Windows 7 Problem Steps Recorder (PSR) to Create Step by Step Screenshot Documents

With Steps Recorder, formerly called Problem Steps Recorder or PSR, a recording is made of the actions you take on your computer which you can then send to the person or group helping you with your problem. The purpose of Problem Steps Recorder is, to automatically capture the steps you take on a computer, including a text description of where you clicked and a picture of the screen during each click (called a screen shot). Once you capture these steps, you can save them to a file that can be used by a support professional or someone else helping you with a computer problem.

Making a recording with Steps Recorder is extremely easy to do which is a big reason it’s such a valuable tool. This tool extremely helps developers or QA guys. When you work in Application Compatibility, you spend a lot of time documenting problems. In this post, I’ll elaborate some of the tricks I use for documenting issues (like for defect analysis/replication document).

To record and save steps on your computer:

Finding PSR:

Here are two ways to launch the tool:

  1. Launch the executable by typing psr.exe from a command prompt or the search bar or on the RUN window.

  2. Type the keyword “record” in the search bar:

Run as administrator:

PSR launches as a standard user and will warn that there are applications that are running elevated on the desktop. If PSR is running as a standard user, it won’t be able to capture any screenshots or interactions with applications running elevated. If you have start PSR without administrator rights then you might get following screen:

In order to run PSR as administrator: Right click on PSR and click on Run as administrator.

Or if you have open PSR then also you can start it with administrator rights by clicking on dropdown next to the time counter on the Problem Step Recorder UI and selecting Run as administrator.

Adjust Settings:

Every time PSR opens with the default settings. By default, PSR only saves the last 25 screenshots to help reduce the size of the capture file. If you will be capturing more than 25 screenshots, increase the “Number of recent screen captures to store” setting. To adjust settings:

  1. Click on Settings…

    Now can do following settings:

    Output Location. If you don’t want to be prompted to save a file (save as dialog) after recording, click the Browse button to set a default output file name.

    Enable screen capture. If you don’t want to capture the screen shots along with the click information, select No. This might be a consideration if you are taking screen shots of a program that contains personal information, such as bank statements, and you are sharing the screen shots with someone else.

    Number of recent screen captures to store. While the default is 25 screens, you can increase or decrease the number of screen shots. Problem Steps Recorder only records the default number of screen shots. For example, if you took 30 screen shots during a recording but only had 25 screen shots as the default, you would be missing the first five screen shots. In this case, you would want to increase the number of default screen shots.

    Note: Maximum 100 screen can be captured by PSR.

Start Record:

Click Start Record. On your computer, go through the steps on your computer to reproduce the problem. You can pause the recording at any time, and then resume it later.

When you want to add a comment, click Add Comment.

Use your mouse to highlight the part of the screen that you want to comment on, type your text in the Highlight Problem and Comment box, and then click OK.

Click Stop Record.
In the Save As dialog box, type a name for the file, and then click Save (the file is saved with the .zip file name extension).

To send the problem steps in e-mail:

After recording and saving a .zip file, click the help down arrow , and then click Send to Email recipient. This will open an email message in your default email program with the last recorded file attached to it.

Note: You won’t be able to click the Send to email recipient option until you’ve recorded and saved a file.

View the record of the steps you recorded:

To view the record of the steps you recorded, open the .zip file you just saved, and then double-click the file. The document will open in your browser.

After opening the file:

Now you can click on: Review the recorded problem steps to view all steps with screen shorts or Review the recorded problem steps as a slide show to see all steps as a slide show or Review the additional details for viewing additional details.

Review the additional details:

Review the recorded problem steps as a slide show:

Leveraging the Output:

After you record your steps, PSR saves the report in a zipped MHTML file. This is so you can easily send the report to someone via e-mail. Within the MHTML file, the screenshots are jpg files. Just right click and “Copy” the images from the report to paste into your own documentation. I prefer pasting screenshot into a Word document to send a report.

Hope It will help a lot for documentation.

About Sanjay Madnani

Software Developer.
This entry was posted in Documentation Guidance and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s