Transferring audio and hard-copy content to Word docs
August 15, 2019 6:03 AM   Subscribe

I have some things I need to put into Word docs and could use some advice.

1) One set of docs is hard copies of documents (think dissertations).
2) The other set is speeches that I have audio copies of but want transferred.

So my question is, what is the best/easiest way to get this done? I don't mind spending a little money if need be, but I'm happy to learn something and do it myself if it's a relatively simple task.
posted by heyho to Technology (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The hardcopy documents are probably better suited to converting into PDF format than Word format. Most all-in-one printer/scanner/copiers can do this, although they tend to be pretty slow. I have a Fujitsu desktop scanner that would work really well for this purpose, but it's a bit pricey -- around $500. Some copy shops, like Kinko's, would be able to scan the documents for you, but the price per page is something to consider.

With regard to the speeches: Are you looking to have the audio transcribed into text? There is software out there that can do it, but I don't have experience with any of it. I imagine the accuracy wouldn't be great, so you'd have to do a lot of manual edits to correct the transcription.
posted by alex1965 at 6:43 AM on August 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

Yes, the speeches on audio will need to be converted to text somehow. I also have access to printers and office tools like that at work that I'm allowed to use.
posted by heyho at 2:25 PM on August 15, 2019

One way, workable but perhaps a bit slow, is to scan the documents to PDF, upload them to Google Drive, then open the PDF as a Google document. Downloading to .docx format is then an option. I have been doing this with notes from a journal that was typed on onionskin paper, so they're already hard to read. They need reformatting after they're downloaded, but it worked better than I expected.

I am working with a Windows system that is itself pretty old, as are the peripherals. By now there may be better ways.
posted by SereneStorm at 10:18 AM on August 16, 2019

On further reflection, since it sounds as if you have more documents to convert than I do, the the full version of Adobe Acrobat might well be worth at least the free trial.
posted by SereneStorm at 10:37 AM on August 16, 2019

I do have the full version of Acrobat Pro.
posted by heyho at 12:29 PM on August 16, 2019

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