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Foot Pedal Compatibility – Introducing the Olympus Foot Switch Configuration Tool

Since embracing digital technology in daily workflow, transcriptionists across the world have been grappling with dictation and transcription software and foot pedal compatibility.  Traditionally transcriptionists working within legal, medical, accounting and insurance professions have used the same brand of software and hardware as the dictators’ dictation devices.

There have been a number of compelling reasons for this, the most critical being the opportunity to eliminate potential software and foot pedal compatibility issues.  Other reasons have included improving workflow integration, brand loyalty, and possessing historic familiarity with the brand product.

Foot Pedal Compatibility

Times have changed and attitudes have shifted.  While manufacturers worked at finely honing proprietary components (consider the collaboration between Olympus, Philips and Grundig in developing the most widely used digital audio file format, the proprietary .DSS), end users, such as transcriptionists, clamoured to have their voices heard.

Transcriptionists wanted something simple, inexpensive, and effective; something which would work across multiple and disparate platforms, reflecting the changing nature of their work in today’s fast-paced and multi-faceted environment.

Olympus Logo

Introducing the Olympus Foot Switch Configuration Tool.

Enter the Olympus Foot Switch Configuration Tool, probably one of the most useful apps in the transcriptionists’ professional typing arsenal. The Olympus Foot Switch Configuration Tool (FTSW Tool) enables an Olympus RS-28H or Olympus RS-31H foot pedal to be compatible with most third party applications.  Foot pedal compatibility is now a thing of the past.

If your application supports control via keyboard commands, then you can use the RS-28H or RS-31H foot pedal for hands-free control.

Foot pedal compatibility with transcription software is no longer an issue.

What’s more, the RS28H and RS31H, in conjunction with the FTSW Tool, can be used with third party applications in both Windows and Mac environments.

Olympus Foot Switch Configuration Tool

Transcription software such as NCH’s Express Scribe Professional, Philips SpeechExec Pro and SpeechExec Standard, Winscribe, For The Record (FTR) and Karisma, can all be used with an Olympus RS-28H or RS-31H foot pedal, in conjunction with the FTSW Tool.

The release of the new Olympus foot pedals and the free configuration tool has fundamentally reset the transcription software and foot pedal compatibility dynamic. 

The question is no longer “which foot pedal is compatible with my transcription software”, but rather, “which software application is NOT compatible with my Olympus foot pedal”.

Olyjmpus Foot Switch Configuration Tool Icon

The FTSW Tool is not just for transcription applications.  The FTSW Tool can be used with most apps which support control via keyboard commands, enabling hands-free control.

These apps include:

  • Multimedia apps (Windows Media Player, iTunes),
  • Word Processing or Document Management apps (MS Office Suite including MS Excel and MS PowerPoint),
  • Photo Capture, Editing or Manipulation apps (Olympus Capture, Adobe Photoshop), and
  • many Computer Gaming apps (i.e. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare).

The Olympus RS-28H and RS-31H foot switches, via the configuration tool, have two operating modes, “Olympus” mode and “Keyboard” mode.

For use with all non-Olympus applications, the configuration tool is simply set to “Keyboard” mode. 

If you want a foot pedal which is compatible with most third-party applications, is simple to use and configure, inexpensive and robust, then look no further than the Olympus RS-28H or RS-31H foot switches.  They will revolutionise, AND simplify your world! 

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Five Essential Keyboard Shortcuts for Researchers

People who conduct research on the internet, scroll through electronic documents, or search in databases know how important and helpful keyboard shortcuts can be.  Keyboard shortcuts help researchers quickly find, retrieve, and relocate critical information.

Below is a list of the top five keyboard shortcuts essential to researchers.  Researchers who use these top five keyboard shortcuts streamline daily workflow, save time, and ultimately improve the research experience.  Find out which keyboard shortcuts made the top five…

Five Essential Keyboard Shortcuts for Researchers


Windows: Ctrl + F

Mac: Cmd + F

And the winner is … Ctrl F, the Find function.  This is the function that opens a Find window in most applications, or finds items in a document.

You don’t even have to type in the whole word, just the first few letters.  All words which start with the letters typed in the Find box are highlighted in the document or on the webpage.

I frequently use this function when searching in PDFs, MS Office documents and many databases.  I do happen to think that this function is the most-used and useful function in my daily work life; and I suspect it will be in yours, too.


Windows: Ctrl + S

MAC: Cmd + S

There’s a mantra shared by anyone who has ever lost an important file or document on their computer – save regularly, and save often.  Never again be vulnerable to the vagaries of crashing computers or servers, or sudden and unexpected loss of electricity.  Don’t be a statistic – use Ctrl S to save your work, and save it often!


