Help Us Help You – 2 of 3


In this second in the series of blog topics highlighting our support services, we will review best practices for reporting problems you have encountered to our Solution Engineers. In order to best assist you, we often need to gain a better understanding of the problem encountered.

When reporting issues or requesting assistance, it is ideal to have the following information prepared:

  • A list of the specific steps that can be taken to reproduce the problem (or a detailed description of the situation you are trying to resolve).
  • Screenshots, where applicable, highlighting any errors received or problems encountered.

A number of tools are available to obtain screenshots. In addition to third party software, your computer should have screen capture functionality available. To capture a full screen in Microsoft Windows, you can simply press the Prt Scn option on your keyboard (press Alt + Prt Scn to just capture the active window). The screen capture will automatically be placed in your clipboard so that it can be pasted (Ctrl-V) into an email or document.

Windows Vista and Windows 7 also include a utility called the “Snipping Tool” that allows you to take screenshots (called snips) of a free-form area, and annotate if desired. The tool can be found by opening the Windows->All Programs->Accessories Option from the Windows Start Menu.

Once the tool is open, you can click and drag to select a portion of the active screen for capture. The captured image will be displayed in the Snipping Tool Window where it can be annotated or simply copied/pasted into an email or document and sent to support@maintenanceconnection.com.

Let’s walk through an example of a customer wanting assistance getting a report to highlight work orders that have been open more than 60 days:

  • Problem: I set up a report with Custom Format Criteria to highlight the Days Open on any work order open more than 60 days. But as this screen shot shows, the values are not highlighted….

  • Here is a screen shot of the Format 1 Sub-Tab that is set up to make the values show up in red:

  • Please let me know what is not set up correctly….

In the above example, a Solutions Engineer could quickly identify that the customer set the criteria to apply to the wrong Display Column (set to “Column 4”, but Days Open is “Column 5” in the Display Fields List). The screen shots and descriptive information would allow MC to quickly provide the customer with the correct steps to take to fix the report:

It should be noted that if you have difficulty capturing screens or just prefer to demonstrate the issue you are encountering, you can always schedule a web conference with a Solution Engineer.

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