Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

You can read the entire list or simply view the list and select the questions you are interested in having answered.

What is Express Scribe?

Express Scribe is a computer program written for transcriptionists. If you open the Express Scribe program, you can load audio files from your computer onto the program and Express Scribe will let you play and transcribe them.

How do I use Express Scribe with the test?

The Express Scribe computer program can play audio files saved on your computer. It also provides you a box to type in and other useful transcription tools.

Career Step does not support Express Scribe. For additional help click on the help button in Express Scribe or visit this site:

Click on the red button that says "Download Now" under the Express Scribe heading.
If it doesn't install automatically after the download, right click on the essetup file and select open.

Go to the transcription portion of the test.
Click on the "clicking here" link below the large text box.
Right-click on the link for the MP3 file that says "Right-click here" (or hold down the ctrl button and left click).
Select "Save target as" ("Save link as" for Firefox users, or "Download linked file as" for Safari).
Select desktop as the save location.
Click Save.

Right click on the audio file you saved on your desktop.
Select "Transcribe with Express Scribe".
Mac users will need to drag and drop the audio files into the Express Scribe window.

If you've installed Express Scribe recently, about 14 days after installation, the functionality will automatically be limited and only the AltoEdge foot pedal will work with Express Scribe. Plug in your foot pedal.
Open Express Scribe.
Click on Options.
Click on Controller.
Check "Enable Foot Pedal".
Click on the controller setup wizard button and go through the setup process.

Transcribe the report in the "type notes for selected dictation here" textbox.
Copy your text from Express Scribe and paste it into the test site when you are done.

Using Express Scribe:
For the list of hot keys, or to set up your own, click on Options then Hotkeys.
The speed control is the slider bar at the bottom right corner of the main screen.
Click here for the support pages.
Click here for a tutorial.

I clicked the "Done" button in Express Scribe and now I can't find my files.

You should never click the "Done" button; When you finish transcribing a report. If, however, you do so anyway, your files are not lost. Follow these instructions to recover them.

  • Option 1
  • Close all open programs.
  • Open express scribe by left double clicking on icon labeled "Express Scribe".
  • Left Click on File-then left click on Recover old files.
  • A list of files that done was clicked on will appear--left click on the file you wish to recover then click on Recover.
  • Your file will appear back in the files listing within Express Scribe
  • If this still does not recover your files then try option 2:
  • Option 2
  • Close all open programs.
  • Locate the icon on your desktop labeled "Express Scribe". Right-click on it. A menu will appear.
  • Click on "Properties" at the bottom of the menu.
  • Another window will pop up. In the middle of this window there will be a button labeled "Find Target". Click on this button. This opens another window.
  • In this new window you should see several files and folders. One of the folders will be labeled "Done Files". When you click the "Done" button in Express Scribe, it takes your transcribed reports out of Express Scribe and stores them here. Double-click on this folder to open it.
  • In this folder you should see three files for each one you transcribed. Of those three, the one file that actually contains your transcription work, is the one that has the icon that looks like a note pad (a pad of paper you would take notes on). Double-clicking on these files will open them up.
  • You can now copy here and paste into the boxes on the submission web page, as normal. You may refer to the regular instruction page for step-by-step details on how to do this. Everywhere the instructions refer to copying from Express Scribe, you, however, should, instead, copy from this folder, and not Express Scribe.

My COM footpedal won't work with Express Scribe.

First make sure that the footpedal is plugged securely into the back of your computer.

  • Open Express Scribe.
  • Click on Settings > Hardware Settings. A new window will pop up.
  • Under the heading "Foot Pedal and Hot Key Control" change the COM port to a different setting.
  • Try all the different ports at least twice, as it can be a little tricky to catch it.

My USB foot pedal won't work with Express Scribe.

The free trial of Express Scribe will give you 14 days free of the full version. After that, functionality is automatically limited and you will only be able to use the AltoEdge foot pedal.

Your computer should automatically detect and install the USB footpedal when it installs Express Scribe. If this does not work, then you can check the settings to make sure it is installed.

  • Click on the Start button.
  • Go to Settings, then Control Panel.
  • After opening the Control Panel, double click on System.
  • Make sure that Human Interface Devices has HID-compliant device and USB human interface device.
  • If those are installed, make sure you have a Universal Serial Bus controller installed.
  • If all of these are installed, and your footpedal still does not work, test the port with another USB device (ie. a mouse or keyboard.)
  • Check this page for more information about your specific footpedal.

When I use the function keys, it brings up a window.