Windows: Ctrl + Z, Ctrl + Y

Mac: Cmd + Z, Cmd + Shift + Z

Who would have thought a keyboard function would inspire cutting edge companies and commentators to describe a current epoch?  Has the dawn of the 21st century ushered in a deep desire to “Undo” parts of our lives?  Do we all yearn to return to something as it was before, with no regrets?

While we may not all want to click the “Undo” button at certain points in our lives, it is certainly a great function when working in MS Office documents or other editable documents.

Ctrl Z is the Undo Last Action function.  This function undoes the previous command.  To reverse the Undo command in Mac, press Command + Shift + Z to Redo.  In Windows applications just press Ctrl + Y to Redo.

In some apps you can undo and redo multiple commands.  I use this function often when designing brochures, flyers and other marketing material.  I also like the flexibility the function offers.  It’s okay to try out an idea, and then undo it, if you don’t like the result.  Undoing the last five or ten commands becomes easy and accurate.

Try it; you’ll be surprised at how beneficial the function is to the creative process.


Windows: Ctrl + X

Mac: Cmd + X

Ctrl X is the Cut function and although similar in use to Undo, is extremely useful when wanting to quickly cut whole sections of a document.  Used in conjunction with Paste, the Cut function makes fast editing a breeze.

Select the paragraph or section you wish to cut.  Click Ctrl X to cut the selected section and paste it somewhere else, or simply discard it.  I frequently use the Cut function when working with images and when editing lengthy word articles.


Windows: Ctrl + C and Ctrl + V

Mac: Cmd + C and Cmd + V

Ctrl C is the Copy function and Ctrl V is the Paste function.  Copy the selected item to the Clipboard and paste the contents of the Clipboard into the current document or app.

These handy little keyboard shortcuts are the “safer” versions of the Cut function.  Why “safer”, you say?  When I’m writing articles under strict deadlines I don’t want to lose critical information I’ve spent an intense time thinking about and writing.  Instead, I copy my words and paste them, rather than cut and paste them.

Is this being a little paranoid, perhaps a tad overkill?  Well, maybe just a little.

But ask me this: Have I lost critical information lately?

Answer: No, not for a long, long time.  Period.

There are many more keyboard shortcuts which improve the research experience.  I’ve only listed my five most-used keyboard shortcuts here.  Let me know if you think your favourite keyboard shortcut should bump one of mine off the list?

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Update your internet browser to the latest version – it’s simple and free!

Web pages not loading properly?  Having trouble logging onto your favourite websites? Update your web browser to the latest version – it’s simple and free!

Update Your Web Browser - it's free!Keeping your internet browsers up-to-date is important as it helps in many ways.  Newer browsers save you time, keep you and your data safer, and open up more opportunities for how you use online technology across multiple platforms and devices (desktop, laptop, tablet and smartphone).

Some of the most popular web browsers are Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, Edge, Firefox and Opera.

Go to your browser settings to check the version you are running.  If you need step-by-step assistance to update to the latest version of your browser, simply run a Google search, “How to update my internet browser”.

It’s easy to update your internet browser to the latest version.  Update your browser to the latest version today – it is a simple process and what’s more, it’s free!

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Quality of Service – What Matters to our Clients, Matters to Us

Pacific Transcription receives consistent feedback that the number one issue concerning clients who access transcription services is the quality of service provided.  How do we know?  Because we ask our clients what they think about our service provision.

Quality of service has been identified as the number one issue concerning our clients.  We have identified this through our quality management process.  This process forms part of ISO 9001 standard, an internationally recognised standard for quality management.

Quality of Service Provision

To achieve ISO 9001 certification businesses must submit to regular external audits by an independent body.  These audits examine the quality management systems in place, and how they are created, monitored, measured and improved.  If the business cannot provide evidence of the system at work, they fail the audit process.

Pacific Transcription maintains ISO 9001 certification, and demonstrates the successful implementation of this standard in many ways, including:

  • Having the right objectives, metrics and procedures in place, which are continually monitored, measured and improved,
  • Engaging in regular internal and external auditing of the standard, and
  • Delivering improved customer satisfaction through careful implementation of these processes.

We use the word “client” rather than “customer” because we value the opportunity to foster a long term relationship with the people who use our services – our clients.  What matters to our clients, matters to us.

We genuinely care about what our clients think because it is only through monitoring, measuring and improving our service provision to our clients that we remain relevant to them.

