How to Convert a Video to a Document

Have you ever wished you could hit a "fast forward" button on a video and get straight to the important spoken content? There's a way! In this guide, we'll explore techniques to transform your video files into readable text, giving you full control over the information they contain.

Written by
Andre Smith
Updated On
July 5, 2024


Have you ever wished you could turn a video presentation, a recorded interview, or a webinar into easily readable text? There are several compelling reasons to convert video into a document format:

  • Accessibility: Text transcripts make video content accessible to the deaf and hard-of-hearing, as well as those who prefer to read rather than watch.
  • Searchability: Video content is hard for search engines to understand. A transcript allows you to find specific information within a long video easily.
  • Repurposing: Transcribed content can be turned into blog posts, summaries, or even social media quotes, extending the reach of your original video.

It's important to understand that there's no magical way to fully "convert" a video, preserving all the visuals and formatting, into a document.  Instead, the focus is on extracting the spoken words and making them readable. This guide will walk you through proven methods for this, from doing it yourself to using powerful automated tools.

Section 1: The Manual Method: Pros, Cons, and When to Use It

Sometimes, the best way to get something done right is to do it yourself. Manual transcription involves listening to your video and meticulously typing out everything that's said. Let's look at the upsides and downsides of this approach:

  • Pros
    • Complete Control: You dictate the formatting, style, and level of detail in the transcript.
    • Ideal for Short Videos: Transcription becomes quite tedious for long videos, but it's manageable for brief clips.
  • Cons
    • Time Investment: This is the most time-consuming method. Prepare to spend several hours transcribing each hour of audio.
    • Skill Dependent: Accurate transcription requires strong typing skills and the ability to focus intently on the audio.
  • Ideal For:
    • Short Segments: Snippets from interviews, key sections of a presentation.
    • Situations Demanding Accuracy: If every word matters (e.g., legal, medical content).


  1. Choose Your Software:
    • Simple word processors (Microsoft Word, Google Docs) work fine.
    • Dedicated transcription tools offer features like foot-pedal control and timestamps.
  2. Play and Type:
    • Play short sections of your video, pausing frequently to type what you hear.
    • Use keyboard shortcuts for efficiency (play, pause, rewind).
  3. Proofread and Edit:
    • Errors are inevitable! Carefully review your transcript and correct any typos, misheard words, or awkward phrasing.

Section 2: Automatic Transcription Tools: Efficiency vs. Accuracy

When you need to transcribe videos quickly, or have a large volume of content, automated transcription services are a lifesaver. Let's look at the benefits and drawbacks:

  • Pros
    • Speed: AI-powered tools can transcribe hours of video in minutes.
    • Scalability: Easily handle long videos or multiple files at once.
  • Cons
    • Accuracy Varies: Automated transcription isn't perfect, especially with noisy audio, accents, or specialized terminology.
    • Editing May Be Needed: Plan to review and correct the transcript for optimal results.

Popular Tools

  • ScreenApp.IO: Offers fast transcription and translation features.
  • Integrates with meeting software, handy for business notes.
  • Trint: Advanced editing interface and collaborative features.
  • Descript: Combines transcription with audio/video editing tools.
  • Amberscript: Known for its accuracy and customization options.

These tools use advanced AI algorithms trained on massive datasets of spoken language. The software analyzes the audio of your video, identifies patterns, and converts those patterns into text. Accuracy depends on factors like the clarity of speech, background noise, and the complexity of the language used.

Section 3: Optimizing Your Video Transcription

Getting the best possible transcription results starts with paying attention to a few key details.  Here's what to keep in mind:

  • Clear Audio: The Foundation of Success Even the best transcription tools will struggle if the original video audio is muffled, has background noise, or has speakers with strong accents. When recording, prioritize getting clean, crisp audio for the most accurate outcome.
  • Formatting for Readability A wall of text is hard to digest! Improve the usability of your transcript with:
    • Speaker Labels: Clearly identify who is saying what (e.g., Interviewer: .... , Speaker 1: .... )
    • Paragraphs: Break up long monologues into shorter paragraphs.
    • Timestamps (Optional): Add timestamps to help users locate specific moments in the original video.
  • Choosing Your Method: A Quick Decision Guide The right tool depends on your specific needs. Consider these factors:
    • Video Length: Manual transcription becomes impractical for longer videos.
    • Accuracy Needs: For critical content, manual transcription or careful editing of an automated transcript may be necessary.
    • Budget: Some automated services charge per minute, so factor cost into the equation.


Whether you prefer hands-on control or the convenience of automation, there's a way to turn your video content into a versatile text document.  We've covered:

  • Manual Transcription: Ideal for accuracy and short clips.
  • Automated Transcription Services: Speed and scalability for larger projects.
  • Tips for Optimization: Helping you get the best results either way.

The "best" method for you depends entirely on your individual needs. Consider the length of your video, how crucial accuracy is, and how much time you're willing to invest. The  tools and techniques presented here will help you unlock the valuable information within your videos. Now, it's time to choose your approach  and start transcribing!

ScreenApp effortlessly captures your screen recordings and leverages AI to transcribe, summarize and take notes of your videos and audio, making it simple to share insights with your team, clients, and prospects.

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