[Tools] PSR: Problem Steps Recorder

You’re not going to believe that you have a screen capture tool built into your operating system. LOL yes, its called PSR.exe. PSR stands for Problem Steps Recorder. The ideal usage of this tool is as follows…

  • Capture repro steps (screenshots) for a bug and to send it your customer
  • Capture screenshots for a particular scenario and send it your colleague
  • Capture screenshots on how to use a tool and send to your parents Smile

Its one easy tool to use. I guess its been there since XP. To run this tool go to the “Run” dialog via (Window Key + R). Type in PSR as shown below…

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LOL, that’s it? Yep Open-mouthed smile.

Press enter, you’ll see the following dialog pop up…

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Now all you need to do is to click “Start Record”. Once you do that this is how the dialog will look like…

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Please note that every time you ‘click’, a screenshot is taken, otherwise no screenshots are taken. Once you are done just say “stop record”, you’ll see the following dialog popup, this dialog will have details of all the actions you did along with screenshots. Every screenshot is titled with a detailed description of what you did.

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You can review your actions (Review the recorded steps as a slide show ) in slideshow, you can review your actions in “Text” format (click on “Review the additional details”). Note that every step is labeled with a number, for e.g. “Step 1”.

The other feature is that you can add comments to your screenshots via “Add Comment” button while recording.

PSR also provides a settings dialog where can you can turn off Screen capture. Once screen capture is off in your output you’ll just see text as shown below…

Recording Session: ‎10/‎4/‎2013 4:30:50 PM - 4:31:00 PM

Recorded Steps: 8, Missed Steps: 0, Other Errors: 0

Step 1: User left click on "File (menu item)" in "Untitled - Notepad"
UI Elements: File, Application, Untitled - Notepad, Notepad

The best part is yet to come. When you save, it saves all these details in a zip file. Send it to your customer, your team mates or your parents/family. Once you unzip the file, you’ll get just an “mht” file.

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Just double click and run, should ideally open up in IE. This is how it looks for me…

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Your customer or colleague can view screenshots as a slideshow or they can scroll down and view screenshots. I’m using PSR these days. Thought I’ll share this with you folks as well.

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