InspectFaster User Guide

Note: InspectFaster 3 Home Inspection Software is capable of running on either a Windows or Mac operating system. This guide uses images and video captured from the Mac OS, but the functions are the same on both systems.

Starting a New Inspection

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When you need to start a new inspection, click the "Start a New Inspection" button on the upper left hand corner of the opening "splash" page. You'll be prompted to select the Template that you want to use for the inspection, then to give the inspection a name (such as Sample Inspection).

Note: Do NOT use any special characters such as "&", "*", or # in the inspection name, or the report will not be saved. Letters and numbers only!

create home inspection software template

Every time you create a new inspection, the default "Narratives" inspection window will appear, with the "List View" tab selected. This is where we select the narratives and images that we want to appear in our inspection report. You'll note we have selected a narrative called "Yard wall is leaning". However, the narratives that you currently see (in the image below) will only appear once a Section/Category/Component is selected.

New Narrative in Home Inspection Template

If you click on a Section, Category, or Component, but do not select or highlight a narrative, as illustrated in the image below, you will notice there are two new tabs towards the bottom of the window named "Codes" and "Notes" that have replaced the "Narrative" and "Images" tabs we see above. The "Codes" and "Notes" windows provides you with space to paste and reference relevant notes and codes for each Section, Category, and Component (see Home Inspection Codes and Notes). Although the codes and notes are designed primarily for reference, you can easily cut and paste them into a narrative if you want to.

New Narrative in Home Inspection Template

When you eventually do highlight/select a narrative, these names of the tabs will change back to "Narrative" and "Images".

When the "Narrative" tab is selected, the narrative editing window is visible. This is where you can make editing changes to the narrative. If you don't need to make any changes, just click the check box and the narrative will appear in the inspection report in its current form. If you need to add a new narrative, you'll need to select the "Tree View" tab near the top of the window. See Working with Narratives.

New Narrative in Home Inspection Template

Clicking on the "Images" tab opens the images window. This is where you import your images and where you select and mark the images you want to have appear beneath your selected narratives. See Working with Images.

New Narrative in Home Inspection Template

Working with Narratives

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All narratives are contained within the Component folders. Narratives can be edited in an open inspection, or from within the template. However, in order to create a new narrative in an open inspection, we must first switch over to the "Tree View". To switch to the "Tree View" (see image below), select the "Tree View" button near the top of the inspection window.

Clear so far? If so, then let's create a new narrative in our Sample Inspection using the icons and tools provided in "Tree View".

NOTE: The icons and tools found in the "Tree View" window are identical to those found in the template. While the "List View" is arguably easier to use and navigate than the "Tree View", the "Tree View" allows you to make "on-the-run" changes (i.e. adding Sections, Categories, Components and Narratives) to the inspection report while in the field. The "Tree View" also includes a search feature that allows you to quickly locate a word of phrase.

New Narrative in Home Inspection Template

We'll start by opening the Exterior section folder, then the Site Features category folder, then the Yard Walls component folder. This will activate the "New Narrative" icon (because Narratives go inside the Component folders). The Component folder does not need to be "open" for you to create a new narrative inside it.

working with home inspection software narrative

Clicking the "Add New Narrative" icon opens the New Narrative window (see image below). Enter a short, descriptive name for the new narrative. We'll type in "New narrative name", then click OK.

NOTE: This descriptive name is referred to as the "Narrative Summary" (and which will appear in the final Summary Report, so it should be neat and concise if you plan on generating "Summary" reports along with your "Full" inspection reports).

new home inspection narrative name

This creates the new narrative. By default, the new narrative is placed at the bottom of the list, but you can move it (drag and drop) to wherever you want it to appear in the list.

Clicking on the new narrative will activate the editing window, where you add the wording for the full narrative.

