How to Become the Best VisiHow Transcriber

Edited by Jen M, Eng, Shelley, Jaymoesta and 2 others

Transcription Department Run Through / Work Flow

As the VisiHow team continues to grow, a set of defined rules must be put into place in order to provide all of the team members with conformity to regulations of the VisiHow site to improve production and quality and promote discourses among team members. This policy covers all of the members of the team, be it contractors or paid workers, for the purposes of uniformity and perspicuity. Policies and procedures are subject to revision; thus, departments are expected to be informed about and familiarized with any changes. The transcription department is vital to the production flow as the middle step between the video content submission and publication process.


  • You must be using the Chrome browser. Some of the features of the transcription tool do not work properly on other browsers.
  • You need to create an account at VisiHow and log in to that (being logged into the VisiHow website is required to access the transcription tool).
  • You must fill out some of your profile on the website. It can be accessed directly to the "My Profile" section on the website. This is not a requirement to be able to use the transcription tool, but it is a requirement before getting paid. It should only take a few minutes and only needs to be done once. The information does not even have to be fully factual or personally identifiable if you don't want - it's just so visitors to the site can see that there are some details there for our regular contributors should they choose to look.


The weekly requirement for each transcriber is at least 60 minutes of transcribed video material. Production amount above the minimum expectation is noted and encouraged. If a transcriber cannot meet the weekly expectation, it is his or her responsibility to discuss that with his or her team leader or manager.

Mandatory Skype meetings occur every Tuesday at 11:00AM EST (03:00PM GMT). The meetings are used to discuss problems, announce news and changes, and provide feedback. If a transcriber is not able to come to a mandatory meeting for any reason, then a management member or a team leader must be apprised of that. Three missed meetings without prior notification will result in removal from the transcription team.

Becoming a Team Leader

  1. 1
    Any individual can become a team leader as long as he or she has at least three people working under his or her supervision. Team leaders receive bonuses for each supervised member.
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  2. 2
    A team leader (often referred to as "a TL"). Responsibilities included correcting documents pending in the Videos for Approval document queue to ensure that the production flow is not inhibited.
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  3. 3
    The team leaders are responsible for instructing their team members in the following areas.
    • Quality to meet VisiHow regulations herein (Refer to Regulations in this document)
    • Procedures ( Refer to Procedures in this document)
    • Publishing with the help of the transcription tool.
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  4. 4
    A team leader is responsible for managing, coordinating and being available for his or her member. A written report and approval are required to dismiss a member under your supervision. Hiring should be documented by informing the Senior Manager.
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Transcribing a Video

Step by Step

  1. 1
    In the transcriber tool
    • check that the 1st dropdown selector is on "Not Published",
    • then pick any video out of the 2nd drop-down that you would like to transcribe.
    • When the video loads, ensure that no text loads into the working area.
    • If there is any there, that means that someone else is currently working on that video, and you'll have to pick a different one from the list.
    • When you find one that is free, the first thing you should do is type "<Your name> transcribing" into the working area and click "Save".
    • Now any other transcriber that loads that video will see that you are working on it, and they'll have to pick a different one.
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  • 2
    The first part of the transcription will be listed under an "Introduction" section. Adding a snapshot that shows the best description of the video will end the Introduction section and move on to the next section.
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  • 3
    The first sentence of each step should be a clear topic sentence. It is in bold, and is often the one people really see (while they skim the rest of the text). If necessary, rephrase this sentence to make sure the step is clear. This should be followed by non-bold text, if possible, to describe how to perform the step.
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  • 4
    Choose the best screenshot to illustrate each step. Remember you can pause the video with TAB and use F1 and F2 to move the video forward or back a tiny bit at a time until you get the perfect capture.
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  • 5
    Capitalize each letter in the title except articles, conjunctions, and prepositions. If you're not sure which words to this website capitalize.
    • After the Introduction is the "Steps" section. Every time you enter a snapshot, a new step is created. There is no need to add any formatting to get the numbered list, these are added automatically.
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  • 6
    When you are finished transcribing and have saved your work, enter the video into the Videos for Approval document (ensure you are on the tab for the current week).
    • You only need to fill out the first 3 columns of the row - your name, the date, and the video name.
    • The 4th column is optional if you feel there are comments or feedback about the video that you think should be passed on to the creator of the video to help them in the future.
    • Note, this feedback is only for minor issues - if there is anything serious like inappropriate content, language or technical issues that would prevent us from using the video on the website, then you need to stop transcribing it, and inform an admin about the problem. An example of a minor issue that would be great feedback to the video creator would if they say things like "To save, click this button", but what they really should say is "To save, click the button with the disk icon"
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  • 7
    Someone will then check the quality of the work, and mark it in the approval sheet with either PUBLISH or EDIT.
    • Comments for minor errors that were corrected by the reviewer may also be added.
    • You should be reading those and discussing them your Team Leader so that you improve in the future.
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  • 8
    When you see that one of your transcriptions has been marked with PUBLISH, it is up to you to publish it to the VisiHow website.
    • The goal is to get articles published to the website within 24 hours of being approved.
    • If you are not going to be able to check in on the approval status of your transcriptions for an extended period, please let an admin know so they can publish the article for you.
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  • Transcription Tool Shortcuts

    • TAB = pause / play
    • ENTER = insert snapshot at cursor position
    • Ctrl-ENTER = new line with no snapshot
    • F1 = Skip Forward one Frame (great for positioning to take a snapshot)
    • F2 = Skip Backward one Frame (great for positioning to take a snapshot)
    • 'Pause while typing' = when checked will automatically start/stop audio while you type

    Transcription Policies & Guidelines

    Deviating from transcribing verbatim

    One of the key things to remember is that the people creating these videos are normally doing them on-the-fly, not working from scripts. There are going to be some errors, some duplication, or the occasional wrong word used. We all give a person a lot more leniency when speaking than when writing. That being said, you still should be mostly following the speech in the video word-for-word, and just cleaning it up a little bit to make it read better as written text.

