Better Problem Reporting

A hidden windows gem is the application Problem Steps Recorder. This application ships with all windows version from Windows 7 onward. The application can record the button clicks, mouse movements and keystrokes of a user. This tool is not widely know but is in my opinion an amazing tool for reporting bugs, application usage and expected and un-exepected behaviour.

The tool does not require anything on the part of the application developer, any application that runs on windows can be recorded and the output is a very nice (but often large) mht file which contains screen captures and user annotations on behaviour.

To get started you simply need to click the windows button and type psr on windows 7 or 8,  or type ‘Steps Recorder’ on Windows 10.

The steps recorder, creates screen shots of your entire desktop (so caution should be used not to have any undesirable content visible). To start recording you simply click the “Start Record” button. Obviously to stop you click “Stop Record”.

If you are recording a particularly large workflow or problem with many steps then you may need to increase the number of screen captures that are recorded. To do this you open the settings window

and simply increase the number of captures.

You can provide further information on the issue or behaviour by commenting and highlighting a specific section of the desktop. To do this click the Add Comment button

This will present you with a dialog in which you can type a message and the ability to drag a rectangle to highlight something specific.

Once you have demonstrated your issue you can click the ‘Stop Record’ button and save your output. You can review the contents of the report by opening the contents of the zip file in Internet Explorer.

Happy Problem Reporting!!!

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