Then, select an appropriate 'Heading'. This heading will appear at the beginning of the narrative in the inspection report to help further inform and guide the reader towards taking the most appropriate action. See Working with Headings

If you would like to save the new narrative so that it will appear in the template the next time it is used, click on the "Update Template" button next to the heading list.

home inspection software header

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With InspectFaster Home Inspection Software, you can easily create and insert drop-down text lists into your narratives. When you are ready to insert a text list, place your cursor where you would like the list to appear, and then click on the "Insert Dropdown List" icon.

insert dropdown list

An empty dropdown list appears. Clicking on the list will activate the "Edit Dropdown List" icon.

insert dropdown list in home inspection report

Click on the "Edit Dropdown List" icon to open the "Dropdown List Editor". This is where you will create the list. Click on the "+" button to add the first option. After typing it in, press the enter or return key (or it will not save).

insert dropdown list in home inspection report

Options/list items can be moved by dragging and dropping. The option at the top of the list will be the "default" item that appears in the narrative. Once you've completed the list, click OK.

Home Inspection Software dropdown Template

That's it. You've created a dropdown list. The items in the list can be single words, numbers, or multiple words, numbers, or sentences.

Home Inspection Software paragraph

Working with Digital Images

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With InspectFaster, you have the option of importing one image at a time, or selecting and importing multiple images. This can be done in both the List View and Tree View. With the narratives window open...

home inspection report image

...click on the Images tab to open the image window.

home inspection report image

Once the image window is open, click the "Add a picture to the inspection" icon (see image below).

This will open the "Select Images" window and send you "browsing" for your inspection images folder. If you don't have a folder dedicated to inspection images, you might want to make one. When you find the image (or images) you want, select it, click the "Open" button, and it will appear in the image window.

home inspection report image

Next, check off the small check box to the left of the image to have it appear in the report beneath the selected narrative.

home inspection report image

Click on the image itself if you want to mark a defect with an arrow or circle (a thin red border will appear around the image when it's selected). TIP: The image will become magnified when you run your cursor over it, which will help you when it comes time to match up your images with your narratives.

home inspection report image

Now, click on the arrow icon in the image window, and it will open the Image Editor. Clicking the arrow icon in the Image Editor window to point an arrow at a defect. Click the circle icon next to it, and you can place a circle around the defect.

home inspection report image

With the arrow or circle selected (you need to click on the arrow or circle in the Editor), you can then use the color chooser and the width adjustment tool.

home inspection report image

Normally, you can select as many images as you like to appear under any given narrative. However, you'll need to keep the images under 800 x 600 dpi, and check your camera settings to make sure that the file size of any given image does not exceed 150-200 KB. Exceeding these size limitations may result in memory or performance issues, so you should experiment with the trial demo to ensure that that the software will perform as desired on the computer you intend to use, especially if it's an older model, and that the camera you intend to use for images is fully supported.

NOTE: Some users have reported issues with images taken with Olympus cameras (images do not appear in the report, or interfere with the generation of the report). If you will be using an Olympus camera, you should make sure that you do not experience any difficulties and/or check to see if there is a software driver update.

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To have a logo appear on the cover page of your inspection reports, open the template and select the "Logo" button at the top of the window. This will open your browser. Select your logo from its location. InspectFaster will Import JPG and PNG files. For best results, we recommend that your logo image be a minimum 600 dpi., and that it be no larger than 65x250 pixels. If your image is larger (taller) than this, it will likely push everything else beneath it onto a second page, or create a second blank page. There are a number of free image resizing programs available on the internet to reduce the size of your logo if this is necessary.

home inspection report images

Adding Codes and Notes

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InspectFaster includes separate windows for Notes and Codes. Codes and Notes appear only when a Section, Category, or Component is highlighted/selected. This is structured so that you can easily store notes and codes in individual Sections, Categories, and Components (but not the narratives), providing you with a convenient (click of the button) way to check for code violations, product recalls, etc.

You can "toggle" between the Codes and Notes windows, and insert codes or notes for viewing during the inspection process. Each Section, Category, and Component have their own individual notes and codes areas. If you go to the ICC website, you can copy and paste codes directly from the IRC code book. You can also install illustrations from any number of sources. Find out more...