We personalise our transcription solutions to suit individual client needs.  We do this by listening to our clients, and tailoring an appropriate suite of solutions for each client.  We retain our clients by offering genuinely superior quality of service provision.


So, what is the value proposition?  Our value propositions are based on real deliverables that our clients value and return to, again and again.

We measure our service.

We report on our service.

We improve our service.

We are accountable to our clients, so they can be confident in the high quality service we provide.  It’s that simple.

For more information on how Pacific Transcription implements the ISO 9001 quality management standard and how clients reap the benefits, click here or contact Pacific Transcription.

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Close the Circle with a Complete Dictation Solution – It’s the Olympus Dictation Delivery Service

You dictate in the office, no sweat.  You use an Olympus digital dictation recorder – it’s got exceptional sound capture and it’s easy to use.

You pop out to visit a client at home – oops, forgot the dictation recorder.  Oh well, I’ll just do that dictation when I get back into the office.

At least I didn’t leave the dictation recorder at the hospital, like last time.

If only I could dictate onto my Smartphone – I have that with me most of the time… but how would I get the dictation to my transcriptionist?

Especially when I need that file ASAP?

The answer is with the Olympus Dictation Delivery Service (ODDS).  Olympus has closed the circle with a complete dictation solution.   Save time, improve your work efficiency and use your digital products more effectively with the Olympus Dictation Delivery Service.

Olympus Dictation Delivery Service is a complete dictation solution for professionals

So, what is Olympus Dictation Delivery Service and how does it work?

The Olympus Dictation Delivery Service, affectionately known as “ODDS”, closes the circle on the myriad of dictation devices and processes available in the digital world today; and what’s more, it is EASY to use.

When you record a dictation using your SmartPhone and the Olympus Dictation app (it’s free), you can securely send the dictation to your transcriptionist via the dictation delivery service.    Your transcriptionist, using their Olympus transcription software, can receive the dictations and start typing.

Olympus Dictation Delivery Service

How does ODDS help me?

This option is a GREAT backup option for when you are out and about, and not in the office with your DS-7000 dictation recorder.  You don’t need to remember to take your DS-7000 with you; just leave it in the office where it is not going to be lost or misplaced.

You have great flexibility when you use your SmartPhone with the Olympus Dictation app, an ODDS subscription and have access to an internet connection – you can dictate wherever you are!

ODDS - From SmartPhone To Transcriptionist's Computer

What are some of the benefits of ODDS?

One of the most important concerns facing today’s professionals is ensuring data security.  With the Olympus Dictation app files can first be encrypted then either emailed or sent directly into your organisation’s Olympus Dictation Management System workflow (the software your transcriptionist uses).  For the security conscious this is one of the safest methods available to professionals.

For those who appreciate the finer details of a system, you can’t go past the exceptional configurability of the ODDS.  Via the ODDS administrators can pre-define settings for the users of the App, such as security settings, recording format and available worktypes.  This means that all the dictator has to do is dictate, click send finished dictations, and the ODDS does all the rest!

If you want to optimise the functionality of your existing dictation products, save time and improve your work efficiency contact the Pacific Products Team today to discuss the Olympus Dictation Delivery Service.     There couldn’t be a better time.

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Three Top Dictating Tips for Medical Professionals who Outsource their Transcription

Did you know that there are a number of top tips for professional dictating which are specific to the type of transcription service you use?

This article explores three important professional dictating tips which are successfully applied by medical professionals who outsource dictations to a transcription company.

Many medical professionals find that they receive the best possible transcripts of their dictations from their chosen transcription company, by applying the following top tips for professional dictating.

Read on to find out how you too can get the best quality transcripts from your transcription company.

What Dictating Looked Like in the Olden Days

Medical professionals know that professional dictating is a skill that is learned and developed over time.  Professionals who dictate daily employ a number of practices which ensure their dictations are clear, concise, and recorded well.  Some of these practices include:

  • Being familiar with the recording equipment,
  • Using a good quality recorder or microphone, correctly positioned,
  • Optimising the recording environment,
  • Collecting thoughts and planning the dictations,
  • Providing critical information in each dictation,
  • Identifying the template to use,
  • Standardising dictations,
  • Dictating punctuation,
  • Speaking with clarity,
  • Spelling technical terms or jargon, and
  • Remembering to say “End of Dictation”.

These are all great practices to employ when dictating.  However, there are a few key dictation practices which are specific to professional dictators who outsource their transcription needs to professional transcription companies, such as Pacific Transcription.

