Echo dictation

By combining Transcribe Helper, the native Mac OS dictation capability and the "echo dictation" technique you can seamlessly turn an audio file into a text file. Here's how:

Trigger dictation by clicking in the text field and pressing the fn key twice quickly. The first time you do this the mac will download some files so you'll need to be on an internet connection.

With Mac Dictation active drop your audio file into Transcribe Helper. Start listening to the file with headphones and by repeating what you hear the text will appear in the Transcribe Helper window. Use the app hotkeys to pause or slow the audio down if you fall behind, or to replay something you may have missed before continuing on. Add spoken punctuation such as "comma," "period," "new paragraph" and other commands and the result is an easy-to-read file in a fraction of the time it would take to type it up.


By default, audio output, such as the playback of the recording, is muted while you're dictating so you need to open System Preferences, click Accessibility, click Dictation and uncheck "Mute audio output while dictating".


Now press the play key (the default is ]) listen to some speech in your headphones, pause the audio, speak back what you heard into the microphone to have macOS transcribe your voice.

For best results use headphones and a microphone near your mouth. iPhone headsets with a mic in the cord often work well.

It's worth reading about all the features of dictation in the Apple Documentation and, in particular it's worth enabling enhanced dictation.

Note that if macOS dictation isn't hearing your voice go to the Keyboard preferences, click Dictation, and choose the microphone from the popup.