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Synchronize audio and text during ITC playback

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Synchronize audio and text during ITC playback


When the First Draft back-end speech recognition service is used, the MT can use synchronous playback of audio and text.  When used, the text cursor automatically progresses through the text as audio playback occurs (controlled by the foot pedal or Keyboard Shortcuts).  Likewise, when the MT repositions the cursor by selecting a word anywhere in the First Draft text, the audio is automatically repositioned.  This feature is very dynamic and includes multiple options.  These options will be described below.  Editing with synchronization is considered to be an advanced editing feature and should only be attempted by experienced editors, or those who have mastered use of keyboard shortcuts and editing best practices. 

Primary advantages to effective use of synchronization include the following:

  • Makes the editing process easier on the eyes
  • Less strain with keeping track of where the cursor is
  • Fewer keystrokes equals more lines per hour
  • Helps spot mistakes quickly
  • Carries the cursor forward with the audio for you


Synchronization has two main functions: 

  1. Listening and reading simultaneously is easier because each speech-recognized word is highlighted for you.
  2. Edit more efficiently with fewer keystrokes by avoidance of chasing the cursor.  The cursor focus is carried along with the audio while highlighting the audio position by word.

Effective use of synchronization can help you stay more relaxed while editing and avoids the use of extra keystrokes chasing the audio with your cursor.  This, in turn, means you will be more relaxed and less tired when editing.  Effective use of Synchronization is an advanced skill.  When used correctly, it is an extremely powerful tool.  When used incorrectly, or with less than ideal understanding, it can be frustrating for an inexperienced editor.  Please discuss this technique with our FD team via the Support desk if you have any questions. 

This feature can be toggled (off and on) on the fly by pressing the F12 key or Ctrl + Spacebar. When you need to make an edit, disconnect sync using the left or right arrow keys.  Make the edit and then re-sync using the shortcut Ctrl + Spacebar or F12.  This allows you to edit with a steady rhythm of editing and playback simultaneously.  The default behavior is controlled by a checkbox on the General tab of the User Settings page accessed from the settings menu of the main window or by pressing the F10 key.  Default setting for new users is OFF.  Generally, optimal results are achieved with this feature if it is set to be off by default and is then toggled on and off with keystrokes during the editing process.  Details will be explained below. 

Synchronize Audio to Cursor Position with Ctrl + Shift + Alt + Spacebar is another aspect of the synchronization feature.  This allows you to connect the audio position with your cursor position, as opposed to connecting the cursor position to the audio position which is the default synchronization behavior.  This can be used if your cursor is located somewhere in the document for an edit and you want to synchronize the audio with it in order to verify content.  It is recommended that editors focus on basic understanding and use of synchronization before tackling this feature.


  • Transcriptionist login for the InfraWare 360 Platform with an ITC license assigned.
  • Synchronization is an advanced feature of First Draft, so a First Draft Job is required. 
    • First Draft Practice Jobs are always available to all MT's in the ITC.  See KB618 for details.


  • Login to the ITC
  • Go to User Settings (F10)
  • In the General Tab, Playback section, Uncheck the option to Synchronize text with audio by default.
  • Save user settings.
  • Download a First Draft job.  If no First Draft jobs are available, download a First Draft Practice Job to work with this feature.  See KB618 for details on FD Practice Jobs.
    • Practice Basic Synchronization:  Practice connecting the cursor with Ctrl + Spacebar or F12, disconnecting with left/right arrow to make an edit, reconnecting with Ctrl + Spacebar or F12.  Repeat this over and over until it feels natural.  Just like learning any new skill or Keyboard Shortcut, this will take some time to master and find a rhythm.
    • Practice Advanced Synchronization:  Once you have mastered Basic Synchronization as above you may be ready to tackle advanced Synchronization.  Practice connecting the audio to the cursor position with Ctrl + Shift + Alt + Spacebar.  This allows you disconnect the cursor, navigate to another section of the document and use this Keyboard Shortcut to connect the audio to your current cursor location.  Be sure allow yourself adequate time and practice to master this skill.
      • Note:  If your current cursor position is located in a part of the document that does not contain speech-recognized text, the audio focus will be connected to the closest audio segment.

Synchronization Options/Keystrokes

  Toggle Synchronize Text to Audio   Ctrl + Spacebar or F12
  Disconnect Synchronization   Any Arrow Key or Keystroke Combination with an Arrow Key
  Synchronize Audio to Cursor Position (Advanced)
  Ctrl + Shift + Alt + Spacebar

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Last Updated
Friday, May 19, 2017

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