How to add time stamps using Express Scribe

Copy paste time stamps in your documents using the hot-key feature in Express Scribe

Whether you’re a full-time/part-time transcriptionist.  Or just transcribing your set of audio files as a one-off to save time, I’m assuming you’re using Express Scribe.  Just because it is the most used transcription software in the world.  It’s a good idea to leave highlighted time stamps for a word, phrase or a sentence in a document to come back later for review.  Furthermore, even if not for review, you can just highlight them in different colors, because they look nice in a black-and-white transcript.  Okay, that advice is just horrible.

How to do it

Usually people will just look at the minimized window and type the time in.  But a lot of times that may or may not be accurate.  Below are the steps to copy and insert accurate time stamps using the hot-key function of Express Scribe in your word documents:

  1. Open Express Scribe.
  2. Click on Options, and then System-Wide-Hot-Keys. 
  3. Check the Enable system-wide hot-keys option at the top if not already checked. Now you can add, change and delete key commands.
  4. Click on the Add button, it will open a dialog called Add New Hot-Key.
  5. From the drop-down list under Command, select Copy Time.
  6. Once you’ve done that, click on the Change button under Hot-Key.
  7. It will open a Press Key dialog and ask you to Press a key or a key combination.
  8. Press any key on the keyboard which you think would be easy and quick to reach (I use the ` button).
  9. Once you are done, click on OK, and same on the Options window as well.
  10. Next time you want to put a time stamp, hit the assigned hot-key and press Ctrl+V or right click and Paste it in your document.

That’s it!

Voila, we are done! If you simply can’t be bothered to put the time stamps quickly and accurately in your document, and would like an online transcription service (like ours!) to do it for you, just freaking say so!  🙂  Below you can find links to important info about our services:

Our rates for transcription and time stamping

Upload files for transcription

Our video subtitling service

Email us for quotes, bulk discounts and other info

express scribe hot key for time stamps, time stamping shortcut for audio transcription

express scribe hot key for time stamps, time stamping shortcut for audio transcription

express scribe hot key for time stamps, time stamping shortcut for audio transcription


  1. Debbie June 26, 2017 at 3:01 am - Reply

    Awesome, thank you! I wish there was a way to automatically put brackets around it when we paste it into the document. I am doing a 70 audio minute transcription where they want it time stamped every 30 seconds and we put that in brackets ie. [00:00:00] I don’t know why they don’t just ask us to use numbered lines! This helps me though as I was one that was reading it off the bottom of Express Scribe. Thanks again!

  2. Sam March 24, 2018 at 1:42 am - Reply

    Hi, I am having difficulty understanding exactly how to insert a timestamp, let’s say, every 10 seconds, because that is what my client has asked me to do and, in the past, I have had to do it the very long way and that is, of course, to listen to the audio all over again with my Word document up and inserting a timestamp every 10 seconds, MANUALLY. This video, and every other link I’ve clicked on has been very helpful in assisting me to allot the time code command to the F1 key, however, I still do hear or read anywhere how to automatically add a timestamp every 10 seconds. Now, maybe that is not completely possible with the Express Scribe software, since I just read a comment below stating that a different software does do that exact function, however, I do believe there is an easier and less time consuming way to add my timestamps every 10 seconds, I imagine using Copy/Paste, but I just don’t get it yet, can anyone please help me with this last little piece? Thank you!

    • Ashish Sebastian June 24, 2018 at 5:28 pm - Reply

      Hi Sam,

      Apologies for such a late reply to your query. Your comment for some reason got buried under a huge load of spam. To answer your question, I don’t think we can automatically insert a time stamp every 10 seconds, at least not with Express Scribe. If you can assign a convenient key to copy the time stamp, and then be really fast with Ctrl + V, maybe that helps.

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