News and Notes related to Digital Media Transcription, Analysis, and Captioning.
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  • InqScribe Tips: Format Transcripts as Tables

    Posted on January 29th, 2014 christina No comments

    We often get inquiries from our users about how to format text as tables in InqScribe. Because InqScribe’s transcript window is “plain text,” it does not support tables. However, we can suggest these methods for converting InqScribe transcripts into table format.

    Many of our users use the Tab key to delineate columns and the Return key to delineate rows. You can export your transcript as “Tab-delimited text” from within InqScribe and then open in a program that supports tables, such as Word or Excel.


    1. Export the transcript as Tab-delimited Text…

    File > Export > Tab Delimited Text...

    Click export

    2. Open the exported text file. Select the text, and then copy and paste into a blank Word document.

    Open the text file

    Copy the text

    Paste into Word

    3. Choose Table>Convert>Convert text to table to convert the text to a table.

    Table > Convert > Convert to Table

    Click OK

    Text formatted as a table

    To further format your table (e.g., change the color of the cells or borders) choose Format>Borders and Shading…

    You can also export your transcript as HTML, which creates an HTML-based table format. You can open the HTML file directly in Word and repeat the steps above to create a table with borders.


    1. Open the exported text file. Select the text, and then copy and paste into a blank spreadsheet.

    Copy the text

    Paste into a blank spreadsheet

    Text in Excel

    Your tips and ideas

    Do you have another way of formatting transcripts created in InqScribe? Need additional features? Let us know via our customer feedback pages.

  • Keyboard Shortcuts for Film Editors

    Posted on January 24th, 2012 ben No comments

    One of our customers, a professor at a film school, suggested this tip:

    For those of you used to using industry standard editting software like Final Cut and Avid, you can map “j”, “k”, and “l” with modifier keys to back/pause/forward.  Since you need the j/k/l keys for actually inputting text during transcription, you’ll need to use modifier keys (Ctrl, Command, etc.).

    On the Mac you would use the “Command” and “Option” keys to set up something like this:

    • Command-j => Play Backwards at Custom Rate 1.x
    • Command-Option-j => Play Backwards at Custom Rate 2.0x
    • Command-k => Pause
    • Command-l => Play at Custom Rate 1.x
    • Command-Option-l => Play at Custom Rate 2.0x

    In Windows you would use the “Ctrl” and “Shift” keys to set up something like this:

    • Ctrl-j => Play Backwards at Custom Rate 1.x
    • Ctrl-Shift-j => Play Backwards at Custom Rate 2.0x
    • Ctrl-k => Pause
    • Ctrl-l => Play at Custom Rate 1.x
    • Ctrl-Shift-l => Play at Custom Rate 2.0x

    You can obviously tweak these to suit your workflow.

    Note that by setting Command-l/Ctrl-l to “Play at Custom Rate 1.x” you can toggle back and forth between the fast speed and the slow speed.  If you set it to “Play” instead, hitting Command-l/Ctrl-l would only continue playing at the current play rate.  So if you’re already at 2.x, the play rate won’t change.

    An alternative approach would be to set Command-Option-l/Ctrl-Shift-l to “Change Play Rate” by 1.x.  Then every time you hit Command-Option-l/Ctrl-Shift-l the play rate would increase to 2.x, 3.x, etc..  And you can hit Command-l/Ctrl-l to get back to the 1.x rate.  This would more emulate the behavior of FCP.

    For instructions on how to set up shortcuts:

    Comments are turned off in this blog, but head on over to our Facebook page for to leave comments:

  • Guest Blog: “This is definitely the fastest transcription we’ve ever done.”

    Posted on September 13th, 2011 ben No comments

    Filmmakers like InqScribe for a multitude of reasons. In this latest guest blog, part of our ongoing series highlighting how folks use InqScribe, Bongiorno Productions, an award-winning filmmaking duo, talk about how they’re using it with their latest project.

    Got an interesting story about how you’re using InqScribe? Please contact us at if you’d like to highlight your work.

    Screenshot from The Monks

    Monks in the Hood

    Emmy-nominated, award-winning, husband and wife filmmakers, Marylou and Jerome Bongiorno (, are in production on a new documentary called The Rule. It’s the story of Benedictine monks working in inner city Newark, NJ, as a successful model to combat the plight of urban America – to read more about the production, please see this news article.

    Filmmakers’ comments on InqScribe:

    Since we shoot a lot of footage when we’re creating a doc, including both vérité and lengthy interviews, there is no way to remember it all for editing. So, we log and transcribe the footage. We then read over the transcripts, highlight key sound bites, and edit the bites into a smooth story.

