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Use a Text Expander for Transcribing

I use a text expander for transcribing speaker names and repeated words within a transcribing job. I went over this briefly in my book, Transcribe Like a Pro: Making Money from Home. As part of the work-from-home series I’m writing and the professional transcribing tips that I provide on this site, I want to elaborate a little bit more about the value of using a text expander.

As with most programs, there are a few free text expanders along with all the paid versions. I personally use FastFox from NCH – the creators of Express Scribe transcribing software. Again, I’m not affiliated with any of the companies you will read about in this post. But I like to provide information about the products I use because I think that’s helpful for readers.

Text expanders are a great way to reduce the amount of time you spend typing repetitive text. Just input an abbreviation into the software along with a word, phrase, or name associated with it. When you type the abbreviation, the text expander will incorporate the full word, phrase, or name for you.

Using a text expander for speaker changes can be a huge time saver, especially when there are numerous speaker changes every minute or so. I’ve tried using the change-of-speaker function in the main software I use, and it takes time to find the correct speaker to select each time. With my text expander, I type in the abbreviation I have given each speaker, hit the space key, and the result is instant. No more search and select!

About FastFox Text Expander

FastFox does allow a free trial so you can test the product before purchasing. It’s $34.99, or less if on sale, if you continue to use the product after the free trial expires. I’ve been using FastFox for a few years, and I have had to pay for it only once. In other words, I haven’t experienced recurring annual fees with this software.

FastFox is always active, so be sure to use abbreviations that are not everyday abbreviations, such as “dr” for doctor. Else, FastFox will expand Dr. to doctor when you don’t want it to. Use an alternative abbreviation such as dt instead. Also, in the same manner, do not use abbreviations that are real words such as so, an, of, end, etc. or FastFox will expand words that were used as abbreviations for other words, phrases, or names. I’m sure this is true for most other text expanders as well.

FastFox text expander
Sample of FastFox Text Expander

Other Text Expanders

I have found a few sites that provide a list of text expanders. A few text expanders may be repeated on multiple sites that I’m providing below. Review each text expander on each site. If any are on more than one list, I think that may be a pretty good indicator that the software or program has a decent reputation. Some look as if they’re more annoying than helpful, so make your decision wisely.

TechWiser.com lists 9 text expanders. They give clear details about each one. You’ll notice that my FastFox is on this list. 

TranslationandInterpreting.com has 4 text expanders on their list. Again, great details about each one is provided.

PCWorld lists 3 text expanders with incredible details about each one in its post.

I could probably list 100 other sites like these three, but you would probably get a lot of software repeated. This would take up a lot of your time, so I’ll stop here. I hope this is helpful as you move forward with or toward starting a transcribing career. Use a text expander for transcribing to help you transcribe faster!

I would love to know if these posts are helping you. Please leave a comment and let me know or if there is anything else you would like to know about working from home or transcribing that is missing from these posts. Take care and God bless.

Patricia

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