Is there a free version of TransanaSCRIBE?

We are a small business and selling software is how we make our living.  We think it’s only fair that people pay us for all the work we put into developing TransanaSCRIBE and supporting our users.  We don’t expect to get rich selling TransanaSCRIBE, but we want to be able to feed our cats (and our kids) every day.

So no, we don’t offer a barely functional free version the way some companies do. We personally hate the ‘free’ versions of software that work just well enough to let you do a bit of work, and then pester you endlessly with pop-ups to buy the full version, and bug you to pay for other add-ons. No one is fooled by that. We value your time and your business, so we will offer you a very fair price on good software with the features you need to get your work done.  We hope you value our time and our product enough to pay us a fair price.

With TransanaSCRIBE you buy it once and you own it. You can move your registration to a new computer when you buy one. And we’re here to answer questions if you need us.

Please go through our free online tutorial and see, step by step, what TransanaSCRIBE looks like and how it works.  See how you can create Databases and Libraries to organize your media files and transcripts, and how simple it is to click a Library and import new audio or video files from your hard drive. You’ll see that our Keyboard Shortcuts are simple and intuitive to use, and it can be configured to work like you need it to with most foot pedals.  SCRIBE has two “text expanders,” Autocomplete and Transcription Shortcuts that let you instantly pop in strings of text  Time Codes can be added with a keystroke, and they link directly to your spot in the media file.  Look at formats for exporting your finished transcripts.  If you have questions, send us a quick note on the contact form and we’ll get right back to you. We look forward to hearing from you!

I am having some trouble inserting Time Codes. Do you have any hints to help me?

Getting the time coding process to work properly can be a little tricky for some people at first. The first thing you want to do is to watch the ScreenCast video on Time Codes in the tutorial.

Here’s a quick overview of a good procedure:

  1. Put the transcript in edit mode so that clicking in the transcript to position the cursor doesn’t move the video position, as it does when the transcript is in read-only mode.
  2. Position the video close to where you want to work, either by clicking in the visualization window or by left-clicking then right-clicking in the transcript, if some timecodes already exist.
  3. With the program focus in the transcript window, use Ctrl-S (play/pause with auto-rewind), Ctrl-D (play/pause with no auto-rewind), Ctrl-A (rewind 10 seconds), and Ctrl-F (fast-forward 10 seconds) to position the video precisely.
  4. Position the transcript cursor to the spot that matchs where you paused the video with a single left-click.  Then either press Ctrl-T or click the Current button in the visualization window to insert the time code.

Here are some tips:

  • When time-coding, use the control-key keyboard commands in the transcript window to control video playback and position the video.
  • Don’t use the video window controls when inserting time codes, as it has a set of rules about positioning the video based on user actions that is not helpful for the time-coding process (although it makes good sense in other circumstances.)
  • In some circumstances (i.e. when I need very precise positioning) I zoom in on the visualization window and use the cursor keys (sometimes with Shift, Alt, or Ctrl pressed) there to slightly alter my position in the video. This method can provide frame accurate positioning of the video if needed.
  • If you’re having trouble with precise positioning of the video, slow down the video playback speed. From the Options menu, select Program Settings. Select the Transcriber Settings tab, then move the Video Playback Speed slider to the desired position.
Is there a MacOS version of TransanaSCRIBE?

Currently TransanaSCRIBE is only available for Windows. TransanaSCRIBE for MacOS is coming soon.

Can I Import my Transcripts into Transana research software?

Yes. Create the transcript, and add time codes. When finished, export the finished transcript as an .xml file (although .docx and .rtf files will work, as well). Place it in the same directory as the media file and give it the same file name (with a different file extension.)

You will then be able to import the associated media file into Transana as an Episode, import your .xml file as a Transcript, and open them together. You can then make clips, code and categorize your data using keywords and collections, do searches, and perform qualitative analysis.

Please note that SCRIBE does not offer transcript toolbar shortcuts to do Jeffersonian Notation in your transcript. You can, however, use keyboard shortcuts, Ctrl-(cursor up) for rising intonation, Ctrl-(cursor down) for falling intonation, Ctrl-0 for open dot, and Ctrl-h for closed-dot / whispered speech.

Can I use TransanaSCRIBE with a transcription foot pedal?