    This process requires InqScribe – an exceptional, flexible transcription software that allows you to:

    1. Customize controls on your keyboard to facilitate quick typing.

    2. Type directly into a user-friendly, neat looking console that plays back the video or audio file. Plus, the console is intuitive, meaning you can start transcribing almost immediately.

    3. Punch in timecode as you’re transcribing, without stopping the playback – a great feature. We used to transcribe by using an editing program (so that we can copy the timecode) and a word processing program. The time spent switching back and forth – copying and pasting timecodes – doubled the transcription time. Punching in timecode is now easy, and we do it frequently for a more efficient transcript.

    4. Start your timecode from zero, set a custom timecode, or the software can read the media timecode (essential for editing).

    5. Slow the audio or speed it up. InqScribe does both at custom rates.

    6. Export the user-friendly files to many different file types to facilitate reading or printing. Even if some footage doesn’t make the final cut, transcribing is essential in archiving everything into a searchable format for future use.

    Bottom Line:

    If you have some typing skills and your time is valuable, InqScribe is the “it” software. It makes transcribing fun and highly efficient. This is definitely the fastest transcription we’ve ever done.

  • Second Language Learning Using Films

    Posted on April 19th, 2011 ben No comments

    A part of our occasional series highlighting interesting uses of InqScribe

    In addition to transcriptionists and documentary filmmakers, researchers make up a large portion of InqScribe users.  Although, in this case, we hit two of our favorite topics simultaneously: research and education.

    Alex Gilmore, a professor at the University of Tokyo, just published a book chapter on using InqScribe to produce film-based teaching resources based for second language learning.

    InqScribe screenshot

    Why film?  Think about it, wouldn’t you rather learn a language by watching a film than reading boring text or hokey audio tapes? Films are a naturally motivating platform for teaching language. They’re also useful because they have contextual and discourse features like colloquial language, politeness strategies, and vague language that make them valuable for developing listening skills. They represent a much more authentic use of language.

    Why not just use the subtitles present in many DVDs? Subtitles are actually often condensed versions of what is actually said. In language learning, it’s important to have the full text. So you have to take the time to produce quality learning materials.

    In the chapter, Professor Gilmore details a procedure in which he uses InqScribe to produce teaching materials for an episode of Fawlty Towers, a British comedy television series. This includes subtitles as well as classroom materials. He covers ripping from DVD all the way to producing subtitles, so it’s a pretty thorough tutorial.

    He’s generously provided a PDF of the chapter. You can download the paper here.

    Gilmore, A. (2009). Catching words: Exploiting film discourse in the foreign language classroom. In F. Mishan & A. Chambers (eds.), Perspectives on Language Learning Materials Development. Oxford: Peter Lang AG.

  • Tip: USB Shortcut/Foot Pedal Crashing Workarounds

    Posted on April 12th, 2011 ben No comments

    If you’re using a corded Microsoft Digital Media keyboard or some multimedia keyboards from other manufacturers (we know of one case from Acer), you might be experiencing odd crashes when you try to run the “Set Up Foot Pedal” wizard or define shortcuts triggers.

    (This tip is also helpful for others who might be experiencing crashes while setting up a foot pedal or defining shortcuts.)

    We’re working on a fix for this, but in the meantime here’s what you can do:

    1. Plug in only the minimal USB devices you need to set up the foot pedal: e.g. a mouse and the foot pedal.
    2. Unplug your digital media keyboard, and all unnecessary USB devices.
    3. Start InqScribe.
    4. Run the Set Up Foot Pedal wizard (or define your shortcut triggers).
    5. Quit InqScribe.
    6. Plug in your digital media keyboard (and other devices).
    7. Start InqScribe again.

    As always, we welcome your feedback and bug reports. We will do our best to work with you to resolve them.

  • Tip: Inserting a Timecode With “Enter” Key

    Posted on February 21st, 2011 ben No comments

    Problem: You want to insert time stamps in your transcript at regular intervals without having to explicitly insert a timecode.

    Solution 1: The easiest way to do this is to define a shortcut for your Enter key. Here’s how:

    1. Open your transcript in InqScribe
    2. Select the “Edit” menu->”Edit Snippets…”
    3. Click the “Add” button to add a new snippet.
    4. Click on “Define Trigger” button.
    5. Hit “Enter” to define your “Enter” key as the trigger. And then click OK.
    6. Edit the Snippet text:
    6a. First, insert a carriage return by clicking to the left of the default snippet text “{$TIME} Speaker Name” and hitting “Enter”
    6b. Delete “Speaker Name” from the text.

    Now whenever you hit “Enter” InqScribe will insert a carriage return followed by a timecode.

