How to Search for Spoken Words in Videos: 3 Fast & Easy Steps

Peggy Pan
April 2022

How to Search for Spoken Words in Videos: 3 Fast & Easy Steps

If you’re searching YouTube videos for specific words or phrases, you can typically find what you’re looking for by opening the accompanying transcript and using Ctrl + F to browse. But when it comes to other video files and footage, the traditional process to search for spoken words in videos is clunky and time-consuming.

  • First, you have to get a transcription of your recording that includes timestamps — typically, teams use video transcription software because it’s fast, accurate, and not super expensive. However, some video editors choose to manually transcribe footage to guarantee better accuracy, so this step alone can eat up hours of time depending on your approach and how much footage you have.
  • Then, you have to review your video’s transcript to look for specific words or phrases; you can make this process quicker by using your computer’s search function to locate terms in the transcript. Once you find sections of dialogue in the transcript, you have to note down the timestamps so you can quickly skip to that part of your footage when you go to playback your video.
  • Finally, once you have timestamps noted, you can review your recording and see those moments in your video.
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We modernized this process with interactive transcripts that display your recording and play your video content as you search. All you have to do is upload your video file, choose the type of transcription method you want (computer or human), and open your video’s transcript to start reviewing.

Reduct’s advanced search function lets you search inside videos in a variety of ways: You can look for exact words or phrases or do a fuzzy search to find related content. It even supports cross-analysis and batch searching so you can review multiple recordings in one go.

In this post, we talk about how to use Reduct’s interactive transcripts to quickly search for spoken words in video and improve the entire video analysis process. We’ll also explain how you can use our interactive transcripts to edit video by editing text, so you can create video clips and put together highlight reels from your footage.

  1. Upload your video recording
  2. Receive your transcript
  3. Search your transcript and cross-reference your video footage

Reduct’s video analysis and video editing dashboard offers the easiest way to search for spoken words in videos: It provides fast, accurate, and interactive video transcripts; has a robust search engine to comb through your videos and transcripts; and displays your video while you search your transcript for quick review.

Start a free trial to upload your first recording

1. Upload Your Recording to Reduct.Video

Reduct is an online, collaborative video analysis and video editing platform. We provide professional video transcription services, then let you review and edit your video footage by marking up the transcript.

The first step: Upload your recording to a Project-Based Folder.

We provide cloud storage for videos. Our platform accepts most file formats and codecs so you can import any video file in your library. You can also import videos from Zoom, Dropbox, Vimeo, Youtube, and other online sources.

Project-Based Folders serve to keep your uploads organized — as the name suggests, you create new folders for each digital project and house all related recordings within. Having dedicated folders for each video project also makes searching your library and sharing content quicker and easier.

Note: If you’re working with other people to search video content, you can add them to your recordings via permissions. Assigning user roles lets you share transcripts/videos with team members and control how others can work with them. Then, the Presence feature shows users what other team members are doing in the transcript in real-time; this lets teams review video together and prevents users from accidentally duplicating work. Learn more about collaborative video editing.

2. Receive Your Video’s Transcript

After you upload a new recording to Reduct, our speech recognition artificial intelligence (AI) automatically begins transcribing your video to text. We provide free computer transcripts for all users, but you can always opt for our human transcription services, instead.

Computer transcripts are ready in under 15 minutes, ~85% accurate, and completely editable. This transcription method works best when you have really clear dialogue in your video and minimal background noise; online video transcription software is prone to error when your recording has multiple speakers, cross talk, speakers with accents, or speakers who use a lot of jargon words or industry-specific terminology. You can always provide “hints for transcription” (i.e., a glossary) if you know your video has a lot of hard-to-transcribe terms, and edit the transcript after if you spot inaccuracies. However, human transcription is usually the better route when you have poor-quality audio.

Read More: Fastest & Most Accurate Video to Text Transcription Services

Reduct offers 24-hour human transcription at some of the most affordable rates in the industry — starting at $1.67 per minute of audio. After we receive your recording, we break your video up into short sections and send each section to one of our professional transcriptionists. Once each section is transcribed, we piece your transcript back together (then double and triple-check it for accuracy) and update the transcript in the Reduct platform. Human transcripts are editable, too, so you can make changes to the transcript as you review.

Once your video transcription is complete, you can click into the dashboard and see the interactive transcript and video displayed side by side.

Now, you can begin reviewing your transcript and searching inside your video.

Reduct’s video platform has a few advanced search capabilities: You can search video by exact word or phrase, perform a “fuzzy search,” or search multiple transcripts/videos at once. Just click around the transcript as you search, and our platform will take you to that portion of your video.

Let’s explain how this works.

When you’re in a project in Reduct, you’ll see a search bar at the top of the screen. You can type in any search term and our software will highlight all instances of that word or phrase in your transcript. Then you can click that transcript text and we’ll surface your footage.

