The concept of an office and office hours has changed dramatically in recent years, with many organizations embracing remote work. Many workers carry their offices in their pockets. They dictate memos on the subway, record inspiration in the taxi and conduct interviews on the sidewalk. Microsoft has just made that process easier with Office Mobile Voice Notes.

Released in an Office Insider build earlier this year, Voice Notes goes beyond simply recording a voice memo. With the new Voice Notes, users gain real-time transcription, synced text highlighting for reviewing notes and the ability to share voice notes. Additionally, for Microsoft 365 subscribers, the utility provides the ability to differentiate among multiple speakers.

Real-Time Speech to Text Transcription

To record a voice note:

  1. Open the Microsoft Office app on your device.
  2. Then tap the + button at the bottom center of your screen. Select Voice from the Quick Capture popup menu.
  3. Tap the microphone icon to start recording. As you speak, the real-time transcription appears on the screen.
  4. Click Done to complete the recording and save the voice note to OneDrive.

The system will add basic punctuation such as periods, commas, and question marks according to the speaker’s cadence. But users can also edit the transcription after the fact.

All a user’s voice recordings will display on the Office Mobile Home tab. To edit, simply click the desired recording and then tap Edit. Any changes or deletions made to the transcription will not affect the audio recording.

Office Mobile Voice Notes

Text Highlighting Synced to Playback

Voice Notes facilitates the reviewing process by highlighting the text during playback. That is, when you select a recording and tap Play, the utility highlights the text phrase by phrase in sync with the playback. This makes it much easier to find the spots in the text that need editing.

Ability to Share Office Mobile Voice Notes

Office Mobile Voice Notes allows users to easily export transcriptions to Word. They can also share either the Word document or the audio file with others. For instance, to share the note, open the voice note and tap Share. Choose Word Document or Audio File.

  • To export to Word, tap Word document. Voice Notes converts the text to Word and allows you to format the text as desired. Click the Share icon to save the document to OneDrive and/or send a copy of the file. If you save the document, you can choose to share either a link or a copy of the file. You can also invite people to collaborate.
  • To share the audio recording, click Audio File. Then choose whether to invite people, copy link or send a copy.

Whether sharing a Word document or the audio recording, you can designate whether collaborators have the ability to edit or simply view the file.

Office Mobile Voice Notes

Differentiate Between Multiple Speakers

For users with a Microsoft 365 subscription, Voice Notes will recognize multiple speakers and partition accordingly. For instance, if Voice Notes hears multiple voices, it will prompt the user to indicate whether everyone has given permission to be recorded. The real-time transcription will then proceed as normal.

Once the user clicks Done to complete the recording, Microsoft uploads the voice note to the server, where it adds in the speaker differentiation. The next time the voice note is opened, it displays in conversation mode, listing Speaker 1, Speaker 2 and so forth. Each change of speaker displays in a separate paragraph with a time stamp.

Get the Most Out of Microsoft 365

Microsoft continually upgrades its products, adding features to improve productivity and security. Contact the Microsoft Office experts at Messaging Architects to discuss how you can optimize your organization’s use of Office Mobile and other Microsoft apps.

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