Transcription Style Guide

SyncWords does an excellent job of taking your transcript and turning it into a usable caption file. The system recognizes numbers and other elements in the transcript and properly interprets them, it automatically segments your material, and denotes cues and speaker labels. If you are uploading your own transcript here are some general rules to follow that will ensure optimal results.


  • Make sure your transcript does not contain extraneous text that is not spoken in the media unless it is identified as a Cue.
  • Make sure everything that is spoken in the media is present in the transcript.
  • Make sure your transcript is in sentence case. Adding transcripts in all capital letters produces less than optimal segmentation results.
  • Separate different topics as paragraphs. 
  • Properly identify speaker labels and cues (if present). See how that is done below:


Speaker Labels

When the following appear at the start of a line they are treated as a Speaker Label. If these symbols appear mid paragraph they are treated as regular punctuation.

1. Word(s) followed by a colon ( : ) 

2. Chevron (>>)

3. Dash (-)



Any text placed in Square Brackets [ ] will be treated as a Cue by SyncWords. Cues are used to denote an action or sound in the audio that is not actually spoken by a character but is relevant to the user - for example [laughter] or [music].


Music Notes

If you have lyrics in your transcript and would like to add music notes around them you can do so by surrounding the lyrics segment in the transcript with {mstart} and {mend}. Any caption produced within that segment will have a music note at the start and end of each caption. For example:

♪ does that star-spangled banner ♪

♪ yet wave ♪

♪ O'er the land of the free
and the home of the brave? ♪

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