Medical-specific Words

Top Tip #1: You don’t need to spell medical terminology, sector-specific or technical words

If you are using a transcription company such as Pacific Transcription, which employs transcriptionists who are highly experienced in all areas of medical dictation, there is no need to spell out medical terminology, sector-specific or technical words.

However, there are some types of words which do benefit from being spelled out letter-by-letter.  These include spelling out the names of unfamiliar landmarks, small townships or remote areas, particularly those which are referred to by their Indigenous name/s.

Top Tip #2: Know when to spell patient names

On this point, does the transcription company have access to your patient database?  If so, there is no need to spell out patient names.  The transcriptionist can cross-reference the patient name with their patient file in your medical practice database.

If the transcription company does not have access to your patient database it is sometimes beneficial to spell out patient names which may have an unusual or uncommon spelling.  To the transcriber Rose Ann, Rosanne, and Roseanne will all sound the same.

Slow Down!

Top Tip #3: Speak more slowly

Many reputable transcription companies, including Pacific Transcription, who transcribe medical dictations do so at a per line charge, not per minute charge.  This is not only financially beneficial to you, but means you can take regular moments to compose your thoughts and slow down your dictations.  Pause before and after dictating to avoid clipping information.  A well-ordered thought most often translates into a well-ordered, concise and considered dictation.

By applying these three top tips for professional dictating, specific to medical professionals who outsource dictations, you will reap the financial and time benefits, facilitate a more efficient service delivery from your chosen transcription company, and ultimately, receive consistently high quality, accurate and timely medical transcripts.

For further information on medical dictation and medical transcription please contact Pacific Transcription.

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Trade in your Old Dictaphone for a New Philips DPM8000 – It’s the Dictaphone Sale of the Year!

When a high quality dictaphone like the Philips DPM8000 digital pocket memo goes on sale my ears prick up and my interest is piqued.  It’s not every day that these hardworking, durable dictation devices go on sale; so when they do, I like to spread the word.

This month Philips, in collaboration with their Australian Certified Professional Dictation Solutions partners, launched a promotion encouraging people to replace their older dictaphones with a new Philips DPM8000.

If you trade in your old dictaphone, regardless of which brand it is, you are eligible to buy a Philips DPM8000 at a heavily reduced price.  This is great news for people who currently use either the Olympus DS-5000 or the Philips LFH9600, as both manufacturers recently announced that these devices were no longer officially supported.

The Philips DPM8000 is arguably the best quality dictaphone on the market to date.  Although sharing many features with its closest rival, the Olympus DS-7000, the DPM8000 differentiates itself with a number of extremely useful and clever features.

If you dictate on a daily basis you will greatly appreciate the need for high quality audio, particularly if you are also using speech recognition software, or want to make your transcriptionist’s job as easy as possible.

DPM8000 – 3D Mic Technology

DPM8000 3D Mic Technology

DPM8000 3D Mic Technology

The DPM8000 has 3D Mic technology, which means the two inbuilt microphones are utilised to the best of their ability, delivering versatility unrivalled amongst today’s high end dictation devices.  The first mic is omnidirectional, enabling 360 degrees of sound capture, and the second mic is unidirectional, perfectly suited for dictating and voice recognition.

The DPM8000’s 3D Mic technology means that the DPM8000 can be used as a dictation device as well as an audio recorder to record important business meetings.

DPM8000 Built-in Motion Sensor

DPM8000 Motion Sensor

DPM8000 Motion Sensor

The DPM8000 also has a clever little built-in motion sensor, which further enhances the functionality of each microphone.  When the device is placed on a desk or held in the hand it senses and selects the appropriate microphone for that recording situation.  You no longer have to manually select the mic setting to suit the recording environment.

When the device is idle it automatically switches to standby mode, saving power.  When the DPM is moved or picked up again, it’s ready to record in seconds.

Trade in your old dictation device for a new DPM8000

The DPM8000 has many other handy features which make dictating a breeze.  Click here for more information on the DPM8000 and the Trade In Promotional offer.



It is well worth considering replacing your old dictation device with a new Philips DPM8000.  The promotion ends 30th June 2016, so be sure to contact your Philips Certified Professional Dictation Solutions partner today!

Pacific Transcription is a Philips Certified Professional Dictation Solutions Partner.

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Need more time? Work as an online transcriptionist!

The main benefit of working as an online transcriptionist is that you are able to set your own hours, giving you the flexibility to manage your own work/life balance.

Many jobs require you at the workplace at certain times; however when working for a digital transcription service you can set your own days and hours.