This problem may occur when trying to use Express Scribe for playback of audio, while typing in some word processors. Express Scribe will work best with Microsoft Word. If you are using a different word processor, the function keys that are assigned to Express Scribe may already be in use. Unfortunately, there is no way to change these keys. You should probably use a different program, such as Wordpad or Notepad.

When I use the function keys, it doesn't play/pause/etc. like it's supposed to.

This is probably because you aren't in Express Scribe, at all. If you just double-click on the files you download, it WILL NOT take you into Express Scribe automatically. Most likely it will open up some other sound playback program that makes no use of the function keys for playback control.

  • Close all open programs.
  • Locate the icon on your desktop labeled "Express Scribe" and double-click on it. This will open the Express Scribe window.
  • Click on the menu option labeled "File" located in the upper-left corner of the Express Scribe window. A list of menu options will drop down.
  • Click on the option labeled "Load Dictation File". A new window will appear.
  • Click on the square that has an upside-down triangle on it. It will be to the right side of the white bar at the top of this window labeled "Look in:".
  • A menu will drop down. Click on the option labeled with a "(C:)".
  • The contents of the large white area within this window will now change. There should now be a folder in the window named "exam". This is the folder you created earlier for downloading the sound files. Click twice quickly on this folder.
  • The contents of the large white area within this window will change again. You will see the several sound files you downloaded earlier. Double-click on the first sound file in the list.
  • The "Load Dictation Files" will now close and take you back to the main Express Scribe window. It will take anywhere from several seconds to about a minute to load the file. When it is finished loading, you will see the name of the file you opened listed under "Files" in the upper left of the window.
  • Repeat steps 1 through 7 above for each of the sound files you downloaded. You will now see all sound file names listed in the upper-left corner of the Express Scribe window. Click on the name of the first sound file in the list. It will become highlighted in blue (or some other color).
  • Now try using the function keys. If you follow these instructions exactly, they should work.

What is Firefox?

Firefox is a fully supported browser, like Internet Explorer or Safari, that is free to download. It is not a problem to download Firefox as a second browser on your computer.

I get a message saying my browser isn't supported.

You will need to use a different browser. Try downloading and using Firefox.

  • Click on the link above for Firefox, to go to the Firefox download page.
  • Click on the green button that says "Free Download."
  • When you are prompted to Run or Save, click on Run. If "Run isn't an option, click Open, or click Save.
  • If the installer doesn't start automatically after the download, right-click on the file that was downloaded and select open. Use ctrl + left-click instead of right-clicking if you have a single button mouse.
  • Go through the installation

  • You will also need Quicktime Media Player to play audio with Firefox. (See the section "The audio won't play in the test site" below for help installing Quicktime).

    I downloaded Firefox but still get the same error message.

    You must open Firefox and use that instead of the browser that isn't supported. There should be a blue and orange icon on your desktop for Firefox. (This will be in the applications folder for Mac users)

    The audio won't play in the test site.

    Make sure you are in one of the supported browsers for the site (Internet Explorer 7 or 8, Firefox and Safari). If you're using Firefox, make sure that the Quicktime media player is both downloaded and installed. Once the download is complete, you can double-click on the Quicktime installer in the downloads window to start the installation. Hit ctrl + j (option +cmd + l for Mac) on your keyboard to bring up the downloads window if it doesn't come up automatically.

    Safari 5.0.6 and 5.1 are not compatible with this site, if that's the version you have, use Firefox instead.

    The function keys don't control the sound.

    Your computer may have set other functions for the function keys. If you have them, you should be able to hold down the FN key or tap the F-Lock key once to get the function keys working. Also make sure you have the correct audio software. (See the entry above "The audio won't play in the test site.")

    The audio/foot pedal won't work in Internet Explorer 7 or 8.

    If you're using Internet Explorer, it might be blocking the media player or foot pedal plugin.

    1.Open Internet Explorer.
    2.Click tools.
    3.Click Internet options.
    4.Click the "Security" tab and choose the "Trusted Sites" icon.
    5.If you see a checkbox labeled Enable protected mode, uncheck it, it should be blank.
    6.Then click on the button "Sites". A window will open, where you can add any sites that you wish to be in the Trusted zone.
    7.Remove the check by the entry "Require server verification (https:)...."
    8.Type the following into the text box below add trusted sites.
    9.Click add then type the following addresses in the box.
    10.Click add.
    11.Click close.
    12.Click ok.
    13.Close Internet explorer.
    14.Start Internet explorer again.

    When I try to create a folder, I don't see anything.

