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Transcription Services News, Issue #004
May 13, 2013


Welcome to the Transcription Services Newsletter. Welcome to a new edition of our newsletter. We appreciate that you take the time to subscribe and read our newsletter. We hope that you find some useful tips and ideas to use as you perform transcription services for your own clients.

Transcription Tip of the Month

This month I thought I’d explain how to create a different header for a second page of your document, as we had this come up in our company this past month and some people had difficulty with it. The scenario might be that you have a header on the first page with the company letterhead. You do not want that on the second page, but rather you want a heading with the name of their client and a page number. This is how you would do that in Word 2010. (It is similar in the older and hopefully the newer versions of Word.)

Basically you need to create a section break. This is different than a page break. Go to the point in your document where you want the section break to occur. Most likely this will be at the bottom of page one. Go to Page Layout. Look for the button that says Breaks and click on it. You will then get a drop down menu. Look halfway down and you will see Section Breaks. Choose Next Page. You have now created the section break you need.

Now when you go to create your second page header, make sure you are on the second page and go to Insert, Header, Edit Header. Once you are in the header area there is a button at the top that says Link to Previous. This is like a toggle button. As you click it, it changes back and forth to either link to the previous section or to not link to the previous section. If you want a different header on this page then you would want to make sure that it is not linked to the previous section and type in what you do want in this section for the header. That is it! Pretty easy once you've done it a time or two.

Transcription Jobs

One of the best ways to get started in the transcription services industry is to work for a company offering transcription. We will bring you a couple each month that hire subcontractors. We do not personally work for these companies or know much about them except that they do hire subcontractors. Make sure to see our Tips When Testing With a Transcription Services article for some help when applying for jobs online!

Chromolume Transcription – This company is located in Santa Monica, California. They are currently looking for new transcriptionists. Their website is and you can e-mail your resume to

Allegis Communications is looking for General Transcriptionists with a minimum of two years’ experience. You can apply at the following website:

Transcriptionist Spotlight

Each issue we are going to spotlight somebody who is working as a transcriptionist by conducting a short interview with them. This month’s interview is with Leigh David. I have known Leigh virtually for many, many years now. If you have been in the transcription services business for any length of time you have probably seen Leigh on one of the many transcription forums. She is smart, funny and friendly! I am super excited that she agreed to do an interview for our newsletter.

How long have you been a transcriptionist?

Leigh: Around ten or so years.

How did you get started as a transcriptionist?

Leigh: I was working as an administrative assistant -- kind of temping my way through life. A friend of mine said that I really should transcribe because she had a friend who made a lot of money doing that (and we believed her). I didn't think much about it, but later saw an ad in the Washington Post for transcription and I answered it.
It was a local company. I found out much later it was one of the premier transcription companies in Washington, DC. They invited me to test for them. The test was more vocabulary than transcription, as I recall. And I passed it.
The company was my first encounter with transcription and I received no training. I was using my boom box to transfer cassette tapes to digital files on my computer that I then transcribed using ExpressScribe. The audio was terrible, but it is likely because of my transferring skills at the time. And I didn't have a clue what I was doing.
Thus my career in transcription began. Crashed and burned big time. After completing a transcript where I was told that what I heard as "any sea" was actually "NEC" and what I heard as "Navy CO" was actually "Navy Seal" (picky, picky), they released me from my commitment to them (I got canned.)
However I did have a much better picture of what transcription was and an increasing respect for what I didn't know.
My second opportunity was with -- want to guess? Devitt Transcription (Pioneer Transcription Service’s former name). I had a slow internet system in those days -- not cable or Fios and it almost took longer to download files as it did to transcribe them. I got more opportunities as the years went on and learned bunches -- that never stops.

What type of training do you have as a transcriptionist?

Leigh: I joined AAERT early on and purchased the AAERT Study Guide which is a pretty good reference for Federal District Court format. I have learned primarily on the job through the materials provided by the people that I worked for and from looking carefully at their edited transcripts of the drafts that I turned in. I made so many mistakes and it is painful to have to look at that, but also very necessary in order to grow and get better.
I welcome criticism and remind myself to be very grateful that someone has taken the time to give me feedback when it could very well have been easier for them to find a more seasoned transcriber. I owe a debt to a lot of wonderful transcriptionists that I have worked for and with along the way. I remain a work in progress, but I get better and better, and so does my equipment, professional headphones and a killer sound system is a big help.

Do you work for transcription companies, have your own clients or both?

Leigh: I work for transcription companies, court reporters, and a small number of my own clients.

What is your favorite piece of transcription equipment?

Leigh: My brain?

What do you love about your job?
Leigh: That I can do it! It is always challenging to me to be a little bit better.

What is the best thing about your job?

Leigh: I love transcription and enjoy it on a lot of levels. Still maybe the best is the people that I have gotten to know through working for and with them.

What is the worst thing about your job?

Leigh: The feast or famine aspect is always a little bit scary. And I am hopeless with poor audio.

What advice would you give to somebody trying to break into the transcription field?

Leigh: Don't quit your day job. Commit to learning to do it right. Take time to build up your abilities and your client base before you go full time. Some people are naturals and have a good ear. I was neither, but I have acquired the abilities through experience and determination. I have had failures. From those failures I learn what I can take that with me as I move on to the next experience.
Know that the right way to format something is the way that the person you are working for wants it done and there are more ways to format than there are pages in the bible. So whether or not you find it in your Gregg or APA style-book, what they want is what you should be doing. So in a sense every time you work for a court reporter or transcriptionist for the first time, you are a newbie and you need to learn their conventions.

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