    Solution 2: If you just need to insert timecodes into your transcript at regular intervals, you can also use the Insert Time Series method. Please see this for more instructions:

  • 2.1 Tip: How to Lay Down a Timecode Every 30 Seconds

    Posted on February 20th, 2011 ben No comments

    New in version 2.1 of InqScribe: You can insert timecode series, e.g. “lay down a timecode every 30 seconds,” like this:


    This is typically used by transcriptionists who need to sync text with the video every n seconds. So you start with an empty transcript, insert the timecodes, then begin transcription.

    You can insert time series by:

    1. Start InqScribe
    2. Create a new transcript
    3. Select “Edit” menu->”Insert Time Series…”
    4. Enter the number of seconds you want between each timecode, start and end times, and optionally a line break or text after each timecode.
    5. Click “Insert”

    …and transcribe away!

    Download version 2.1 here:

  • Tip: How Do I Remove Frames from Timecodes?

    Posted on December 14th, 2010 ben No comments

    I don’t want the frame number to appear in my timecode. I want [hh:mm:ss], not [hh:mm:ss:ff]. Can I turn it off?

    For example, I don’t want my timecode to look like this: [00:01:23.29]
    Instead, I want to remove the last two numbers so it looks like this: [00:01:23]

    To remove the frames from your currently open transcript:

    1. Open the existing transcript in InqScribe.

    2. Select “Transcript->Transcript Settings…” from the menu bar.

    3. Under the “Inserted Timecode Format:” section, check the “Omit Frames” checkbox.

    4. Click “OK” to close the window.

    This will tell InqScribe not to use frames in the future for this particular transcript (Frames will still be used by default for any new transcripts that you create.  See the next section to turn off frames for all future transcripts). Next we need to remove the frames from your existing timecodes.

    5. Select “Transcript->Adjust Timecodes…” from the menu bar.

    6. Leave the “Adjustment:” field at “00:00:00”, and click “Adjust.”  This will reformat all of your timecodes to remove the frame number.

    To change ALL of your future transcripts to omit frames by default…

    (You can always enable frames on a per transcript basis. This will just disable them by default for any new transcript you create.)

    …On a Mac:

    1. Select “InqScribe->Preferences…” from the menu bar.

    2. Click on the “New Document” tab at the top of the “InqScribe Preferences” window.

    3. Under the “Inserted Timecode Format:” section, check the “Omit Frames” checkbox.

    …On Windows:

    1. Select “Edit->Options…” from the menu bar.

    2. Click on the “New Document” tab at the top of the “InqScribe Preferences” window.

    3. Under the “Inserted Timecode Format:” section, check the “Omit Frames” checkbox.

  • Tip: Inserting the Current Time of Day or Transcribing While Videotaping

    Posted on April 15th, 2010 ben No comments

    You can insert the current time of day into your transcript. This is useful for instance, if you want to take notes while you are recording during a meeting or video shoot. Later when you import the media, you can sync the start time to your video.

    For example, let’s say you’re shooting an interview, and it begins at 1:00pm. During the interview, you can take notes in InqScribe, noting when a particularly interesting conversation happens by inserting the current time. For instance, if the interviewee says something interesting 12 minutes and 3 seconds into the interview, you can insert a time stamp next to your note about that with one keystroke, e.g.:

    “[01:12:03.00] T didn’t know it at the time.”

    Alternatively, instead of using time of day, you can also use a stopwatch synced to the start of the video recording.

    How do you do this? Just set the Media Source to an Offline Media type and select “Use time of day” or “Use stopwatch timer”.

    Here are detailed instructions:

    1. Create a new transcript “FIle->New Document…”
    2. Click on the “Select Media Source…” button
    3. In the “Source Type” popup menu, select “Offline Media”
    4. Under “Timecode:” select the “Use time of day” radio button.

    (Or you can select “Use stopwatch timer” and select a start time and end time.)

    Then just type away as you normally would, using Command-; or (Ctrl-; in Windows) to insert the current time. Instead of using the media time, InqScribe will now insert the current time of day, or the stopwatch time.

  • Power User Tip: Snippet Autocomplete

    Posted on March 8th, 2010 ben No comments

    If you have text that you are repeatedly typing in your transcript (e.g. analysis codes, or long words), you can create snippets to insert them quickly.  Here are some tips:

    • You don’t have to assign a trigger/keyboard shortcut to snippet
    • You can activate the trigger window with <cmd-1> (Mac) or <ctrl-1> (Windows)
    • When the trigger window is activated, you can select snippets by typing the first few letters, or using the arrow keys to select the snippet
    • Hit <return> or <enter> to insert the snippet