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Wanted New Report System


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I am looking for a new report system.

It has to be user friendly. I know very little about computer programming. I can barely use word.

I am a system type of inspector.

Some of the things I want the program to do are something you can go into and add canned comments with ease. The comments need to be any length that I want. Not just a line or two.

I would like to be able to add or delete report sections as needed.

Each section needs to be able to take as many comments I need to make about the item I am commenting about

I want it to make a summary with a click of a button from the key wood I choose to use in my report, words like Repair, Safety, and Investigate Further.

In the summary I want to be able to add photos with my comments. I want to be able to put arrows, circles and other items to show what I am talking about.

Also there will need to be a good spell checker in the program.

So does any one out there have a report system that will meet my wants.

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Some of the things I want the program to do are something you can go into and add canned comments with ease. The comments need to be any length that I want. Not just a line or two.

3d allows you to add/delete/modify comments either 'on the fly' during the actual editing of a report or independently via 'Custom form Studio'.

I would like to be able to add or delete report sections as needed.

3d does that too. I use it 'on the fly' on nearly every report of mine to add entire sections like: keeping room, upper bed/bath room, rear addition, outdoor kitchen, etc.

Each section needs to be able to take as many comments I need to make about the item I am commenting about

3d has no limit on that but it does, as far as I know, have a limit of 4 photos for a particular finding.

I want it to make a summary with a click of a button from the key wood I choose to use in my report, words like Repair, Safety, and Investigate Further.

3d does that.

In the summary I want to be able to add photos with my comments. I want to be able to put arrows, circles and other items to show what I am talking about.

As far as I know, 3d doesn't allow comment in photos but there's arrows and other stuff you can inject.

Also there will need to be a good spell checker in the program.

3d has it. The only bad thing is that 3d is expensive and that it's very difficult to incorporate double columns into the 'descriptions' section if you want one in your report.

Marc

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Download Trials from several of them.

Call them and talk to them about their programs and support.

Is there an online support system and a user forum where other users can help you and provide advice and guidance, (kinda like TIJ does for us here).

Try em out. Write a report or two. Make some changes to see how easy it is.

After I did that, I chose www.HomeGauge.com

It's a skeleton and you get to chose where and how the bones are arranged and add all the muscles and nerves you want in the order and how you want them.

BUT, it does the programing stuff for you.

I could have spent a lot of time writing my own in Word or some other, but I want to be an inspector not a computer programmer.

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This can get silly.

First, think about the form of your report. What ideas are you trying to convey?

Almost everyone stresses the idea of a summary, they want a summary, customers all like summaries, summaries make the most sense, yet all report systems ignore formatting the information like a summary.

All report systems insist on creating lengthy commentary where the information is buried, then having to pull out the information in a secondary offering called a summary.

All contemporary studies on information transference, i.e., how to get ideas across, conflict with how all home inspector report systems are structured. Think about this for a long time.

All HI report systems are "built" by folks that aren't inspectors, and somewhat counterintuitively, they are better than the completely horrid systems put together by actual home inspectors.

Also, figure out how you want to "handle" photos. WP software is horrible at managing images; not that you can't do it, but the software isn't designed for it. DB software is designed for it. If you want to have lots of photos, that dictates a lot of things about software. Lots.

So, before asking about software, put the horse in front of the cart and determine how you want to present the information.

When you have a good idea of how you want to do that, figuring out software gets a lot easier.

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I want to prove a good report for my clients. I do not want to add fluff, just good useful info. It has to full fill the ASHI requirements since Alabama uses the 2000 ASHI standards

There has alway been the use of a summary in my area. The summary to me is the list of items that needs to be done to this house. I want to put photos with the comments in the summary so I do not have to type comments on the photo pages which to me is part of the summary.

I started out using the ITA hand written check list, when to the ITA computer check list. Change to the ITA narrate, them Crammerware, and when back to the ITA narrate.

I like a lot of the things Crammerware does, I just could not make the changes that I wanted. I'm no computer guy

I have tried some of the other software years ago and did not like the way they worked.

I want to provide a better report in a shorter time frame then the 3 or 4 hours it takes me to write one now

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I want to provide a better report in a shorter time frame then the 3 or 4 hours it takes me to write one now

I know it's a lot of work for an old fart to build typing speed but it's one of several common denominators of good reports, regardless of which software you use, that are done without the expenditure of an inordinate amount of time.

If I had 90 WPM, I could write a decent report in a few hours with almost any word processor, right out of the box, without any modifications on the settings.

Marc

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Check out Inspect Express,

It does just about everything you want it to do and it's easy to work with. I know, I'm a computer moron and I've used it since 2002. I helped the developers come up with the format and the overriding criteria was that it had to be so simple a computer moron could use it. It is, cuz I am.

I'm still using version 2 and there have been many improvement made since that version.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Try looking at Whisper Reporter.

http://whispersolutions.com/index.html

They have a non-Texas general home inspection template that you might like.

