Writing your first transcript using Limecraft Transcriber


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Using Limecraft Transcriber, you to create transcripts for your audio and video in minutes. We keep the transcription in sync with the media, word-for-word, so a text selection in your transcript will always correspond to proper in- and outpoint in your media. This makes it easier for you to select quotes and fragments later on.

Note – This article discusses writing a transcript without using Automatic Speech Recognition.

How to enter the Transcriber application

Find the Go to transcript action on a clip thumbnail and click it.

 

When you open the Transcript for a clip which has not been transcribed, you’ll see a window similar to the one below:

In cases where the audio and the quality of the speaker are good enough, you can take a shortcut using automated transcription. However, as you intend to start writing our transcript from scratch, click ‘SKIP‘.

Note: Automatic transcription is explained below

A blank transcript appears:

initial-transcript

At the top left corner, you see the VIEW | EDIT toggle. Click ‘EDIT’ to edit your transcript. You’ll notice the player controls at the bottom of the screen change to the tools you will use to write the transcript:

transcript-player-controls

 

Controlling the player

So why do we have two play buttons?

transcript-f1 This is the plain old play button. Press it to start playing the media. Press it again to pause play-out.
transcript-f2 This is the play button with a twist! If you are editing the transcript, your text cursor will be somewhere in the transcript text. Pressing this button will start play-out from the time position corresponding to your text cursor position.

If you press the button while play-out is busy, the player will pause. In addition, the text cursor in your transcript will move to the position corresponding to the playhead position.

Finally, if you selected some text in the transcript, pressing this button will play out the range corresponding to the text selection.

 

The current playhead position is shown in the bottom left corner of the screen:
player-timecode

Besides the F1 and F2 controls explained before, these player controls are available:

player-frame-back-forward Use the buttons on the left and right of the timecode to move a single frame back or forward.
player-tc-button Enable timecode overlay. This renders the current playhead position on top of the video.
F7 moves the playhead one second back, while F8 moves the playhead one second forward. Hold shift to move a single frame back or forward.
F9 plays back the media slower, while F10 increases the playback speed. Press multiple times to slow down / speed up even more.

Shortcuts, shortcuts, shortcuts!

Have you noticed the small labels below the button icons (F1, F2, …)? They correspond to the F1, F2, … keys on your keyboard. So pressing the F1 key on your keyboard will have the same effect as clicking the button on the screen. Using these shortcuts will maximize your transcription speed.

If you are using a mac (and on some other devices), the shortcut is fn+F1, fn+F2, … So you have to press and hold the fn key while pressing the F1 key (and similar for F2, F3, …). As this is a bit clunky, you might consider configuring your Mac to use F1, F2 etc. as standard function keys as explained here.

mac-keyboard

Where to find the fn and the function keys on your keyboard.

 

How to start Writing

The key to efficiently turn audio into text is the “F3” button. So what does the third button do?

Press and hold to record a time range. A dialog will be shown in which you can provide the spoken text in that  range.

As 90% of the transcription will happen with this tool, let’s explain that a bit more.

Play your video with the F1 control. When you hear something you want to transcribe, press and hold down F3. The following dialog should pop up:

F3-down

Hold down the F3 key and try to remember what is spoken out loud. Release the F3 key after a few spoken words. Now the dialog changes to

F3-released

The time-codes at the top represent the player positions at which you started / stopped playing out (pressed / released the F3 button). You can tweak the time-codes if you like. Click the green circle next to a timecode to set the timecode to the current playhead position. Press the “Preview” button to replay the range between both time-codes.

Below the time-codes is a text field, type the text you heard in it. Press “Preview” if you can’t remember what has been said or if you tweaked the time codes. Press the return key (or press Confirm) when you have finished. The text you entered now appears in the transcript:

transcript-part

Press and hold F3 again and do the same again for the next few words, and so on and so on.

To get the most out of the F3 tool, use it via its shortcut F3 (or fn+F3 on a Mac). Press and hold F3. Release it. Type text. Press enter. Press and hold F3. And so on… No mouse needed!

