Video and Podcast Transcripts

What is a transcript? 

Basic transcripts are a text version of the speech and non-speech audio information needed to understand the content of an audio recording. Transcripts provide valuable information about the context of an audio recording, who is speaking, and the correct spelling of certain unfamiliar words that may be in the recording itself.

Transcripts also allow search engines to "hear" the content of the video by reading the text on the page or in the transcript document. This makes it easier for your videos to be found in search engines.


How do I write a good transcript? 

The most straightforward way to create a transcript of your video is to simply type the audio being spoken and upload this information as a Word document onto your UAEX site. Though this can be the most accurate and honest way to create a transcript, it is also tedious. Thankfully, many video hosting sites have tools in place that make adding transcriptions to your videos much easier.

Download the Accessible Audio and Video Transcript Checklist Here 


Step 1

Both Panopto and YouTube will auto-caption the videos you upload to their platform and provide you with a timestamped transcript. By copying this transcript into a Word document, you will have a the main body of text needed for your transcript. 

How to Create a Transcript for a Video - Panopto

How to Get the Transcript of a YouTube Video - YouTube


Step 2

Next, you will need to edit your transcript. Be aware: auto-transcription tools are nice, but they aren't perfect!

When editing your transcript, you will be removing any time stamps, identifying your speakers, check your spelling, and including sounds that aren't speech. 

  • Tell us who is talking! Make it clear to your audience who the speaker is by including the speakers name before what they are saying. 
  • Check the spelling of long or complicated words. Auto-transcription tools have a hard time spelling scientific names or chemical names correctly. It is your responsibility to make sure the spelling of these words are correct. 
  • Accents can be hard to transcribe. Auto-transcription tools often misidentified accented speech. If your speaker has even a slight accent, this may trip us the transcript tools. Double check your transcript to make sure everything is correct. 
  • Did someone clap? Include non-speech sounds that are important to the context of the audio. This can be a car horn, a crowd cheering, or a door slamming - anything that is important for the narrative you are presenting. 


Step 3

Finally, edit your transcript for clarity, structure, and punctuation. 

  • Clarity. Now is the time to get rid of any of those "Umms" or "Ahhs" that may be plaguing your transcript. These aren't helpful to your audience, so don't include them. 
  • Structure. Transcripts are meant to be read - so structure them like it! Break up your content into paragraphs that make sense. Avoid big blocks of text. 
  • Punctuation. Polish your transcript up by making sure all of it's punctuation is in order. 


Step 4 

Once you have your transcript in order, upload it as a Word document where it can be found near the audio or video that it is paired with. 


Additional Resources

Transcribing Audio to Text - W3C

Transcripts on the Web: Getting People to your Podcasts and Videos - uiAccess

How to Write a Transcript for Audio or Video: Transcription Writing Best Practices - Rev


Still Need Help? 

Let us know! We are happy to help you make your content more accessible. 

Madison Ellis, Accessibility Specialist

Amy Cole, Digital Media Program Manager


Head back to video accessibility page