    Some quick examples:

    • Remove filler words/sounds such as um / er.
    • Remove small mistakes. Example: "To open the gate, put the key in the door - I mean in the lock - and then turn it counterclockwise." That should just be transcribed as "To open the gate, put the key in the lock and turn it counterclockwise."
    • You should split run-on sentences when appropriate, or also combine short choppy sentences into one if that reads better. Remember though, when the sentences are actual steps in the process (especially a somewhat technical process), it can be a little easier for the reader to follow along if they are broken up into shorter steps. The key here is not to go overboard worrying about it. Most of these should stand out. If you have to think and debate with yourself whether it should be split (or combined), then you should probably move on.
    • Try to remove first-person pronouns (like "I" or "me") when possible. Example: "Now I'll turn on the light." should be "Now turn on the light." An alternative is to use "we" or "let's" if those make the sentence flow better compared to removing the pronoun completely like "Now let's turn on the light". Note it's not always possible to remove it. An example where it is OK: "I like this face cream because it has almost no smell to It." Just leave that and carry on.

    Other writing standards/conventions

    • Use American spelling rules (e.g. "color", not "color").
    • Company names, applications, and products should all be capitalized/stylized as designed. Samsung Galaxy S6, HTC One M8, Twitter, YouTube, iPhone, Microsoft Office.
    • If you are transcribing a video that is showing menu items, buttons, labels or any other written text in a screenshot, then format it as you see it. These labels should also be put into double quotes to make it clear to the reader that they should be looking on their screen for this exact text. Examples: Click the "OK" button. Open the "File" menu. Tap on "Location services".


    • Pictures that accompany the steps should follow the words for the step. Example: "Insert the key into the lock and turn it counterclockwise. [~Image of key turning in lock]"
    • The first image of the article that will appear in the introduction can be out of sequence with the rest of the images in the article. It can be picked from any time in the video and is best if it really shows the subject matter of the video. For example, if the article is about how to build a birdhouse, then a screenshot of the completed project, or at least one of it in progress is better than an empty workbench to start.

    Article Titles

    The article title is one of the most important parts of the transcription/publishing. Most people are going to find the article by searching for some phrase or keywords, and hopefully see this title as one of ten options. So it has to make sense, not be excessively long, still have all the important words in it, and hopefully stand out a little. Think of what you might click on out of "How to Fold a T-Shirt" vs "How to Fold a T-Shirt in 3 Seconds" or "How to Fold a T-Shirt Without Creasing It". Certainly the second two options are way more likely to get interest than the first.

    For the most part, the people creating the videos have done some research into the topics ahead of time, so you should normally be able to use the title of the video (maybe with slight editing and checking the capitalization). But if something doesn't quite make sense, or you can think of a better wording, then you can change it. There a lot of science, but also some art to the process.

    Minor words in the titles (a/ the/ to/ etc.) should be all lowercase while more important words start with a capital letter. This link can help with Capitalizing titles. An exception may be something like iPhone which should always be written like that - never iPhone or iPhone. Example: "How to Check Network Usage on an iPhone 6".

    You can leave out small words occasionally to save space if the title still reads OK without them. The example above is more grammatically correct as "Check the Network Usage", however it is still completely understandable without the word "the" in there.

    Re. Article in the Title. Please note the following 3 examples:

    1. 1
      Adding 'the' as an article dropped down the hits more than 58% less.
      • clear history in the iPhone 6: Example
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    2. 2
      Not using an article at all and using 'an' were the same, and high hits.
      • clear history in iPhone 6: Example
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    3. 3
      Adding articles in some articles might increase the length of the articles which we try not to do.
      • clear history in the iPhone 6: Example
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    For those reasons, I think not adding an article is the standard, unless not adding distort the general reading flow.

    How to publish

    1. 1
      Load the video in the transcriber tool again.
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    2. 2
      Remove "<Your name> transcribing" from the start of the text, and then save it again.
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    3. 3
      Triple-check that the title is correct and does not contain any typos. We can edit the main text easily after the article is published, but it's much more difficult to edit the title of the article.
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    4. 4
      Make sure it has been saved with any recent changes or last edits. Then choose one of the publish options at the bottom of the page. The difference between Stand-Alone vs Methods vs Parts is very important.
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    5. 5
      You can follow this article for more help with Publishing. Transcribe Tool / Publish Types. Please make sure you are using the correct option for the article you are publishing.
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    6. 6
      Mark in the approval document that it was published. By posting the link to the article in column K of the Approval Document that shows you have finished.
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    Note: you do not have to wait for a video to be approved and published before starting to transcribe another one. When you finish one video, you can start over on another one.

    Questions and Answers

    How to start and What does VisiHow entail?

    I want to start transcribing with VisiHow and I want to know how they operate and pay

    VisiHow QnA. This section is not written yet. Want to join in? Click EDIT to write this answer.

    If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.


    Article Info

    Categories : Author Help

    Recent edits by: Maria Quinney, Jaymoesta, Shelley

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