Transcription Pedal for Little Money

_DSC3872If you use interviews for your research, you are familiar with transcription. Transcription is basically typing what has been said. There are several softwares on the market that help you with that work. If you are good in 10-finger-writing, you do not want to use your hand to move to the mouse. The solution: use your feet with a pedal. Pedals for transcription are costly, but they save you a lot of time. In this post I suggest a way to build a pedal to save money.



1. What you need

  • (An old) keyboard
  • Wine cork
  • Scissors
  • Adhesive tape
My old and new keyboard. Check first whether both work when connected to your machine.

2. Preparation

Cut 1/3 of the cork and stick the tape to it.


3. … and it’s done

Glue the cork to the F4 key of your old typewriter. You can use another key. The key will be linked to the play/pause function of your favorite transcription software. Thus, you will be able to write and pause without needing your hands or using the mouse.


And now put the keyboard on the floor. You can operate it with your toe. The cork prevents you from accidently hitting one of the other keys. An alternative would have been to get away with all keys and keep only the F4 key.


4. Action pic

To help you see the amazing effect, I have painted my toe with orange nail polish.

 5. Kudos

Thanks to Brian from the German Ph.D. forum, doktorandenforum. In 2008 he posted an idea how to built a pedal beneath 10 €. It saved my life since then.

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