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Hi Chad,

I actually created my own reporting system using Word. You can create tables, drop-down lists, and text boxes in which verbage can be entered. I like doing it myself 'cause when something has to be added, deleted or changed, I can do it myself. I'm happy to answer any questions you may have. I'm certainly no guru, but I know my way around Word pretty well. And once I'm finished, the .doc can be converted to a .pdf so no one can screw with it. I'm happy to zap you a .pdf of a completed report if you'd like to check it out.

John

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Hi Chad,

Like you, I tend to type everything. In fact, it doesn't matter how many times I write a piece of boilerplate, I still seem to ignore it and go with my flying fingers.

However, I have heard that if you learn all of the macro tricks and key shortcuts in Word, versus using the mouse, that you can save a ton of time compiling a report. Seems to me that Walt Jowers used to have a list of keyboard shortcuts he used for his word based reporting system. Anyone have a copy?

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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We have considered Kurt's idea (concept) and I am flabbergasted how the conversation went in this office. Don't want to give it away, but every inspector thought it was a good concept. My wife, the real estate broker, thought it would work and be very progressive and helpful to her business.

I must tell you I have not talked to Kurt, but kinda' know what he has done.

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Originally posted by Les

We have considered Kurt's idea (concept) and I am flabbergasted how the conversation went in this office. Don't want to give it away, but every inspector thought it was a good concept. My wife, the real estate broker, thought it would work and be very progressive and helpful to her business.

I must tell you I have not talked to Kurt, but kinda' know what he has done.

Thanks.

It ain't a secret 'cuz I was blabbing it all over the ASHI board, but I kinda wanna keep it simple until I blow everyone away w/it. Let's all act like I didn't say anything until everyone has a copy.

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Chad,

Click on the help icon and then search for "keyboard shortcuts". You'll find a ton of them.

However, remember that WORD is a WORD PROCESSING program.

You'd be far far better off with a DATA PROCESSING program like Filemaker. $299.00 for the full version at: http://www.filemaker.com/products/index.html

You can then not only type your reports, but keep your data readily organized and available in searchable or sortable format.

You have to learn a program either way. Learn one that will benefit you the most in the long run.

Talk with Kurt. You won't regret it.

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What Erby said.

Forget word processing, especially in Word. Too many words, not enough information.

I've been using Filemaker since 1985, and it is, plainly & simply, the most amazing software on the market. And, it's cheap. I've run my entire business out of it for 20 years. And, best of all, it ISN'T A MICROSOFT PRODUCT!!!!!

I'm going to looking for beta testers in a couple months, once I work the last bugs out of this thing. Interested parties email me.

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I write every thing in word too. I use to broiler plate but I began to find that I was spending more time trying to find just the right broiler plate so I gave up and have found it faster to just be a faster typist. I have carefully considered macros and the such but what happens is if you have to move a hand to a mouse then you probably could have just typed it out in the same time. Any macros or boiler plates must be within 1 or 2 mouse clicks otherwise its faster to just type things out.

I don't know what Kurts working on. Im curious.

But one of things that I have found is that in my market the clients and the agents need a hardcopy in thier hands when they go to sit down and hack out a repair addendum. And everyting needs to be said in the monograph of each item and not spread out somewhere else in the report or referenced on the internet etc.

I like the idea of web based report but it is not practical for a couple reasons. One that I described above and the 2nd is that a lot of my clients are latino, asian and russian and don't read enlish that well or are not online.

Chris, Oregon

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Originally posted by chicago

Has anyone here ever tried a voice recognition program like naturally speaking by dragon,inconjuntion with a word processor?

I have albeit a while ago. I found that you had to repeat yourself, sometimes alot, to get one word in like Finger, Fiiiinnnnnger, Finger, ah (#*^ it.

They may have gotten better.

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Word does everything any home inspector needs. Actually, it can do everything but impress Kurt, but how often does that happen anyway? I've been using it exclusively for years.

I'm sure that good reports can be spat out by just about any hunk of software out there. The person using the software is what makes all the difference in the world. Find something you like and can customize and stick with it.

That said, I've seen Kurt's setup (slick and neat) and am very interested in checking out the newest version.

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That's funny.

It's not that Word doesn't work. It works fine. It's the time that makes it a problem. How can anyone go out and on a daily basis, year after year, crank out Word documents? Burnt me to a crisp.....

After that, who the heck wants to read endless narrative about boring stuff? No one I know, and definitely not my customers when they're already stressed out w/the realtor structured confusion.

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  • 2 weeks later...

John,

I, like many, have fallen into e-mail as the easiest, quickest way to deliver the product. I too slog along through Word, which is where all my experience is.

The e-mail delivery has resulted in some formatting problems, though. Things like page layout get tossed around sometimes, especially with text boxes and the like. So I have simplified my format to eliminate that crap, with nothing fancier than paragraphs and a "pleading" numbered format, and it seems to get through better.

Does the PDF conversion etch it all in stone as far as page appearance?

Jim

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Yes,

However, when I occasionally convert my word files to pdf I've had some pdf converters change my fonts or the layout of the text a little bit and that just bugs the hell out of me.

You can send your word files password protected as a read-only document. In word, click "tools" and then "options." This will drop a work folder. Choose the "save" tab and then you can protect the document by creating a password to open it, a password to modify it or both.

Since with most home inspection reports you aren't going to want anyone to monkey around with it, you'd create a password to modify it that only you would know and if you were concerned that someone other than your client might have access to the client's e-mail and would be nosing around in the report, you could password protect it so that only your client would know how to open it. It works, believe me.

Just don't be dumb like me and not have a system in place when you do assign passwords. I was dumb enough to password protect a document once without recording its password, using a password that I'd easily and automatically remember or with a system that would key my memory and prevent me forgetting it. I went back to it a couple of weeks later to work on it and couldn't get into it to save my a**. Tried for hours and hours and absolutely nothing worked. All that work down the drain! I finally had to cave in and re-write the whole document from scratch and it took forever.[:-banghea[:-gnasher[:-headach[:-weepn][:-banghea[:-gnasher[:-headach[:-weepn][:-banghea[:-gnasher[:-headach[:-weepn][:-banghea[:-gnasher[:-headach[:-weepn]

Now I've got a foolproof system to create them and remember them.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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