Windows Hidden Steps Recorder Turns Screen Action Into Step-By-Step Instructions

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Have you ever tried to explain a process to someone, had to write out instructions, or receive instructions or steps for using a particular software or reproducing a bug from someone who isn’t very good at reporting them? The simplest way around problems like this are screencasts. You can create one to use as an instruction medium, or you can ask someone to make one and send it to you so you can see what steps were taken to result in a bug. Not everyone is comfortable with screencasting tools, even the simplest ones and just getting the instruction for downloading the right kind of software to the person you’re trying to help might be a problem. Fortunately, Windows has a built-in tool called Problems Steps Recorder that records your on-screen actions and converts them into text-based instructions. You run the app, hit record, and execute the steps you want to explain or that are resulting in an error of some sort. Once you’re done, you only have to send the output file to the recipient. The app is present in both Windows 7 and Windows 8.

In the start menu, search for PSR, it’s short for Problems Steps Recorder and is originally meant to be used as a tool by people seeking assistance. When the app appears in the matching results, click to launch it. There is zero set-up of any kind required; hit record and start.

PSR

 

The Problems Steps Recorder has a nice comment feature; click it and a comment window appears at the bottom right for you type in anything additional like a certain step taking too long, or whatever.

PSR_comment

 

Once you’re done, name the file and it will be saved as a ZIP archive. If you’re sending this to someone with the intent to receive assistance, your work ends after you send the email. If you’ve received such a file, you might be wondering just how to open the MTHML document. You can open it in Internet Explorer and the latest version of Opera.

MHTML is an old, almost obscure format that didn’t really catch on and Problems Steps Recorder is an old feature so it hasn’t been updated much, if at all. You can always convert the document to a different format if you don’t like reading it in your browser.

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