I can/will vouch for Whisper Reporter. I use it daily, also do development for Whisper Solutions. Whisper Reporter is the newer release and will do all you want Phillip and then some.

Goes without saying they have the Texas required template, but they also have many general templates as they have many clients in states besides Texas.

Here's the link directly to the Whisper Reporter application. You can download the full operating version and test drive it as well.

I can send you some general completed reports for viewing if you like that are not the Texas TREC template. I'm working on a report this afternoon for a foundation pre-pour.

Whisper Reporter by Whisper Solutions

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Just for the hell of it, I opened HG and spelled the word "after", this way. "atfer"

Spell check suggested these, in this order. Atoner, Attar, Ether, Otter, utter.

Other than that pain in the ass, it really does have an easy learning curve and has a great tutorial. If you have questions, you can call them. If something screws up, they can fix it on line. It also has an inspectors forum you can get help from. If you buy it, tell them I sent you. I need the hundred bucks.

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Phillip,

I'm sending you a sample.

Mine are done in Word then converted to PDF before sending. I made my own Word template which I store on file. I copy the master template and rename it for each new inspection. I use auto text feature to store pre-written comments. By typing key words and hitting "enter" the comments drop right in place.

I made a paper check list that I print out and carry on a clipboard for the inspection. The auto text keyword prompts are printed on the checklist. I have the auto text prompt words highlighted in a different color. On site if I see open splices for instance, I circle the prompt for that problem on the checklist. Then when back at the office, I just type the prompt for open splices, hit "enter" and the comment drops in.

It may sound complicated but it's easy when you get the hang of it.

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I think you should try TapInspect for Iphone. Not really, but I couldn't resist. Trial versions are going to take time to wade through, but if you want a good fit your going to need to try it on. I'd start with Kurt's suggestions, then the others, and try Dirks' template last-rolling your own isn't bad, but it ain't for everyone. Good luck.

Gary, quit bucking, ducking, trucking around with the spell checker.

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MY NEW SPELL CHECKER

Eye halve a spelling chequer

It came with my pea sea

It plainly marques for my revue

Miss steaks eye kin knot sea

Eye strike a key and type a word

And weight four it two say

Weather eye am wrong or write

It shows me straight a weigh

As soon as a mist ache is maid

It nose bee fore two long

And eye can put the error rite

Its rare lea ever wrong

Eye have run this poem threw it

I am shore your please two no

Tis letter perfect awl the weigh

My chequer toiled me sew

--Sauce unknown

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I use to be a 3D fan and I still have 3D on my system, but if I wanted to move it to a new computer or to a couple of additional machines (laptop, a second office computer or anything else) I can not do it, 3D limits you to 2 machines and if you want any type of customer service you have to be on their yearly subscription. I lost the original install CD's during my move and I'm pretty much screwed if my computer dies or the program becomes corrupted.

When I update my computer system I will move to HIP. Over the past 7 months I have been working on the HIP template that I will use when I switch. Dom, has been very helpful and I have not even purchased the program yet. I have been able to make and work on the template. Dom even made a program that will covert the 3D data files into his program, this was a major help as you could imagine.

So far I have the template pretty much the way I want it to look and I have imported 10 years of verbaige into it. I plan on a full switch during the slower winter months.

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I like 3D as it's very easy to manipulate on the fly. You can make changes to the forms while actually processing a report. You can caption and also insert text on the photos along with arrows, boxes, circles, etc. Over the years I have modified the text entries and added about 75% of my own content and changed much that was there.

Scott, when I upgraded my PC 3D only charged me for an upgrade while giving me a disc of the latest version, as long as your original is registered with them. Much cheaper than starting new.

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I am looking for a new report system.

It has to be user friendly. I know very little about computer programming. I can barely use word.

I am a system type of inspector.

Some of the things I want the program to do are something you can go into and add canned comments with ease. The comments need to be any length that I want. Not just a line or two.

I would like to be able to add or delete report sections as needed.

Each section needs to be able to take as many comments I need to make about the item I am commenting about

I want it to make a summary with a click of a button from the key wood I choose to use in my report, words like Repair, Safety, and Investigate Further.

In the summary I want to be able to add photos with my comments. I want to be able to put arrows, circles and other items to show what I am talking about.

Also there will need to be a good spell checker in the program.

So does any one out there have a report system that will meet my wants.

I was gonna suggest Cramer-ware, but remembered that's what you've been using. It does everything you want, but yeah, you gotta be at least semi-literate in MS Word to use.

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  • 1 month later...

I R a computer dumbtard and have 3D. I read the directions of how to set it up many times over. Cooked my brain for many hours and could not figure it out. My son who is hot on the computer had some problems helping me out, but eventually got it. They offer classes that you have to pay for on teaching you how to use it. Does that tell you something? It works well, but at any moment I'm waiting for it to screw up and I no longer pay the yearly thing.

I'm going to get a newer computer soon too and 3D tells me that my system won't work on a newer one, but they be happy to sell me a newer version, bless their hearts.

I'm glad Philip asked this question because I'll be looking for another system too.

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