The laptop or PC has an inbuilt microphone. However, you can use an external microphone for better capture. This increases voice recognition accuracy and reduces errors.
  10. You can edit the file as you transcribe.
  11. Google Docs automatically saves your audio transcription to the online drive if you are connected to the internet and on the device if you are not connected.
Google Docs mobile app launching screen view

Google Docs voice typing is just one method of transcription. There are several others we are referring to in the following. This much we can say already, one major disadvantage of manually typing in order to transcribe, is the time required to complete the process. Transcribing a 30 minute audio recording may well take an operating time of twice that. Not to mention keeping the error to the minimum.

Machine-Made Transcription

Another method of transcribing your audio content is through the use of third-party software. This software automatically transcribes your audio files within minutes; provides the draft for you to check and edit; then gives you the option of saving using the format of your choice. One of such third-party software with excellent accuracy is Amberscript.


Amberscript is a reliable transcription service that offers you more than conversion of audio to text. They have a holistic model of services that leaves you wanting more. The automatic transcription is done using their AI speech recognition software. This software transcribes the audio content in minutes and presents the result which you can further edit, save, and export. The website offers transcription services for video files as well.

Benefits of using Amberscript

Amberscript’s subtitle services are:


Edit your own text within minutes or leave the work to our experienced subtitlers.


Our experienced subtitlers and thorough quality controls ensure 100% accuracy of your transcriptions and subtitles.


Thanks to a variety of integrations and API interfaces, you can fully automate your workflows.


Your data is in safe hands. We are GDPR compliant + ISO27001 & ISO9001 certified.

How to transcribe using Amberscript

The process is very simple and straightforward:

  1. Visit the Amberscript website and log in or register in the upper right corner of the page.
  2. Upload your audio or video file to the online editor.
  3. Choose your service: We offer machine-made and human-made transcription services
  4. In case of the machine-made option, after the speech recognition software completed transcribing your files you can edit the text with the online text editor feature . Editing includes changes like paragraphs, highlighting a part of the text, some special words, and many others.
  5. Once the editing is done, save and export your file. Machine-made transcription is available in more than 39 major languages.

Human-Made Transcription using Amberscript

If you insist on the use of manual transcription for reasons best known to you, but you do not have the time to do that yourself, Amberscript has got you covered. We have professional transcribers that are expert and native speakers of the language chosen. These experts are available in 15 different languages. You can make use of our services for your audio transcription.

  1. The clean read service allows the expert to transcribe your audio using the highest-accuracy text to make the transcription more readable.
  2. The verbatim service allows the expert to transcribe all the words and phrases exactly as said.

Choose one of these features, and the experts would deliver in no time. The steps involved are basically the same as the steps involved in automatic transcription. The one difference is the product selected. Select manual transcription, and you are good to go.

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More About Amberscript

Here are some points to note about the Amberscript Machine-Made Transcription:

  • The transcript can be saved in different formats. This basically depends on why you need the transcription. For data annotation, JSON and XML are the recommended text. Amberscript provides both formats. There are other formats available; they include Text, SRT, VTT, EBU-SLT, etc.
  • In terms of security and confidentiality, Amberscript takes those very seriously. Our IT infrastructure is built on a secured web service located in Frankfurt, Germany. The data is processed by Amberscript and is stored on highly secured servers with regular backups. You need not worry if you want to secure your uploaded file.
  • The audio transcription mode accepts audio format that includes MP3, MOV, WAV, WMA, AAC, and many others.
  • Other services include data annotation, automatic subtitles, manual subtitles, or business solutions.

Google Docs transcribes your audio content using the voice typing feature. This is an excellent tool by Google, allowing those that prefer the do-it-yourself model of transcription to do so without stress. You can make use of this feature by using Google Chrome. Amberscript provides the automatic alternative. Select based on your preference and enjoy the service.

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