However, in regard to both cost and time, this is a priceless investment; with some practice, you will notice that you will be able to pull up entire paragraphs, whole sections of a report and templates instantly, as well as saving time by inserting long words and phrases into your reports by typing only a few strokes. Text expanders are one of our Secret Weapons, and while you could get by without one, why would you want to?

Some expanders are marketed for general use, and others are developed specifically for the needs of medical transcriptionists. Feedback suggests that investing in an expander that comes compete with a medical dictionary will save you time and money in the long run. Ultimately, you will get what you pay for. Prices listed below are approximate; many companies have several different products at different prices, depending on what you need.
Free Dictation Playing Software: 
Express scribe is a free dictation player that you can install on your computer to play ".wav" dictation files.  It is easy to install and you can control it with the function keys on your keyboard or with a medical transcription foot pedal.   
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 Generic Expanders
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Text Expansion Software
Text expanding programs greatly increase your production as a transcriptionist. For a medical transcription professional, time is money, and expanders can help increase the amount of characters you type, therefore increasing your pay. It might feel awkward at first as you get used to using an expander, and it might even seem like it is taking you longer to type your reports while you get used to it.
Medical Dictionary and Spellcheck Software
It is important that you have these resources or you are going to waste a lot of time checking the spelling of everything you type.  Invest in a good medical speller and dictionary software that will work with the word processor you are using.   These things will not take the place of doing reserch on the job, but it will help save tons of time, correcting your spelling errors as you are working. Stedman's software is always a reliable choice.
Transcription Foot Pedals
Using a foot pedal to control your dictation sound file is important to keep your hands free for typing. Infinity foot pedals are probably the most popular pedals available. Make sure you get one that has play, rewind and fast forward.  Sound files will stop automatically when you release your foot. Check out your computer's specs, and make sure that the pedal you purchase has the correct plug that will fit your computer. Almost all computers have USB ports now; so this might be the fail-safe option.  Ebay is a good resource for used transcription pedals.
Word Processing Programs
Most people already have Microsoft Word or Wordperfect installed on your computer. Many transcription schools and companies work with these programs.  If you are not familiar with using them, then by all means purchase a book or tutoring program so that you can learn all the shortcuts.  There are several free products on the internet that can help you learn to use these programs. You should learn how to open, save, scroll and navigate a document just using a few key combinations. Ideally, you should learn how to operate these funtions without lifting your fingers from the keyboard. Remember, every time you have to take your hands off the keyboard to use the mouse, you are slowing yourself down. So, get a program or book to help you learn these tips and tricks for Microsoft Word or Wordperfect.
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Find your Medical dictionaries, word books, ergo keyboards and transcription pedals in our Store.   Use the shopping cart for secure ordering, and remember that you get free shipping with qualifying purchases of $25 or more.
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