In addition, our search also looks for related terms or phrases. The “fuzzy search” analyzes your content by theme so that you can find all of your video footage relevant to your search query. For example, if you search “winter,” it’ll also find dialogue related to “snow” or “cold.” This feature is helpful when you want to find something in your recordings but don’t remember the exact words or phrasing used — just type what you remember, and we’ll do the rest.

Remember precisely what somebody said, and just need to dig it out? Enclose your search term in quotation marks, and we’ll give you results for the exact phrase rather than showing you all the fuzzy matches.

Apart from searching inside singular video files, you can also use our video search feature to scan through entire Project-Based Folders (i.e., all of the recordings in a given folder), or conduct cross-analysis across specific transcripts/videos.

To do this, open the Project-Based Folder you want to dig into and start your search from that view — you’ll see a “playlist” of results appear on the left-hand menu bar, then you can click into the relevant transcripts and instantly view those portions of video.

You can also use filters to narrow your results by recording.

Our filters are super robust so you can use them to search all throughout your video library: You can expand your search across multiple Project-Based Folders, limit your search to any select recordings, or search through your entire video library in one fell swoop.


As you review your transcript and search inside video, you can make highlights in the transcript to note all of the relevant parts of your recording. You can leave comments on highlights for other team members; you can also add tags to highlights to categorize your videos, group related content, and pinpoint patterns and themes across recordings. Reduct allows you to create a common language for tags so everybody on your team uses the same tags and logs video accurately.

Read More: Best Video Logging Software: Save Time with Transcripts

Even more convenient? Our platform automatically creates video clips from your highlights (and saves them under the Highlights tab) so you can easily access all of the most important video clips from your footage. You don’t have to worry about marking timestamps or making exact cuts when highlighting the transcript, either; our platform creates seamless transitions so clips flow and transition smoothly. Then, you can export and share these clips with others, or use them to create highlight reels in Reduct’s Reel Builder.

In the next sections, we explain how Reduct lets you use your transcript to edit video footage, and review Reduct’s simple sharing methods to send transcripts, video clips, and Reduct Reels to others.

Bonus: Use Reduct to Edit Videos by Editing Transcript

One of our core goals when designing Reduct was to make video editing accessible for everybody, so anybody who has video footage can use it for their projects (no video editing experience or tutorials needed). The solution? Text-based video editing features that let you edit footage by editing the video transcript.

With Reduct, you can:

  • Create video clips by highlighting transcript text (as described above).
  • Drag and drop video clips in order to create highlight reels (a.k.a Reduct Reels).
  • Edit out words, phrases, or blurbs from your footage by striking through the corresponding transcript text.

Then we have features like text slides and automatic captions so you can add other effects to your videos before sharing.

Our editing features are convenient for researchers who are transcribing and editing interview videos, marketers and social media teams that want to create short clips to share online, and filmmakers who have a lot of videos (or long videos) and need to work through the paper edit and distill footage down to the core moments.

You can also learn more about using Reduct for rough cut video editing in our other guide.

Once you’ve assembled your highlight reel and made the final changes, you can:

  • Download your highlight reel and publish it online. Note: You can also download your video transcript and SRT file if you want to add closed captions or subtitles when publishing online.

  • Export your highlight reel to a professional video editor (Adobe Premiere Pro, Apple Final Cut Pro X) for more advanced touch-ups.

  • Share your video with peers and stakeholders via share link.

Sharing Video Clips & Reels from Reduct

Every Reduct Reel is assigned a unique share link that can be copied and sent to anybody you want to share videos with — we allow unlimited free guest sharing, and share links work across email, messengers, and workspace collaboration tools.

When you share Reduct Reels via share link, end users are directed to the Reduct platform where they can view your highlight reel alongside the interactive transcript. Then, end users can use the transcript to search your video (just like we described in the sections above) and find the content that interests them; they can skip to the sections they want, read along as they watch, change playback speeds, and pause if they need.

Reduct’s share links also auto-update if you make extra edits to your Reduct Reels after you share them. That way you don’t have to re-send links or keep track of versions, and everybody is always viewing the most up-to-date version of your reels.

Note: You can also download and share individual video clips from Reduct. You can do this by navigating to the Highlights tab, choosing the video clips you want to share, and downloading them from the Reduct platform. This is great if you want to send quick video snippets to team members for feedback; for example, if you’re sharing research findings from recent interview videos.

Try Reduct.Video for Free & Upload Your First Video Project

Using Reduct is as easy as reviewing a word document, but it’s way more user-friendly than traditional methods because you can search your transcript and view video content simultaneously.

This process makes searching footage and conducting video analysis faster and easier, and if you’re searching videos as part of the paper edit, it allows you to quickly double-check your video as work with the transcript, letting you create video clips and edit out blurbs you don’t need.

So whether you’re reviewing footage for research, to speed up video editing, or for other digital projects, Reduct’s interactive transcripts and text-based video editing features can help you get the job done more efficiently.

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