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How to Correct Automatic Transcription Errors With Descript (Tips and Shortcuts)

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Automatic transcription is a dream come true. It’s fast and inexpensive, and for the most part quite accurate. Still, errors in automatic transcriptions do occur—especially within noisy recordings—and correcting them can be a real drag. You have to re-listen to your entire project, pause it when you find an error, place your cursor where the error is, and type the correction before moving on again. It’s a simple process, but it can be extremely time consuming.

Enter Descript. In this tutorial, you’ll learn workflow tools that make correcting transcript errors easier and way more efficient.

Why Descript?

Check out the tutorial below to see Descript in action and read the steps that follow. You’ll learn how to use Descript’s readily accessible error correction features, which feel so intuitive that, over time, you’ll be amazed at how quickly you’ll be able to progress.

The Basics

While automatic transcription is magical, it’s not perfect. And most of the time, perfection is required and time is of the essence. Descript’s transcript correction features allow you to work precisely yet rapidly to create a flawless and polished transcript in no time. Here are a few key features Descript offers:

  • Their automatic transcription has industry-leading accuracy (95%) in just minutes.
  • For jobs that demand perfection, it offers White Glove service with 99% accuracy for $2/minute and delivery in 24 hours on average.
  • Its AI-powered Speaker Detective adds speaker labels in seconds.
  • It offers safe and secure technologies to ensure your data is private and protected.
  • A video word processor, it allows you to edit your video by editing your text.
  • It’s relatively affordable ($15-$30 a month, 20% less if you pay annually)

You can try out Descript by activating a free trial, which includes three hours of transcription, as well as access to other Descript features not discussed here (20 screen recordings and the ability to record, edit, and mix one project). Buy monthly access by subscribing to a Creator plan at $15/month or a Pro plan at $30/month or purchase an annual plan to receive a 20% discount.

How to Correct Automatic Transcript Errors in Descript

1. Listen to the Transcription

After you've uploaded your video and it's been transcribed, listen to it to check for errors by hitting the Play button or the Spacebar. For the purposes of this tutorial, we uploaded a video of artist Amy Hook-Therrien being interviewed by Taylor Long and had Descript transcribe it.

2. Revise Text Errors

When you find erroneous words, there are three ways you can revise them. You can highlight the incorrect text and click Correct on the button at the bottom of the screen.

You can place your cursor before the word, right click, and select Correct.

Or you can press e on your keyboard before the incorrect word.

Whichever way you get there, then type the correction in the box and select Correct. Handy feature: You can also correct the transcript as it plays. While the recording is going, highlight the incorrect word, press e on your keyboard (which will cause the recording to pause), type in the correction, and select Correct. The revision will then be made and the audio will automatically begin playing again.

3. Revise Punctuation Errors

If you are revising punctuation, you can directly input the change in the transcript. If you add a period to the transcript, Descript automatically capitalizes the next letter.

4. Revise Punctuation Errors with Keyboard Shortcuts

Descript also offers keyboard shortcuts for common punctuation and capitalization changes. For punctuation changes, highlight the incorrect word with its corresponding punctuation, hold down the w key, and you can toggle between the most common punctuations marks: period, comma, and clearing it. In our case, we wanted to change the period after “me” to a comma.

Once the period was changed into a comma, Descript automatically turned the first letter of the next word, “like,” into lowercase.

5. Revise Capitalization Errors with Keyboard Shortcuts

Similarly, you can correct capitalization errors with keyboard shortcuts. Highlight the incorrectly capitalized word, hold down the q key, and you can toggle between uppercase and lowercase. In our case, we wanted to make “they” uppercase.

Once you get a handle on the finger placement on the keyboard, editing can become quite efficient. By placing your thumb on the space bar, your index finger on e, your middle finger on w, and your ring finger on q, you can make corrections without ever taking your hand off the keyboard.

7. Revise Speaker Label Errors with Keyboard Short Cuts

Descript also offers a keyboard shortcut for speaker labels. Place your cursor where the speaker label should be and press command r. A line break is then added and it defaults to another speaker. In our case, we just have two speakers. We inserted a speaker label for the interviewer Taylor Long in a section Descript had designated to Amy Hook-Therrien. You can also click and drag the speaker label to where the correct boundary is.

8. Add Uncommon Words to the Transcription Glossary

Add uncommon words to the transcription glossary to increase the chances they’ll get transcribed accurately in your next transcription. Go to the pulldown menu under Descript Tutorial and select transcription glossary. In our transcript, Descript incorrectly transcribed Quechee as queen Chichi.

Enter the uncommon word into the transcription glossary and click Done. In our case, it is the word Quechee, which is a small village in the town of Hartford, Vermont. From then on, anytime Descript comes across a word that sounds like Quechee, it will be more likely to recognize it.

Fine Tune Transcription-Based Video Editing

If you’ve embraced Descript’s pretty impressive transcription technology and you need a perfect transcript, it’s worth mastering these simple, rather intuitive methods of revising the words, punctuation, and capitalization in your transcript. For a tutorial on editing video based on the transcript, we cover the details in How to Edit Video By Editing Text, Using Automated Transcripts and Descript (Fast Method). For a general introduction to using machine transcription for video, check 3 Ways to Subtitle and Caption Your Videos Automatically Using Artificial Intelligence.

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