How to Transcribe a YouTube Video to Text Quickly

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YouTube is by far the most well-known hub for viewing all kinds of videos online. From the informative to the entertaining, new video content is uploaded by hundreds each minute. In other words, let’s just say, on YouTube, there is something for everyone.

There are several ways to attract an audience on YouTube, but there is one way that works even better: transcribing YouTube videos. YouTube video transcriptions also offer a learning experience, provide new ways to view videos and add to the viewer’s comprehension.

If you are interested in learning how to transcribe a YouTube video to text quickly, here are the most popular options.

1. Use transcription service

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One of the easiest and most convenient ways to transcribe YouTube videos is to use professional transcription services like Your video content is transcribed by professionals, meaning the task gets done faster. You also won’t have to worry about accuracy.

To get started, you will need to visit a reliable transcription service and follow the instructions on their website. Be sure you choose the type of service you need. For instance, those that offer closed captions, transcription, translation, and even subtitles.

2. Use Google docs

Did you know that you can also use Google Docs to transcribe your YouTube videos? It has a built-in voice dictation tool that can help the task done. It is only available on chromium-based browsers such as Google Chrome right now. Here is how to get started.

• Open a blank Google Doc
• Create a new document and then choose “Voice typing” from the tools bar on the menu on top.
• Select the language you will be speaking from the drop-down menu.
• Begin recording and transcribing the audio
• Now move to your YouTube Video tab and play your video.

Google Docs Voice Typing is very easy to use. As long as the sound is clear, this free tool can do a reasonable task of transcribing it. You should also know that it works best if only one individual is talking at a time. The output lacks punctuation as well, so if you need an accurate, clean transcript, it’ll need editing. Also, you cannot navigate away from the Google Docs window because you will stop the recording.

3. Use Google and YouTube’s free transcription tools

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YouTube has its own free built-in tools for converting videos to text. They are built right into the interface and are free, so it is only logical that they are the transcribing options you would want to use in most cases.

But if you want to transcribe through YouTube, you have to enable automatic captioning. YouTube will then use its speech recognition technology to generate captions, and from there, you can download a transcript.

While speech recognition software is an option, it is vital to keep in mind that automated captions are not 100% accurate. It usually has little to no punctuation, no speaker differentiation, and poorly done line breaks. That means you will have to do lots of editing to make YouTube’s automatically-created transcripts. Here is how to get started.

• Log into your YouTube channel and navigate to YouTube Studio.
• Click on Subtitles from the left-hand menu.
• Choose the video you want to transcribe.
• On the next screen, select your preferred language and then click Confirm.
• YouTube will automatically generate a transcript for you.
• Edit the text by clicking on Duplicate.
• Once you are done, click on the PUBLISH button.

Additionally, if you want to get a transcript for an existing YouTube video, then you will have to:

• Open the video on the platform itself.
• Click on the dots under the right sidebar to save.
• Next, select “Open transcript.”

If you are having issues getting YouTube to create captions, then the audio may be of poor quality, in a language that the platform doesn’t support or is not clear enough.

4. Do it yourself

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If you have a tight budget, consider going for the DIY (do it yourself) option. The option will cost you less or none, but you will definitely have to invest much of your time.

You can use a paid or free online tool. The disadvantage of using these online tools is that it is time-consuming. Don’t forget that if you add subtitles, you must be proficient in your target foreign language to make them error-free and understandable.

Why transcribe YouTube videos?

There are several reasons why it is important to transcribe your YouTube videos. They include:

  • Boost your SEO

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Search engines cannot crawl videos, but they can crawl texts. So without a doubt, YouTube transcriptions boost SEO, which means generating more visitors to your YouTube channel.

  • Improve learning

If you are creating learning or teaching tutorials, then you must add text transcripts. Text transcripts let viewers understand what you are teaching better. They are important in learning foreign languages and everyday speech.

Text transcripts are a great tool for offering learning opportunities since they allow the viewers to understand the tutorials better.

  • Increase engagement on the videos

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Engagement is usually shown on YouTube via human actions like viewing, liking, commenting and subscribing. Adding transcriptions have been shown to increase engagement. Put simply, transcriptions grab and hold your viewer’s attention, making them watch the video content to completion.

  • Help with accessibility

Adding transcriptions enable hard-of-hearing and deaf users to watch and enjoy videos. That is crucial for all video publishers, but educational institutions, broadcasters, businesses, and government agencies must comply with internal policies and accessibility laws.

The Bottom Line

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Transcribing YouTube videos is beneficial to everyone who wants to view any video without listening to it and those with hearing impairments. Hopefully, you will use the technique to rank higher in search engines and boost your marketing strategy.

Whether you use a transcription service, do it yourself, have YouTube generate it, or use software, remember accuracy is simply number one