    On some computers, when you try to open your (C:) drive window, You will get a message saying "Warning: this directory contains sensitive system files. Deleting them can cause irreperable damage to your computer.", or something similar. There should also be some text you can click on that says "Show all Files", "Reveal Files", or something similar. Click on that. You will now see the files and folders that are on your (C:) drive appear. You should now be able to follow the instructions already provided for creating a folder.

    What do you mean when you say "click on the link"?

    The term "link" refers to anything that you click on that takes you somewhere, or does something on the internet. Usually links are represented by blue, purple, or some other color of underlined text: This is a link.

    Save As/Save Target As won't work when downloading files.

    If you cannot select the Save As/Save Target As option when you right click on the link for the sound file you can follow these steps to download the files.

    • Option 1

      This behavior can occur if Content Advisor is enabled
      Disable Content Advisor by following these steps in Internet Explorer:

    • In Internet Explorer 5, Interntet Explorer 5.5 and Internet Explorer 6, on the Tools menu, click Internet Options.
    • Click the Content tab.
    • Under Content Advisor, click Disable.
    • In the Password box, type the supervisor password, and then click OK.
    • When you receive the following prompt, click OK:
      Content Advisor has been turned off. Make sure you turn it on again before you allow someone else to use your computer.
    • Now go back to the sound file link and right click on it--The save target as option should now be available to use.
    • Option 2
    • Left click on the link to the sound file. The sound file should start to play on your computer.
    • Close the program that started playing the sound file.
    • Click on the Start button then Find/Search then Files or Folders.
    • Search for exam*.mp3 if you downloaded the mp3 files.
    • Right click on the file you want and choose "copy."
    • Minimize the Search results window and open up the "exam folder".
    • Select Edit, then Paste.

    You should now have copied the file into the exam folder you created earlier. Do this for each of the sound files you cannot download in the usual manner.

    I've tried redownloading the files several times, and they still don't work.

    Unfortunately, whenever a download terminates prematurely, or otherwise doesn't finish completely, Windows doesn't allow you to easily redownload the file. It actually stores the corrupted version in a special folder on your hard drive that it keeps drawing from every time you try to redownload. Follow these instructions to force windows to do a clean redownload:

    • Locate the icon on your desktop labeled "My Computer". Double-click on it. This will open a new window.
    • Right click (right click means click with the right mouse button, as opposed to the left button you normally click with.) on the icon labeled with a "(C:)". A small menu will appear.
    • Click on the menu option labeled "Properties" at the bottom of this menu. This will open another window.
    • In the middle of this window locate the button labeled "Disk Cleanup". Click on this button. After a brief pause, during which your computer makes a few calculations, another window will open up.
    • At the top of this window you will see a list of items that have check boxes next to them. Make sure ALL of them are checked.
    • Once you've checked all the options at the top of this window, click the button labeled "OK". This will bring up a small alert box that asks you if you're sure you really want to delete the selected files. Click "Yes".
    • The disk cleanup process will now begin. This may take anywhere from a few seconds, to several minutes, depending on your computer. Once it has finished, the disk cleanup window will dissappear. You may now close all the windows you opened.
    • Go back to our website, and try redownloading. If you followed these instructions exactly, it should work for you.

    I get an error when I open up the exam files in Express Scribe.

    If you recieve an OLE or undefined error when opening the Exam .mp3 files in Express Scribe, you may need the IMA ADPCM Codec. This will walk you through installing it if you do not.

    • Click here to download the codec.
    • If a menu pops up asking if you want to save the file or run from it's current location, you want to run it from it's current location.
    • Click here to open up the folder or open the ima-adpcm folder on your desktop.
    • Right click on the imaadp32.inf file.
    • Select install.
    • When it asks you for the disk, just click "OK."
    • If you get messages stating that it cannot find the file then you need to click on browse and find it on your system.
    • It gives you the name of the file it cannot find. Please write that file down and then left click on the start button and select search--then search for files. In the search box put in the file you wrote down and then make note of which folder it is in when the search utility finds it.
    • Then with the message up that is stating it cannot find that file --simply click on browse and click on the folders until you find that file--once that is selected-click ok and it will grab that file and continue installing.
    • When it is finished installing, close the new window that opened.
    • The IMA ADPCM Codec is now installed. Try opening the sound file again.

    I can't hear the dictation, even though it seems to be playing.

    If you have verified that the sound file is playing and you still can't hear any sound, there are a few things you should check first.