TransanaSCRIBE will work with most USB plug-and-play foot pedals. (We can’t say all just because there are more on the market than we can get our hands on to test). It works with the most popular models of foot pedals currently in use, including the Infinity USB2, AltoEdge, and Phillips 3 and 4 button pedals.

After you plug in your foot pedal, open Options > Program Settings > Foot Pedal Configuration.  Select your foot pedal from the list of USB devices.  Then tap each button with your foot to make sure they are assigned in the order you want them. (You can rearrange them in any order). Then you’re ready to go!

There are also “programmable” foot-pedals, such as those sold by X-Keys.  For these foot pedals, you may need to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to associate the foot pedal buttons with TransanaSCRIBE’s keyboard shortcuts, such as Ctrl-A, Ctrl-S, Ctrl-D, and Ctrl-F.

You can also check out the Online Tutorial for more on setting up and using a foot pedal with SCRIBE: Tutorial: Transcribe a Media File

How do you handle my credit card information?

We use a secure, industry-standard credit card processor called Stripe, which is completely PCI compliant. We do not have direct access to your credit card information.

Can I add images to transcripts in TransanaSCRIBE?

YES!. You can easily insert images into any transcript, either by importing a graphic or creating a snapshot from a video file you are transcribing in TransanaSCRIBE.

Having images in a transcript can be very useful in a lot of contexts.  For instance, you can include graphics or illustrations at the appropriate points in the transcript of a talk where they were used, or in the minutes of a meeting where they were being referred to. Including visuals that show what is being explained or demonstrated by the speakers can help enrich a written transcript and make it easier to understand.

You can also capture still images from a video you are transcribing in TransanaSCRIBE. Click the “Video Screen Capture” button in the Media Window, which starts the screen capture process. (More information is available in the Tutorial.)

How do I move TransanaSCRIBE from my old computer to my new one?

There are four parts to moving TransanaSCRIBE from one computer to another.

The program

You will need your original authorization code and the installer program you downloaded and used to put TransanaSCRIBE on your computer in the first place. The authorization code and a link to the program were sent in an e-mail when you first purchased TransanaSCRIBE. If you no longer have that email, you can request a new one on the ‘Download Previous Licenses‘ page with the email address you used when you registered the software.

Open TransanaSCRIBE on your old computer. Go to the Tools Menu, and click the menu item ‘Deauthorize TransanaSCRIBE.’ If the old computer no longer runs, reach out to us through the contact page.

If you need to, click the download link in the email, and download the software installer. Double click the file to install TransanaSCRIBE on your new computer, following the on-screen instructions.

The media files

You have one or more folders of audio and video files on the old computer that you have already been working on. Copy any files you want to continue to use to the new computer, keeping your directory names the same. Make sure you know where to look for them on the new computer.

(If your media files are confidential, it’s a good ideal to delete them from the old computer once you’re sure they are properly available on the new computer.)

Your transcripts

When you first start TransanaSCRIBE, you select a database name. This is where TransanaSCRIBE stores all of your transcripts and all of the library, episode, and transcript information you put into the program. If you want to keep working on your existing transcripts, you will need to move the file or files they are in.

Look in your Documents folder for a “Transana 2” folder.  Create a folder in the Documents directory on your new computer with the same name. Now copy the “databases” folder and all of its contents to the new computer so it looks just the same as on the old computer. (You do not need to copy the “waveforms” directory, but it might save you some time if you do.)


The first time you start the program, you will be asked for your authorization code, name and email address. Then the new computer will be authorized.  (This is why you had to de-authorize the old computer first.)

You will notice that the names of your databases do not show up. That’s because there isn’t an easy way to copy that information from the old computer to the new one. All you need to do is press the “Refresh Database List” button at the bottom of the Select Database window. If you copied your transcript files correctly, you should now get a list of all of your databases. Pick one and load it by pressing OK.

Next, we need to tell TransanaSCRIBE where to look for media files. Go to Options > Program Settings and use the top Browse button to set your Media Library Directory to the directory where you copied all of your audio and video files.

Finally, go to Tools > Find Missing Files. If any files are listed, you can use this tool to update their location on the new computer. Remember, the file location is not updated in TransanaSCRIBE by the “Search for File(s)” button, and has not been updated until it disappears from the Missing Files list.