Understanding transcript formats is crucial as they dictate how spoken or recorded content is converted into written text.

The choice of format hinges on the desired detail, the intended use of the transcript, and industry-specific guidelines. Join us as we delve into these formats with clear and comprehensible examples.

Let’s dive in!

Importance of Proper Transcript Formatting

Understanding Transcript Formats

Correct formatting is crucial in transcriptions as it provides clarity and ease of reading and makes extracting vital information straightforward. Furthermore, well-formatted transcripts can assist in legal proceedings, academic research, video captioning, and more.

Types of Transcript Formats


Clean Verbatim Transcript Format

Clean Verbatim transcript format, also known as smooth verbatim, offers a reader-friendly transcript by eliminating stutters, false starts, and filler words.


Original Audio: “So, uh, I was thinking, um, about the, um, proposal, and, uh… I reckon we could, like, maybe, um, increase the budget a little bit.”

Clean Verbatim Transcript: “So, I was thinking about the proposal, and I reckon we could maybe increase the budget a little bit.”

Full Verbatim Transcript Format

The Full Verbatim format precisely captures every sound and word as they were spoken, including ums, uhs, and repetitions. It’s often used in legal settings or research.


Original Audio: “So, uh, I was thinking, um, about the, um, proposal, and, uh… I reckon we could, like, maybe, um, increase the budget a little bit.”

Full Verbatim Transcript: “So, uh, I was thinking, um, about the, um, proposal, and, uh… I reckon we could, like, maybe, um, increase the budget a little bit.”

Intelligent Verbatim Transcript Format

Intelligent Verbatim, or smart verbatim, is similar to clean verbatim but further excludes irrelevant information, providing a concise and understandable read.


Original Audio: “So, uh, I was thinking, um, about the, um, proposal, and, uh… I reckon we could, like, maybe, um, increase the budget a little bit.”

Intelligent Verbatim Transcript: “I was thinking about the proposal. We could increase the budget.”

Edited Transcript Format

The edited transcript format is a polished version where the transcriber makes conscious changes to improve grammar, syntax, and coherence without altering the message’s intent.


Original Audio: “So, uh, I was thinking, um, about the, um, proposal, and, uh… I reckon we could, like, maybe, um, increase the budget a little bit.”

Edited Transcript: “I was considering the proposal and believe we might be able to increase the budget slightly.”

Handling Crosstalk and Inaudible Sections

Transcription isn’t just about capturing spoken words; it’s also about acknowledging moments of overlap or unclear audio.


Crosstalk occurs when multiple speakers talk simultaneously, obscuring clear comprehension. In transcripts, this is typically marked using the term “[crosstalk]” or its abbreviation “[ct]”.


[00:10:24] Speaker 1: “The budget for the next quarter is–” [00:10:26] Speaker 2: “But we haven’t finalized this quarter’s–” [00:10:28] [crosstalk]

Inaudible Segments

There are moments in recordings where words might be muffled or unclear. Transcribers use “[inaudible]” or “[unclear]” to indicate these sections. Sometimes, the timestamp of the unclear part is also added.


[00:13:15] Speaker 1: “We should address [inaudible] at our next session.”

While context might provide clues, it’s vital for transcribers to avoid making assumptions about the inaudible content to ensure the transcript’s accuracy.

It’s essential to note that transcription practices can differ among organizations. When in doubt, referring to specific guidelines or standards is always a good practice.

transcription formats

Essential Elements of Transcript Formatting

Speaker Identification

Speaker Identification is vital to differentiate who said what, particularly in multi-speaker situations. It can be simple or detailed, depending on the transcript’s purpose.

Speaker Identification not only ensures clarity in conversations but also enhances the accuracy of transcriptions. In settings like conferences, interviews, or panel discussions, it becomes indispensable to attribute statements to the right individuals.


Timestamps indicate when a particular statement or segment occurred. This feature is particularly useful for video transcriptions or referring to the original audio.

Timestamps provide a way to quickly navigate and locate specific moments in an audio or video file, saving time and effort. They also offer precision that can be crucial for researchers, journalists, or professionals who need to cross-reference statements. Having accurate timestamps can be invaluable for content creators looking to edit or highlight specific parts of their recordings.

Non-verbal Cues

Non-verbatim cues such as laughter, silence, or emotional undertones can be vital in contexts like interviews or scriptwriting. These cues offer a deeper understanding of the mood, dynamics, and subtleties within interactions that mere words cannot convey.

Recognizing and documenting these cues can provide valuable insights into the emotional and psychological state of the speakers.

Stutters and Fillers

Depending on the transcript format chosen, stutters and fillers may be included or excluded. They add authenticity in full verbatim but can be distracting in cleaner formats.

Stutters and fillers, like “um”, “uh”, and “you know”, often reflect the speaker’s thought process or hesitation.

While they genuinely represent spontaneous speech, they can make the content harder to read or follow in written form. For presentations, summaries, or formal documentation, omitting these elements can lead to a smoother and more polished transcript.

Best Practices for Formatting a Transcript


Consistency is Key

Consistency in formatting, style, and handling interruptions, inaudible parts, or non-verbal cues is vital for a professional transcript. A consistent transcript ensures readers can easily follow and understand the content without getting sidetracked by unexpected variations.

It also enhances the credibility and professionalism of the document, making it more trustworthy for audiences. Inconsistent handling can lead to confusion, misinterpretations, or even misconceptions about conveying the original message.

Proofreading and Quality Check

A final review for errors and ensuring the transcript accurately represents the original audio is essential. Proofreading not only rectifies typographical or grammatical mistakes, but it also guarantees that the nuances and sentiments of the speakers are correctly captured.

An accurate transcript upholds the integrity of the source material, ensuring that the audience receives the message as intended. Without this crucial step, the reliability and professionalism of the transcription work can be compromised.


Understanding transcript formats is more than just recognizing different styles; it’s about ensuring clarity, precision, and professionalism in every written piece. From the intricate details of verbatim transcription to the essence captured in non-verbal cues, the art of transcription is vast and varied. As you navigate this realm, remember that consistency, proofreading, and awareness of the various nuances are paramount.

And when you’re seeking a partner to handle all your transcription needs, consider 360 Transcription. We’re dedicated to providing impeccable service, capturing not only the words but the heart of every conversation. Choose the best for your transcription needs; choose 360 Transcription.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the best format for transcription?
The best format depends on your needs. If you require every detail, go for Full Verbatim. For an easy-to-read version, Clean or Intelligent Verbatim works best.

How do I choose the right transcript format?
Consider your transcript’s end use. Full verbatim might be necessary if it’s for legal or research purposes. For general use, a clean verbatim transcript is often suitable.

Do I need timestamps in my transcript?
Timestamps are not always necessary but can be useful in certain contexts, such as video transcription, podcast transcription, or when you need to reference the original audio.

What’s the difference between Full Verbatim and Clean Verbatim?
Full Verbatim includes every sound, word, and stutter, while Clean Verbatim removes stutters, false starts, and filler words for a smoother read.

How important is proofreading in transcription?
Proofreading is essential in transcription. It ensures the accuracy of the text, corrects possible errors, and maintains the quality of the transcript.