    • Please make sure your speakers are plugged in, turned on, and that the volume is turned up.  You can normally turn the volume up on the right hand speaker.  Now try playing the dictation again.
    • If you still don't get volume you will need to double click on the volume icon (the volume icon looks like a little black or yellow speaker) located at the bottom right of your screen -next to the system time.  When the Play Control window appears you will need to pull all the volume controls to the top, make sure all the mute boxes are unchecked, you can then close the Play Control.  Now try listening to the dictation again.
    • If you still don't get sound you will need to make sure that your speakers are plugged into the proper sound output located on the back of your computer.  The proper output is usually a green colored output.  If you don't have a green output you will have to test each output by plugging the speakers into each available output on the back of your computer until you can hear the dictation.
    • If you still don't get sound you may want to try using a headset or another set of speakers.
    • Try playing a music CD on your computer or audio from a different website. If you don't hear that, It's probably a hardware error and you'll need to contact your computer manufacturer.
    • If you still can't hear the dictations please give us a call here at technical support.

    How do I Copy and Paste?
  • Highlight the file or text to copy.
  • Hit ctrl + c to copy (cmd + c for Mac)
  • Click on the area to paste into.
  • Hit ctrl + v (cmd + v for Mac)

  • I don't know if I have copied the transcription text.

    If you cannot tell if you have copied the transcription that you are trying to submit, follow these instructions to check.

    • Once you have selected all of text that you wish to copy you may either right click and select copy or you may go to the edit menu and select copy.
    • After you have copied click on the Start button then Programs>Accessories>System Tools>Clipboard Viewer.
    • If the selected text was copied properly it should show up in the clipboard viewer.
    • If it does not show up you will need to copy it again. If one of the copying methods mentioned above does not work, try the other one.
    • After you have successfully copied the text got back online to the submission page and past it into it's box.
    • Repeat this for all of the Transcriptions you have done.

    I can't paste the copied text into the submission boxes.

    Follow these instructions if you are having trouble pasting the transcriptions into the submission boxes.

    • First make sure that the text has been copied properly by refering to the copying section of this page.
    • Once you have done that, make sure that you are online at the submission page and have clicked the mouse with the cursor inside the box that you want to copy into.
    • When you see the cursor blinking inside the box you may either right click in the box and select paste or you may go to teh edit menu and select paste.
    • The transcription should now be pasted into the submission box and should show up in there.

    I can't log in to the testing web site.

    If you cannot log in to the testing web site there are a few things you can check.

    • First, make sure that you have the correct user name and password for the site. This is usually your full email address.
    • If you were provided with an Assignment ID number, use that for the user nameinstead of the email.
    • Make sure that you are typing them all in the correct case, without any punctuation, or spaces.
    • If it still doesn't work, try again several times, each time RETYPING BOTH the user name AND password (don't just keep clicking on "ok").
    • Don't use copy and paste to put in your login information.
    • Make sure you are at the correct website. Many of our test pages look similar.
    • If you are still having trouble, call the technical support line or click on Help on the login page.

    How does my Norton Firewall affect the function of the exam?
    In order to complete our online course, the referring URL must be known. Norton Internet Security has a setting that will block referer information from being sent to Web sites. This can be overridden for specific Web sites, however. To do this please follow the instructions below:
    1. Open Norton Personal Firewall
    2. Click the Options button
    3. Click the Advanced Options button found in the new window
    4. In the next window, click the "Web" tab
    5. If the Web site you wish to allow referer information to be passed to is not listed, click the "Add Site" button at the bottom of the window
    6. Enter the Web address for the Web site you wish to have specific behavior for and click OK
    7. Make sure the new site is highlighted in the list, and click on it, if it is not
    8. On the right hand side of the window, please click the Privacy tab
    9. Place a check in the box that reads "Use these rules for "
    10. Under the Browsing Privacy section, you will see an item called "Referer". Please choose Permit from the drop down list under that title
    11. Click OK

    At this time referer information will be transmitted to the specific Web site chosen.

    I've finished typing the transcription reports -- How do I turn them in?
    • Go back to the webpage that you first went to when you started testing. For example: (xyzcompany) (NOTE: This is only an example, instead of going to "" you must go to the exact, and correct internet address that you were first told to go to for beginning the testing process, whatever that may be.)
    • Once the page has finished loading, scroll down a bit, and you will see a large, very prominent, gray box that says "To Resume an Interrupted Exam". At the bottom of this box is a series of links (if you don't know what a link is, click here for a brief explanation).
    • The last link says "I have completed the Transcription portion of the exam and I am ready to submit my work." This is the link that applies to you. Click on it.
    • It will take you to a page that you may or may not have already seen. It is a page that has instructions on how to turn in your transcription work. Besides having important instructions, at the very bottom of this page, just above where it talks about technical support, you will find a series of boxes that are for turning your work in. Follow the instructions on this page for a step-by-step explanation on how to do that.