Speakers

Each paragraph in your transcript has an associated speaker. We default to names like ‘Speaker 1’, but you can change the speaker by clicking them and typing a different name:

speaker-name-inline-edit

While typing, you might see a dropdown appear with speaker suggestions. This is a nice way to keep your speaker names consistent.

For multiple paragraphs spoken by the same speaker, we don’t show the speaker name so as not to disturb the flow of the transcript. To reveal the speaker name, either use the F4 button or shortcut, or click the colored line in front of the paragraph.

Move cursor to the speaker of this paragraph, so you can change it.

 

Bulk speaker rename

You can change the name of a given speaker (in all paragraphs spoken by this speaker) using the Edit Speakers tool. The tool is launched using the button at the top of the transcript text

edit-speakers-button

The following dialog appears

With the tool, you can navigate through all speakers using the big gray buttons on the left and right side of the dialog, and give them a name. After giving a speaker a name, don’t forget to press the ‘Save Speaker Name’ button.

To help you identify the speaker, a paragraph of text spoken by this speaker is highlighted in the transcript. You can press the ‘Listen’ button to start playing the paragraph in the video player. Press the ‘Next paragraph’ button to listen to another paragraph spoken by the speaker.

speaker-tool-animation

Change timing of selected text

If the timecodes associated with a few words is off, you can use the F5 tool to correct their timing.

Change timing of a text selection.

Simply select the words or sentence you would like to change the timing for in the transcript, and press the F5 button or shortcut. A dialog appears:

f5-dialog

Change the IN and OUT timecodes until the range corresponds to the text you selected. Click the green dot next to a timecode to change the timecode to the current playhead position. Press “Preview” to play out the range between the IN and OUT timecodes.

The checkbox ‘each word has the same duration’ will give each word within the range the same duration. Untick this box if you would like the relative word duration to be respected when changing the timing.

Use automated speech recognition

Limecraft Flow’s transcript editor is also integrated with our powerful automatic transcription engine. Instead of creating a transcript manually, you can let our machines do the hard work for you.

Open the transcript editor for a clip which hasn’t got a transcript yet. It should look like the image below:

transcript-not-started

Pick “Start Automatic Transcription”. Automatic transcription might take a while depending on the length of your material. You don’t have to keep the page open for the automatic transcription to continue. When the automatic transcription has finished, the right side of the screen will be populated with the transcript, like shown below.

transcript

Note: While in the Flow library, you can select multiple clips and click the Start Speech Recogntion action in the More Actions menu of the toolbar:
selection-start-speech-action

You will now have a starting point for your transcript, based on speech recognition. Go into edit mode by clicking the EDIT button above the transcript text. Each word is synced to a position in the video. Clicking a word while holding down the Ctrl key will seek the player to that position.

You can simply edit the transcript like you would do in a text editor. The software will keep the link with the timecode positions in you media intact.

Mark quotes

If you want to use the transcript to mark interesting parts and create quotes, click the VIEW button. Also make sure that the subclips sidebar is visible by clicking the subclips button in the top right corner:

subclip-tab-button

The interface now contains a player at the left, the subclips sidebar at the right and the transcript in the middle.

Note: The player controls and the subclips sidebar are explained in detail here. This article is about using the transcript text to create subclips.

Creating a new subclip using the transcript is as easy as marking the text in the transcript, and then clicking the ‘new subclip’ text input, as shown in the animation below. The text selection is instantly converted into a timeline selection. Naturally, you can also add a description, tags and mention team members.

create-quote-anim

Change your work area

At the top right corner of the application, you’ll find the help buttons and some toggles to show or hide panes in the application.

navbar-buttons-explained

Go ahead and try clicking some of the buttons. Click the button again to revert the action. For example, you can hide the video if you have a small screen or if you just prefer it that way.

The help button on the far right will show a menu with a ‘talk to us’ option. Click it to get in touch! We like to help you out if you get stuck for some reason, and we like to hear your experiences with the application!

talk-to-us