Tech Tuesday: Transcript 2.4 to the Rescue!

Old HandwritingI’ve been dealing with a lot of old deeds and probate records lately, and I must admit that trying to decipher and transcribe these old handwritten documents have been a challenge in and of itself! Still, reading and copying old handwritten documents is a task that every genealogist must learn to master. Have I mastered reading and transcribing old handwritten documents yet? No, not quite! So how have I been able to do it so far? Well, I use to scan these documents to my desktop computer as image files (jpg) and enlarge them until I could read the text without squinting or straining my eyes. Then on my netbook computer, I would open a word processing program and type what I have enlarged on my desktop computer. My process was not only a hot mess but time-consuming too! I cannot tell you how many times I would lose my place in the typing process for having to go back and forth between the two computers — ARGH! But not anymore since I discovered Transcript 2.4!

What is Transcript 2.4?

It is a SWEET little program designed to help make transcribing the text on digital images of documents easier! Jacob Boerema, the creator of this program, was dissatisfied with having to use a separate program for viewing digital images of documents, then use a different editor for transcribing the text on digital images of documents. Sound familiar? He searched for a program that would do both processes in one but couldn’t find one. So he decided to write a program himself and the fruits of his labor is  — Transcript 2.4!

How does Transcript 2.4 work?

After downloading and installing the program to my computer, I imported one of the deed images I needed to transcribe and immediately my main screen split into two sections. The top area of my screen shows a very clear view of the deed that I want to transcribe. The bottom area was a text field for me to type the text of my deed. Now I can actually read and type at the same time . . . woo-hoo! Another feature I like about this program is that it remembers exactly where I leave off transcribing my document and will automatically return to that position the next time I open the program (see below). Now how cool is that?!

Transcript 2.4

Click to view the transcription I’m working on in progress!

The Pros & Cons with Transcript 2.4

Transcript 2.4 IS NOT an OCR program that will read and convert your image into text. No, you’re still responsible for transcribing the document yourself. I know . . . I know (shaking my head right along with you)! BUT this program certainly makes the job a whole lot easier! This program is absolutely FREE for private non-commercial use and a full overview and screenshots about some of its cool features are available at the developer’s website. After sampling this program you decide that you want to take advantage of all the extra features not included in the basic free download, you may register for the Pro Version for a fee.

Try Transcript 2.4 right now today and let me know what you think!