Instant Search Filter

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In the Tree View, the user can use the search filter feature by simply entering a keyword or keywords and getting instant results. Once the results are displayed, the user can check the narrative that they are looking for, and then exit by clicking the "pulsing" erasor/binoculars icon. Find out more...

search home inspection narratives

Adding Report Pages and Documents

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To get a new document or report page into the template (and your inspection reports), you need to import it as a PDF file. You can import existing PDF files (Inspection Agreements, SOP's, etc.) or create PDF documents in a word processing program, and then import them into InspectFaster.

To import a document, click the "Generate Report" button located at the bottom of the inspection window, and the "Report Preferences" window will open. The first tab (aptly named "Report Pages") opens a window that contains the built in report pages. This is also where you can add report pages and documents by importing them as PDF files.

On the left side of the window are boxes containing report pages already built into the program. Some are needed to create an inspection report, some are not. Some can be removed or deleted, some can not. Between the two boxes there is a "+" button for importing PDF's, and a "-" button for removing PDF's. On the right side of the window is a box that contains all the pages and documents that you have selected to appear in the inspection report. They can be dragged (and "dropped") into the order that you choose.

NOTE: The name of the document you import will appear as the title of the report page. PDF's imported into the report pages will appear in the Table of Contents, and will include headers and footers just like any other page of the report.

In the image below, we will add a PDF file to the list of available report pages or documents by clicking on the "+" button...

home inspection report pages

This will open up the browser, where we will locate a folder containing some documents. From the list we'll select the ASHI Standards of Practice, the click the "Open" button. NOTE: The ASHI SOP's are already installed in the program, so you won't actually need to do this.

home inspection report pages home inspection report pages home inspection report pages

The ASHI Standards of Practice will now appear at the end of the inspection report when you generate it. Find out more...

Generating the Inspection Report

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When you are finished with the inspection and selecting your narratives, and assuming you have already selected the pages and documents that you want to have appear in the report in the "Report Pages" window, click on the "Report Content" tab.

NOTE: If you do not have the "Report Preferences" window open at this time, please click the "Generate Report" button located at the bottom of the inspection window, and the "Report Preferences" window will open.

Clicking on the "Report Content" tab in the "Report Preferences" window opens a window that contains a list of "Headings". Every narrative that you've previously selected to include in the report has a "Heading", and if you elected to include a "Summary Report", you now have the option of printing only those narratives with certain Headings. For example, you can generate a Summary Report that only includes those narratives tagged with "Deficient" and "Safety" Headings. NOTE: Many agents like it when you do this for them. See Working with Headings.

home inspection report pages

The third tab is for "Report Options". This is where you can select to "Include Narrative Pictures" in your report and where you choose the size of the Pictures that will appear. You can have one Large picture, two Medium pictures, or three Small pictures appear side by side below a narrative. You can select as many, or as few, images as you like.

If you have a client that would like the report font size to be larger, you can elect to increase the font size here by using the slider, from small to large. If you include a lot of pictures in your reports, you can help keep the report file size down by decreasing the picture quality. If you have only used a few pictures, you can increase the quality.

This is also where you select where the report will appear on your computer. For example, if you create an "Inspection Reports" folder, you can elect to place all generated reports into this folder.

home inspection report pages

The fourth tab is for "Report Page Options". This is where you can select the name for your report as it will appear on the Cover Page and within the Table of Contents. This is also where you can edit the disclaimer text that appears on the bottom of the cover page of the Full Inspection report and at the top of the first page of the Summary Inspection report.

home inspection report pages

You are now ready to generate the home inspection report. At the bottom of the inspection window is a "Print PDF Report" button. Click it to generate the secure (locked) PDF report.

Working with Headings

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Headings appear at the beginning of every narrative in the inspection report, and are designed to help further inform and guide the reader towards taking the most appropriate action. Every narrative must have a heading. If you create a new narrative, you must also choose a heading for that narrative. Failure to do so will result in an error when it comes time to generate the report. However, you are not limited to using just those headings that we have been provided in the sample templates. In the Master template, headings can be added (you are provided with additional "blanks"), and existing headings can be edited in all templates.

Click on the heading drop-down list and select "Edit list...".

home inspection report headings

This will open the "Headings List" window. NOTE: In the window, the words "Headings List" will be preceded by the name of the inspection report.

