Free Software for Transcribing Documents

Today's freebie comes thanks to Bart Brenner, one of my fellow members of the US-Records Study Group. Transcript is a helpful program that you can use when transcribing documents. Previously when transcribing documents, I had to use a notepad to hand-write my transcription while viewing a document image on my computer screen or shrink down both the image and my word processor screen so I could see both at once.

Transcript allows you to import a document image into the program which already has a text editor embedded at the bottom of the screen. You can zoom in or out of the image, rotate it, or edit it to improve readability all within the program, improving the odds that you will get a correct and accurate transcription of the document in question.

The program is freeware, meaning it doesn't cost anything to use as long it's for private, non-commercial use. There is a registered (pay) version which comes with additional features. It is currently available in English, French, German, Danish, Finnish and Dutch languages. More languages will come available as volunteers complete translating the program.

Keep in mind that the program is not an OCR reader and does not do the transcription for you. Rather, it makes it easier for you to do it. If you haven't transcribed a document yet, you should give it a try. It's a great way to make sure you get every bit of information available from a document and improves your skill in deciphering old handwriting, a skill every genealogist and family historian needs.


  • Lori H says:
    October 11, 2011 at 2:44 PM

    Thanks for this valuable info! :)

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