What Is Transcription Paper?

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  • Written By: Terry Masters
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 22 October 2019
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Transcription paper is a special type of paper that is used in transcription machines, distinguished by its thickness. It can come in flat packages or in rolls. Flat packages can come in various paper sizes and can contain individual or connected sheets. This type of paper can also have special attributes that make the paper more appropriate for its intended use, such as having an adhesive backing.

There are various transcription services, including those for use by courts and legal professionals and by the medical industry. Transcription is the process of taking content that is in one format and transforming it into another. Typically, transcribers change audio into text, but they can also be tasked to change written handwriting into a typed format or ordinary text into Braille, for example. Transcription paper is the special type of paper that is used for printing the output of the transcription process.

Transcribers can use specific machines, in some instances, to complete their work. These transcription machines are constructed to make the conversion process easier. Once of the features of these machines is typically the type of paper they require. Some machine use paper on rolls, or use thermal paper, or even use paper with an adhesive backing that allows the user to attach the paper to a file, wall or box. These different types of paper for transcription machines can be found in office supply stores or ordered from paper supply catalogs.


The transcription process does not have to use a special machine, however. Some transcribers work directly into a computer, for example, or an ordinary typewriter. In these instances, transcribers print to ordinary printers that are loaded with transcription paper. This category of transcription paper is flat and looks like regular printer or copier paper. The paper is very thin, however, to minimize the thickness of files when the transcription is stored.

Many modern transcription services are circumventing the use of transcription paper as it becomes more popular to transcribe directly into an electronic format. Like typewriter paper, transcription paper can be considered a bit of a dinosaur in ordinary transcription work. As technology advances, even special transcription machines are transitioning away from requiring specialty paper, much in the same way as facsimile machines transitioned away from special fax paper over time. The type of transcription paper that has the most longevity is the simple flat type that can be fed through a regular printer and is particularly useful in this kind of work because of its thinness.


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