Clicking on a heading allows you to select a color for that heading using the color drop down list located at the top of the window. Double clicking on a heading allows you to edit the name of the heading. After you make a change, the "Update Template" button will be activated. Clicking this button will make it so that the change is reflected in all future inspections when using the template. NOTE: ALL narratives using this headings will be affected.

You can arrange the order in which the headings will appear in the full inspection report and summary report by "dragging and dropping" them. In addition, once you have clicked the "Generate Report" button, you can select which headings will appear in the summary report by clicking the "Report Content" button.

narrative heading for inspection reports

Report Page Headers and Footers

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Headers and Footers are now generated automatically, and contain the name of the license holder who performed the inspection, the inspection address, page numbers, the name of the client, and the date of the inspection. For ease of use, the headers and footers are "hard coded" and therefore cannot be changed.

Creating a New Template

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InspectFaster contains multiple templates to help you get started. The narratives in these templates should be considered samples only, and we assume no responsibility for their use. The narratives you ultimately use must be of your own creation, edited and arranged in a manner to satisfy your needs and any Country, State, County code or licensing requirements, home inspection association standards, etc. that may be applicable.

Editing hundreds of narratives may seem like a time-consuming task but it does not need to take place all at once. Each time you select a narrative during the inspection process you either accept it as it is or you make changes to it, and this way the narratives gradually become your own, helping to create your own personal 'identity'. Ultimately it is up to you, the user, to manage and accept the responsibility for the contents of your templates and the use of the material they contain.

InspectFaster comes with a "Master" template that is designed for those who wish to create a custom template. To do this, first create a copy of the Master template and then use the new duplicate template (you'll need to name it something other than "Master") as your working template. Any changes that you make to the new template will be saved, and these changes will appear in the new template every time you launch the program.

We strongly recommend that you regularly make backups of your templates. If your hard drive crashes or any other similarly unexpected disaster occurs, you would not want to lose all your work. The templates are stored in a folder named, aptly enough, "Templates", and will be found in the InspectFaster folder. Use the "Backup" button provided on the splash page to make backups of your templates.

Creating a new template is easy— highlight the "Master" template and then duplicate it using the "Copy" button on the "Splash" page of the program. The splash page is the first window that appears each time you launch the program.

This is what an open Template window looks like:

home inspection software template

Regardless of what you name your Template, it will always be structured the same. There is a top-level folder named "Narratives" that contains three levels of folders. The top level is referred to as a "Section". Open a Section folder and you'll find "Category" folders. Open a Category folder and you'll see "Component" folders. Inside the Component folder is where you'll find your inspection "Narratives".

New Section in Home Inspection Template Home Inspection Software Template Home Inspection Software Template Category Home Inspection Software Template Component

Once you've made a new template, the contents can be easily modified to meet your needs. Using the various icons highlighted below, "Sections", "Categories", "Components", and "Narratives" can be created, copied, renamed, deleted, or moved ("dragged and dropped"). Or you can start from scratch and create a template from the ground up (although you'll still need to make a copy of the Master to work with). Once you have created a new Template, it will appear in the Templates list.

Home Inspection Software New Template Clone Section in Home Inspection Software Template Rename Category in Home Inspection Template Delete Component in Home Inspection Software Template New Narrative in Home Inspection Template

Backing Up and Importing Templates and Inspections

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At the bottom of the splash page are two buttons — "Import" and "Backup", that are used for backing up (saving to another location outside the program) and importing both Templates and Inspections.

If you are working with multiple computers, you can use the "Backup" button to transfer your Inspections and Templates between the computers — even if one is a Mac and the other a Windows PC.

Important: If you wish to transfer an Inspection from one computer to another, you must first make sure that the Template you created the Inspection from is imported into the program on the new computer.

Registering InspectFaster Home Inspection Software

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Until you have purchased a license key for InspectFaster, the home inspection reports you generate will continue to include text that reminds you that you are running a trial demo version of InspectFaster and encourage you to purchase a license. Once you have entered a license key, this text will go away.

register home inspection software

To purchase the software, just visit our online store. Once there you will be guided through the purchase process, which is both easy and secure. Once your purchase has been completed, we will email you a license key.

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