Thursday, October 11, 2012

Recording Steps To Solve a Problem

In Windows 7, a nifty little tool called the Problems Step Recorder was shipped with the Operating system. In otherwords, its on EVERY win7 machine.

What this tool does is record a screen capture everytime the user clicks or types. So its great if your user can go back to the beginning and start creating the problem again.

At the end the user saves a Zip file. In the zip file is a MHT file that is just one long html file. Its the same format as you get when you save a website page from IE.  Click here to see a Zip file recording sample of how to run the Problems Step Recorder

Problem solver output for click 3 - { type problem solver in run box }

Extra Notes
You can edit the files in MS Word
You can run from a command line, samples below. Read more here
You can make comments as you go
You can send as an email after the file is saved
psr.exe [/start |/stop][/output ] [/sc (0|1)] [/maxsc ]
[/sketch (0|1)] [/slides (0|1)] [/gui (o|1)]
[/arcetl (0|1)] [/arcxml (0|1)] [/arcmht (0|1)]
[/stopevent ] [/maxlogsize ] [/recordpid ]

/start :Start Recording. (Outputpath flag SHOULD be specified)
/stop :Stop Recording.
/sc :Capture screenshots for recorded steps.
/maxsc :Maximum number of recent screen captures.
/maxlogsize :Maximum log file size (in MB) before wrapping occurs.
/gui :Display control GUI.
/arcetl :Include raw ETW file in archive output.
/arcxml :Include MHT file in archive output.
/recordpid :Record all actions associated with given PID.
/sketch :Sketch UI if no screenshot was saved.
/slides :Create slide show HTML pages.
/output :Store output of record session in given path.
/stopevent :Event to signal after output files are generated.

PSR Usage Examples:

psr.exe /start /output /sc1 /gui 0 /record
/stopevent /arcetl 1

psr.exe /start /output fullfilepath.xml /gui 0 /recordpid

psr.exe /start /output fullfilepath.xml /gui 0 /sc 1 /maxsc
/maxlogsize /stopevent

psr.exe /stop

1. Output path should include a directory path (e.g. '.\file.xml').
2. Output file can either be a ZIP file or XML file
3. Can't specify /arcxml /arcetl /arcmht /sc etc. if output is not a ZIP file.

I heard about this on the listserver newsgroup run by