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Why Turbo 2 Is the Best Thing to Happen in TypeWell V7

It goes without saying that most of us transcribers love TypeWell for numerous reasons: the communication access it provides for clients, the community built around transcribers and the people behind the scenes who make TypeWell work. I could gush on! But what fascinates me most are the constant innovations in the software, aiming to make TypeWell more accessible for both transcriber and reader. One example of this is Turbo 2, an newly added extension to Turbo mode in TypeWell.

Turbo 2 has the same ten Turbo prefix and suffix abbreviations we have come to know and love in V6, but adds three more abbreviations for common suffixes: c→ -ence , i→ -ility or -ity , and the apostrophe '→ -n’t . For example, to type the Turbo 2 abbreviations for the words coincidence, ability, and don’t, I would type the words as so:

ccdc abi d

Here, I don’t have to type either "n" in coincidence anymore, ability has four letters removed, and don’t only has one letter! With these new Turbo abbreviations, the words will expand the way I want them to with fewer keystrokes:

coincidence ability don't

These new suffix abbreviations are a godsend — think about how many words there are in the English language with these same suffixes. Consider the time saved by eliminating 2-3 consonants per word on average. That gives you more time to capture main points in rich detail.

Turbo 2 also adds a variety of new speaker identifiers to the TypeWell dictionary, allowing you to quickly identify various types of speakers while you are transcribing. Some of these new identifiers include /ip→ Interpreter , /l→ Lecturer , /pm→ Panel Member , and /am→ Audience Member . There are so many identifiers in Turbo 2 that it seems impossible to learn them all — but every now and then, the added abbreviations can come in handy.

"Consider the time saved by eliminating an average of 2 to 3 consonants from every long word."

I actually made use of a built-in speaker identifier recently when the main instructor of a course I transcribe was absent. A substitute teacher was there in his place, but my partner and I didn't know his name, so we couldn't add his name to the custom dictionary. We just knew he was an instructor, and TypeWell has an built-in identifier abbreviation for a situation like this:



In the images, you might notice that there is an extra line before the "Instructor:" identifier. That’s another neat feature of the leading slash — it eliminates the need to press "Enter Enter" between paragraphs. If you still press the Enter key twice to make a new paragraph, the leading slash abbreviation won't insert an extra line, but if you type the speaker identifier at the end of the previous paragraph, TypeWell automatically inserts the blank line for you.

The leading slash is also used in Turbo 2 as a quick way to type proper names of people and places. I hope it’s not just me, but I find it mentally distracting to get hung up on abbreviating a state name like "Connecticut" on the fly in Classic mode. The people at TypeWell read my mind — Turbo 2 allows the transcriber to abbreviate state names by typing the leading slash followed by the postal code:


It’s so genius, I can’t even make something like this up. This trick works for most states, but there are a few where the postal code doesn't automatically expand to the state name. For instance, /ms will first expand to Male Student and then the transcriber can press the comma key to cycle to Mississippi. Personally, I think that’s better than trying to remember how many S’s there are in Mississippi.

/msArrowMale StudentArrow 2Mississippi

It’s so genius, I can’t even make something like this up.

There are some other famous places abbreviated with this leading slash, like /wdc for Washington, D.C., or /lax for Los Angeles, but these patterns are not consistent — I still have to type “Seattle” with all of the consonants to get it on the first try. Even so, that leading slash has helped relieve stress on my fingers and allowed me to capture more ideas while transcribing because I wasn't worrying about how to spell the name of a state like Massachusetts. This feature has improved my transcribing experience, and I hope other transcribers agree.

Currently, there are no courselets offered specifically for Turbo 2 — with all of the new abbreviations included, that courselet would take a long time! But the original Turbo courselet is still available in the Learning Center on TypeWell’s website and can be used as a foundation for learning Turbo 2. I personally recommend learning both Turbo 1 and 2, because it physically and mentally frees you up so you can concentrate on providing the best transcript you can.

To view a complete list of the Turbo 2 abbreviations, transcribers can go to the Help menu in TypeWell V7 and click “What’s New.”


Carly Gerard

Carly is a TypeWell Transcriber and a blog/Twitter/Facebook contributor for TypeWell. She really likes this job because it combines two of her passions: transcribing and writing about transcribing.

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