Although many digital transcription services require their typists to do a minimum number of hours each the week, to a large extent you can specify when and for how long you would like to work each day.

You can also easily take days off for family and other commitments. So instead of fitting family or personal time around work, you can fit your digital transcription work around family and personal time.

Balance Life and Work by becoming a typing contractor with Pacific Transcription

Online transcription work involves listening to audio and typing what you hear, all from your home computer.  The content of the typing ranges from interview transcription through to medical or legal transcription.

File transfer takes place over the internet, so audio files are downloaded and documents uploaded once complete.  This means that the work can be done entirely from home; there is no time wasted in receiving tapes or posting completed transcriptions back.

Another great perk is that there is no time wasted in commuting to and from the office and you can continue working at times that would otherwise require time off.  For example, waiting for a tradesperson or caring for a child home from school for the day.

You are also able to use spare time during the day to work on your digital transcription work, such as when children are asleep or dinner is in the oven. This would be impractical, if not impossible, if it meant having to physically go into the office.

Digital transcription work is ideal for those who have young children or other carer responsibilities, and for people who are studying.  Anyone who wants more control over their time will benefit from doing digital transcription.

Working as an online transcriptionist will not only give you more control over your time, but more time to spare — time to spend with family, to spend studying or simply doing the things that you enjoy in life.

If you are interested in becoming an online transcriptionist with Pacific Transcription click here for further details on typing contractor opportunities and the typing contractor application process.  We are currently hiring.

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What’s the difference between a dictaphone and a notetaker or voice recorder?

How do I know if I need a dictaphone or a notetaker/voice recorder?  What is the difference?

Notetakers, or voice recorders, are typically used to record multiple speaker audio such as lectures, interviews, meetings and focus groups where a high quality omni-directional microphone is required to pick up all speakers.

Pacific Transcription offers expert advice on dictating solutions

The audio is usually recorded in one take with few interruptions. Notetakers are simple to use, with press button stop and start. Once you press the stop button you have created a file and when you press start again a new file is created. You can usually pause and resume but there is no facility to rewind, review, erase and continue recording in the same file.

Most notetakers record in high function formats such as WMA, MP3 or PCM/.WAV., which means that the file sizes are quite large. Because meetings etc. could go on for hours, files could be even larger, making them too large to send via email.

Dictaphones are designed for single person dictating and are usually used for recording letters or short notes – particularly useful in the legal and medical professions.

Dictaphones generally have uni-directional microphone/s to accommodate one speaker and are ideal for people who experience numerious interruptions during dictation sessions, as they come with rewind/review and overwrite/insert functionalities.

The top-of-the range dictaphones come with a “new” button which is used to create a new file. You can press stop to review/erase then continue to record in the same file. Dictaphones tend to use the .dss and .ds2 audio formats, which result in very small digital audio files and are easier to transfer across the internet via email.

What if I want to dictate and record meetings? Do I need two separate devices?

Notetakers can be used for dictation but come with the limitations mentioned above.  If you are mainly recording meetings and conferences and only dictate occasionally you could use your notetaker for dictation.  Remember though, that you will not be able to review/erase and you will have bulky files that are not easily sent via email. You may have to resort to Dropbox, which is not secure.

If high quality professional dictation is your priority, but you need to record small meetings, the latest top-of-the-range digital dictaphones are ideal. The top models can record small meetings (up to 5 people in a small room with good acoustics) and with the aid of external microphones can accommodate up to 12 people – again, in a good acoustic setting.

Of course, if you have a high volume of dictation and you are frequently recording multi-speaker situations you may decide to use a different device for each function.

For expert advice on which recording product will suit your specific needs, contact the Products Team at Pacific Transcription.

Posted in Better Audio, Dictation, Focus Groups, Interviews, Mobile Dictating | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Pacific Transcription Achieves ISO:9001 Certification

Pacific Transcription recently celebrated a milestone in the company’s growth, the achievement of ISO:9001 certification for Quality Management Systems.

ISO:9001 is an internationally recognised Standard which outlines the requirements an organisation must maintain in their quality management system.

BP_ISO9001_CMYK_70pixPacific’s quality management system has been thoroughly investigated by an external auditor and approved for certification.  ISO:9001 certification means Pacific Transcription continues to demonstrate exceptional delivery of service to all clients.  Our clients can be assured of receiving consistently high quality transcripts in a timely manner, and can look forward to continued enhanced client satisfaction.

If you would like more information on Pacific Transcription’s ISO certification and the ways we demonstrate, monitor and measure our work, please contact us today.

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