Recording audio with Microsoft Word or OneNote

As usually happens when I’m teaching others about a topic, this evening when I was sharing some tips about using the Macintosh operating system and Mac programs I learned a valuable tip: How to record audio and simultaneously take notes using Microsoft Word. I’d heard of this capability but never seen it demoed, and it wasn’t hard to do. We had to change the “view” in Word to “Notebook” to enable the functionality, and then select audio recording from the “tools” menu.

Interestingly, in doing some Google and searches for a screencast or tutorial about how to use this functionality of Word 2004, I couldn’t find any! I did find some references to this functionality in an old review of the program, but no tutorials. There are quite a few articles about using Microsoft OneNote on the Windows-side to record audio. I haven’t tried that either.

Has anyone had success recording teacher/instructor/professor lectures using either Word 2004 on a Mac or OneNote on a Windows PC? I’d be interested to hear what people think of the functional usability of these features. They sound great, but I’ve never talked with someone (in person or online) who has used them repeatedly in actual classes.

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  • I have not used this option in Word. However (and I hope this isn’t completely off-the-subject and not useful), I’ve had my English Language Learner students use the extraordinary text-to-voice feature of Scribd ( Whatever they write can be “spoken” back to them, or anyone, in a computer-generated (yet pretty decent) voice. And, even better, it’s then hosted by Scribd and can be accessed by family members and other students. I think Scribd is one of the best web applications out there to assist in language development activities. You can see many examples of my students’ use of this great service at:

  • colin

    hahaaaaaaaaaaaaaa sick

    i have a philosophical psychology professor who’s extremely eccentric and ive been wanting to record him and cut some quotes of his into some songs

    this is perfect!

  • Interesting idea to use the PC for this. I just wrote a review on the Livescribe pen recorder, which I love by the way, but I’m missing an integration with OneNote so far. That’s how I found this article.
    Maybe I’ll try this out, using the PC as recorder, but I guess that you’ll need an external microphone for decent quality.
    .-= Luc J´s last blog ..Livescribe Pulse Smartpen – Link Notes And Audio Recording =-.

  • CJ

    I use MS word on Mac to record my classes frequently. The audio quality is good enough to playback over headphones,but there are drawbacks. The mic is good enough to pick up speakers clearly from 15-30ft away, but to get to that range one must increase the sensitivity of the mic. When the input level is increased, the mic picks up the clicking from typing and noises made within its range e.g. a cough behind you, a pencil clacked onto a desk next to you. I haven’t found a way to rectify this yet using the onboard mic. Also, I have not been able to save audio separate from the word doc either.
    Hope this helps!