Welcome to our comprehensive guide on integrating visual media, including regular pictures, thermal images, videos, and drawings, into your home inspection reports using HomeGauge software. In this article, we'll cover everything you need to know about effectively adding, editing, and managing visual elements.
If you use a camera with Desktop Report Writer, loading them in the picture panel makes adding them easy.
- Add the photo/video to your computer. It is best to create a folder for them and name the folder after the report so it is easier to find for the next step.
- Load the pictures in the Picture panel by clicking the Folder button. Select the file path the photos are located in. Click OK when done.
Adding Photos/ Videos
There are two different methods for adding photos/videos. Method one is much faster as you can find and move to an inspection item in the report much faster than scrolling through a long list of photos/videos. This method will also help ensure you have used every photo and video. Another hint is to ensure you are not taking too many unnecessary photos/videos.
- Method One: Move through the list of photos in your filmstrip and find the correct place in the software to insert the photo. Drag and drop the photo or video into the gray photo area to the right of the comment box.
- Method Two: Move through the report, scroll through the filmstrip to find the correct photo or video, and drag the photo to the grey box.
As photos are added to the report, they will get a check box next to Used meaning they have been used in the report. And get a green tray, meaning the photo has been added to the Photo Locker. The Photo Locker is a folder in the report folder that stores all pictures added to the report without any edits.
- Edit Each Photo Method: In the filmstrip, click each photo you want to add. You'll see a red box around each selected photo. Now, click the plus symbol to add all of the photos. You will be prompted to edit each of them one by one.
- Skip Photo Edit Method: Select the photos you want to add and click the double plus icon. This will insert these photos without editing. You can still edit any of the added photos afterward.
Adding 360° pictures
For our article on using 360° pictures in your reports, follow the instructions in Desktop Report Writer: Adding 360° Images
- Go to the General Info section
- Click and drag the picture you'd like to use from the picture panel to the gray box titled cover picture
Using the HG Companion, you can choose your inspection item and click the camera icon to take a photo. For videos, click the video camera icon. The picture or video will be included in that inspection item when editing your report in the software.
After adding a photo to the report, the Edit Photo window opens. In this window, you can change the size, crop, and add annotations to the photo.
- Select either the size you would like the picture to be
Add annotations to the photo
Annotations are a great way to draw attention to details in the photo. There are arrows to point at defects. Rectangles, circles, and lines draw attention to detail in the photo. And text boxes to notate additional context about the photo.
Copy and paste annotations by right-clicking shapes, arrows, and text. This feature does not work with overlay images. The select tool can copy and paste multiple annotations at once. Copy annotations to the clipboard and paste them on additional photos.
Change the appearance of annotations
On the right side is a toolbar to change the appearance of annotations. Change the color of the lines and border size, fill in the annotation with a specific color, and change the angle of the annotation.
- Select the annotation.
- Make the change to appearance using the right-side menu.
The Label button opens a window to enter the photo label while editing the picture.
- Click Label.
- Choose from existing comments with the magic wand or enter a new label in the text input field.
- Click OK when done.
Revert to Photo Locker
Revert to Photo Locker restores the photo to its original state. This removes all changes made to the photo.
- Click Revert to Photo Locker.
- Click Yes to Revert to the original image.
Edit Default Settings
To learn how to change default picture settings, please visit Desktop Report Writer: Default Picture Size
Using the Edit All Photos Tool
HG has a great tool for finding all the photos in a report so they can be edited one after the other.
- With your report open, click the Find Unanswered field on the top toolbar. It will display a drop-down menu.
- Select Edit all Photos in the drop-down, then click on the Find First button to the right of the field. This will take you to the first photo in the report.
- Edit the photo to your liking and then click Next. This will bring up the next picture in the report for editing.
- If you need to delete a photo, click Remove in the edit picture screen.
- If you want to go back to a previous picture, click Back.
If you would like to incorporate the sketches that HomeGauge supplies for free, follow these simple steps:
- In your right pane, click on the Drawings tab.
- In the Select Folder menu, select the HomeGauge > Drawlings
- All of the drawings for that folder will now appear. Drag and drop or double-click the drawing just as you would a photo to insert it with your comment or overview.
JPG, GIF, and PNG are all accepted photo formats, though we strongly recommend JPG as it is the most popular photo type with a small file size.
Desktop Report Writer supports mp4 videos. Older cameras and devices may use a format that is not compatible. If you have a format that does not work with the software, you can use a free video converter to convert it to mp4. There are many tools available online for converting videos.