Note: This feature is currently available only on the Windows platform in OneNote for Microsoft 365.
Voice and Ink are a powerful combination. Together for the first time in Office, transcription and ink makes it easier than ever to take notes, focus on what’s important, and review your content later. With transcription on, you can record what you hear. You’re free to annotate, write notes, or highlight what’s important. When you’re ready to review, your ink will play back in lockstep with the recording. You can easily jump to a specific moment by tapping on any annotation to recall more context.
You can transcribe speech in two ways:
- Record directly in OneNote.
- Upload an audio file.
Note: When you play back the audio, you can see the ink strokes that you made during the recording.
Important: Users with Microsoft 365 subscriptions can transcribe unlimited minutes of uploaded audio using the transcribe feature. For more information, refer to Unlock unlimited upload minutes.
RECORD IN ONENOTE
You can record directly in OneNote while taking notes in the canvas and then transcribe the recording. OneNote transcribes in the background as you record; you won’t see text on the page as you would when dictating. You’ll see the transcript after you save and transcribe the recording. The ink strokes you make while recording it will be captured and replayed.
Make sure you’re signed into Microsoft 365 and using the latest version on OneNote.
- Be careful to set the correct microphone input on your device for the best result. For example, if your computer’s microphone input is set to your headset mic based on the last time you used it, it won’t work well for picking up an in-person meeting.
- If you want to record and transcribe a virtual call, don’t use your headset. That way, the recording can pick up the sound coming out of your device.
- Go to Home > Transcribe > Transcribe.
- In the Transcribe pane, select Start recording.
- If it’s your first-time transcribing, give the OneNote app permission to use your mic: How to set up and test microphones in Windows (microsoft.com).
Tip: When the pause icon is outlined in purple and the timestamp starts to change, the recording has started and you can speak, have a conversation, or record a lecture. Speak clearly or make sure the incoming audio is clear.
- Start talking or begin a conversation with another person. Speak clearly.
- Leave the Transcribe pane open while recording.
- Pause and resume recording as you need.
Pause the recording by selecting the pause icon.
Resume recording by selecting the microphone icon.
- When finished, select Save and transcribe now to save your recording to OneDrive and start the transcription process.
- Transcription may take a while depending on your internet speed. Keep the Transcribe pane open while the transcription is being made. Feel free to do other work or switch browser tabs or applications and come back later.
Note: The recordings are stored in the Transcribed Files folder on OneDrive. You can delete them there. Learn more about privacy at Microsoft.
UPLOAD AN AUDIO FILE
You can upload a pre-recorded audio file and then transcribe the recording. Make sure you’re signed into Microsoft 365 and using the latest version on OneNote.
- Go to Home > Transcribe > Transcribe.
- In the Transcribe pane, select Upload audio.
- Choose an audio file from the file picker. Transcribe currently supports .wav, .mp4, .m4a, .mp3 formats.
- Transcription may take a while depending on your internet speed, up to the length of the audio file. Be certain to keep the Transcribe pane open while the transcription is happening, but feel free to do other work, switch browser tabs or applications, and come back later.
- You can delete stored recordings in the Transcribed Files folder on OneDrive. Learn more about privacy at Microsoft.
USE INK WHILE RECORDING
You can do the inking on the canvas while the recording continues. Each movement is captured and played back in sync with the audio during playback.
Note: Inking strokes made during the paused state replay at the same time.
INTERACT WITH THE TRANSCRIPT
Your transcript is associated with the OneNote page it’s attached to, until you remove it from that document. If you close and reopen the pane or the document, the transcript remains saved with the document.
You can interact with the transcript these different ways.
Access the audio file
The audio file, whether it is recorded or uploaded, is stored in the Transcribed Files folder in OneDrive.
Play back the audio
Use the controls at the top of the Transcribe pane to play back your audio. The relevant transcript section highlights as it plays.
- Select the timestamp of any transcript section to play that portion of audio.
- Change the playback speed up to 2x.
Relabel a speaker or edit a section
The transcription service identifies and separates different speakers and labels them “Speaker 1,” “Speaker 2,” etc. You can edit the speaker label and change all occurrences of it to something else. You can also edit the content of a section to correct any issues in transcription.
- In the Transcribe pane, hover over a section you want to edit.
- Select the Edit transcript section icon.
- Edit the content or change the label. To change all instances of a label, select Change all Speaker [x].
- To save your changes, select the Confirm icon.
Add a transcript to the document
Unlike Dictate, Transcribe doesn’t automatically add audio to the document. Instead, from the Transcribe pane, you can add the entire transcript, or specific sections of it, to the document.
- To add a specific transcript section, hover over the section and select the Add section to page icon.
- To add the entire transcript to the document, select Add to page.
- To delete the transcript or create a new one, select New transcription.
Note: You can only store one transcript per document; if you create a new transcript for the document, the current transcript will be deleted. However, any transcript sections you’ve added to the document remain in the document, but not in the Transcribe pane.
Rename a recorded audio file
You can rename an audio file that has been recorded.
- Go to the Transcribed Files folder in OneDrive, or at the top of the Transcribe pane. Select the name of the recording. When the audio player interface appears, close it to return to the Transcribed Files folder.
- Find your recording, then select Actions > Rename and rename the recording file.
- Close the Transcribe pane in OneNote and then reopen it to see the name update.
Note: The Transcribed Files folder looks different depending on whether your OneDrive account is for a business or personal.
SHARING THE TRANSCRIPT AND RECORDING
You can share the transcript with someone in two ways:
- Select the Add all to document button to add the entire transcript to your OneNote page, then share the OneNote page as usual. The transcript displays as regular text in the page with a hyperlink to the audio file in the document.
- Share the OneNote page as usual. The recipient can open the Transcribe pane to interact with the transcript. To protect your privacy, playback of the audio file is, by default, not available in the Transcribe pane for anyone that you share the OneNote page with.
You can also share the transcript and enable playback of the audio file in the Transcribe pane:
- On your version of the OneNote page, click the filename at the top of the Transcribe pane to go to where the audio file is saved in OneDrive.
- The Transcribed Files folder in OneDrive opens.
- Find your recording, then select Actions > Shareand add the email address of the person you want to share the recording with.
- Also share the OneNote page as usual.
- The person that you shared both the OneNote page and the audio file with will be able to open the OneNote page, open the Transcribe pane, and interact with both the transcript and audio file.
UNLOCK UNLIMITED UPLOAD MINUTES
Now users with a Microsoft 365 subscription can transcribe unlimited minutes of uploaded audio using the transcribe feature. Previously, the limit was 300 minutes per month per user. There’s been no change for live recordings, and you can still transcribe unlimited minutes of live recordings.
Note: Unlimited transcription for uploaded audio is available to enterprise customers upon request.
How this change affects your organization
If you request access for your organization, unlimited transcription for uploaded audio is available to everyone in your organization as a preview experience. A limit for uploaded audio may be reintroduced in the future, with the option to purchase additional minutes based on your usage.
How to prepare
- This is a preview experience and does not require any additional costs or technical changes and doesn’t have any negative performance impact for the end users.
- After the preview period, there may be a cap for uploaded audio with the option to purchase additional minutes based on your usage. You will be notified well in advance of any pricing provisions so that you understand the implications and associated monetary costs and can make an informed decision.
- As of now, this preview experience is not for individual users; it is only available at the tenant level. Everyone in the tenant will have access to it if it has been enabled.