“How to use Express Scribe” is one of the most commonly searched terms if you’re new to the world of audio transcription.

And for good reason, NCH’s Express Scribe is possibly one of the best transcription playback software available on the planet.  Individuals and online transcription services the world over rely on Express Scribe.

Can Express Scribe Transcribe Your Files Automatically?

Just to clear any confusion.  It is NOT a transcription speech recognition software.  While it can work with speech recognition software, it cannot transcribe files itself.

We’ve done an in-depth post on the best transcription speech recognition software for 2019.

Express Scribe is an audio/video player software that helps you transcribe your recordings or any media file.  It can look daunting to someone absolutely new to the field of audio transcription.  Which is why we’ve made this post to help guide you on how to use Express Scribe efficiently to save time and money for yourself.

Why is Express Scribe one of the Best Transcription Playback Software?

  • It is quick to download and install
  • It can play both audio and video files
  • You can assign keyboard hotkeys for a variety of functions
  • It’s very easy and quick to set up foot pedals for playback
  • It supports a wide range of audio and video formats
  • You can dock your analog or digital recorders to load recordings straight away
  • You can connect it to your FTP to load files directly
  • You can email transcripts from the software straight to clients
  • It works with several different office software like MS Word
  • It works with transcription speech recognition software

Understanding How to Use Express Scribe

The screenshot below explains the various options you see in the Express Scribe interface upon installation.

how to use express scribe, basic functions

Please note that this screenshot is of a recent version of Express Scribe.  To check how to use express scribe for the latest version, keep an eye on their website.

Express Scribe System Requirements

Express Scribe is Compatible with

  • Windows 10, XP, Vista, 7, 8 and 8.1
  • 64 bit Windows
  • Apple Mac OS X 10.5 or above
  • Any Discrete Sound Card or Integrated Sound
  • All Major Transcription Foot Pedal Controllers
  • SAPI Speech Engine
  • Dragon Speech Recognition Software

How to Use Express Scribe to Transcribe Audio/Video Files

  1. Begin by downloading Express Scribe
  2. Install the software
  3. Once installed, understand the controls using the screenshot above.
  4. To set up global hot-keys, go to Options > System-Wide Hot-Keys
  5. Or set up a transcription foot pedal if you have one
  6. Drag and drop audio/video files into the player
  7. Or go to File > Load Dictation Files and browse to your file location
  8. Once loaded, use hot-keys or foot pedal to control playback
  9. Default hot-key to play the recording is F9 and to stop is F4
  10. By default F7 is assigned to rewind, and F8 to forward.
  11. Press and hold F7 to rewind and F8 to forward.

BONUS TIP: How to use Express Scribe for efficiency?  In Options > Playback, set “Auto backstep on stop (ms):” to 2000 or 3000, so that every time you pause, it goes back 2-3 seconds, which makes your life so much more easier.

For a video, see below: