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How To Transcribe YouTube Videos To Text

transcribe youtube video

Why Transcribe YouTube Videos?

YouTube has been the go-to platform for accessing all sorts of video content for a while now, across various genres and subjects. However, sometimes you may want to access the information in a video without having to watch the whole thing. And often, for some people, it is easier to understand the language better if it is accompanied with text. 

This is why it can be useful to transcribe YouTube videos. It allows you to read the content at your own pace, search for specific keywords, and even translate YouTube videos into other languages. 

Transcribing YouTube videos also helps content creators reach a wider audience. It improves their odds at success in the current competitive content-creation scenario. The impact of transcribing YouTube videos can be threefold:

  1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Social Media Audiences

Most search engine algorithms only crawl written text, and not audio. So it becomes necessary to include a written portion to go along with every digital media story so that it can be found via organic search. If you transcribe YouTube videos with a good density of relevant keywords, it’ll be more likely to appear in search results, thus improving your SEO. Transcripts can also make your videos more shareable via things like click-to-tweet plugins. These features can accentuate your video content and thus, improve your reach among the social media audiences. 

  1. Establish a global presence with YouTube translations 

You can use transcription to translate YouTube videos. This helps you reach a more global audience that doesn’t speak English as a first language. You can further study their behavior to further curate your content according to their taste. So if you transcribe YouTube videos, you can add captions to your videos and translate them to multiple languages and reach a wider audience.

  1. Increase viewer engagement on the videos

Viewers are more engaged with content that they can consume in more than one way. A transcribed video will allow your viewers to watch, listen to, and follow along by reading. This increased engagement also leads to longer viewing times. 

(Source / Learning how to transcribe YouTube Videos can help you improve your SEO performance and increase your audience reach)

This post goes through a quick guide on how to transcribe YouTube videos.

How to Transcribe YouTube Videos

There are a large number of tools that can now be used to transcribe and translate YouTube videos. This makes the task easier for you as you don’t have to learn manual transcription  or spend hours doing it in a word processor.

Step 1: Finding a Suitable Transcription Tool

There are numerous transcription tools available online.  Finding the most appropriate one can be a bit overwhelming. However, some popular transcription tools include Trint, Temi, and Rev. These tools have user-friendly interfaces and are designed to transcribe videos and audios with high accuracy. However, they use different methods and algorithms to transcribe YouTube videos to text. 

Trint, for example, is a transcription tool that comes with a desktop version as well as an app. Users can edit their transcripts on both. Trint uses Natural Language models to create transcripts in multiple languages within minutes, which can help you translate YouTube videos to text in more than 10 languages. Some Trint plans can help you transcribe YouTube videos in as much as 54 languages.

Rev on the other hand, uses human transcriptionists instead of an algorithm or software. You can simply provide the video you want to have transcribed, and these human transcriptionists do the rest. Although there is a human element involved here, you still get a fairly quick turnaround. You can then review the transcript once it has been released to you within hours, rate it (this also helps them assess and improve the transcription quality) and export it as a PDF or word file.

Step 2: Copying and Uploading the YouTube Video Link

Once you have found a suitable transcription tool, the next step to convert YouTube videos to text is to copy the source YouTube video link. Alternatively, you can also upload the video to the tool from your local computer, if the tool supports that. For instance, Rev allows you to upload the video directly. 

To upload the URL, simply open the YouTube video and copy the URL link from the address bar of your browser. You can then paste the link in the designated input prompt and submit the transcription request. Depending on the length of the video, the transcription process may take a few minutes to complete. Most tools start this transcription process automatically after the link has been uploaded.

Step 3: Editing the Transcript

Most transcription tools return a text document of the video transcript after the process is completed. Thus, the next step in transcribing YouTube videos is to review these outputs. It is important to note that the generated transcript may not be perfect and may contain errors or inaccuracies. If there is a facility to rate these and provide feedback to the tool, like in Rev, there is a high chance that your feedback will be used to correct the inaccuracies and improve the quality of the transcript. 

Step 5: Exporting the Transcript

Once you are satisfied with the transcript, the final step in transcribing YouTube videos to text is exporting it in different formats such as PDF, Word, or plain text. You can also choose to export the transcript with timestamps, which will allow you to reference specific parts of the video.

Some Tips for Transcribing YouTube Videos to Text

  1. Choose a high-quality transcription tool that can accurately transcribe the video. Check the user reviews and the features provided to you as a user.
  2. Ensure that the video is of good quality and has clear audio. Try to optimize for minimal noise and disturbance. Most AI tools do not work accurately if there is a large amount of noise in the background.
  3. Be careful while reviewing and editing the transcript to ensure accuracy and readability. 
  4. It is advised to use timestamps to reference specific parts of the video. This will help your viewers to consume the video better as well. 
  5. If you translate the YouTube Video transcript to other languages, you can reach a broader audience.
  6. You can also explore some tools like the built-in voice typing feature provided by Google Docs before subscribing to a paid service/tool for transcribing YouTube videos to text.You can also use the free tool within YouTube to generate an automatic transcript. All you need to do is click on the ‘More actions’ button (shown by 3 horizontal dots) located next to the ‘Share’ button below your YouTube videos. Then click on the ‘Show Transcript’ option in the menu that appears. Please note that these transcripts will only be generated in the language of the video that is playing. There is also a chance that it might not be the most accurate output.
(Source: screenshot/ How to use the built-in YouTube transcribing tool to generate a transcript)


Transcribing YouTube videos to text is a simple and effective way to access information presented in videos. It allows you to read the content at your own pace and even translate the text into other languages. 

By following the steps and tips outlined in this post, you can easily transcribe YouTube videos to text and access valuable information presented in videos.

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