The HomeGauge software will allow you to add your own unique comments on the fly but it also allows you to add saved "auto comments" from the comment library that is saved within in the template. This article simply shows how to add comments to the current report.
For instructions on saving comments to the template's comment library for future use, click the article: Add, Edit or Delete Auto-Comments (with Video)
Adding a custom comment to the report:
- With the report open and template selected you will click on the column header for the inspection item you are wanting to comment on. The column header selection can differ depending on the inspection. In this example, we are commenting on a Repair/Replace issue and clicking the RR column for the Roof Covering inspection item shown below:
- Click into the white box at the bottom of the software and free type your custom comment. You can use the toolbar at the top of the comment box for font and style editing options.
- If you want the comment to appear in the report summary, click the Summary box so it has a checkmark.
Most default templates will automatically select the summary when the RR column header is selected. But you can manually click to include or remove from summary at any point:
Adding an auto comment from the comment library to an inspection item:
- Repeat step 1 from the instructions above.
- Click the "magic wand" icon from the toolbar above the white comment box:
- The "local list" box with comments specific to that inspection item will appear. Below are some basic key points about the "local list" that you should know:
- X column is to select which comment you wish to add
- Name column is simple an abbreviated name for the comment that only you see
- Comment Text shows the full text
- Sum column indicates if the comment will automatically be added to a specific summary
- Auto column indicated if the comment is selected to auto-populate in every report
In this example, we are adding the comment about tree limbs and you see the X is in the column next to the comment:
- To complete, you will click the button Insert As One Comment. The comment will be added to the comment box.
There is the button to "Insert As Itemized Comment" but this should never be used if it is the first comment you are adding to the inspection item. Learn about itemized comments in the next section of this article.
Why and what does that mean?
The most common reason to itemize a comment is when you have more than 1 comment for an inspection item and the comments are not related to each other. The images that go with one comment do not go with the other comment. This is best described in an example when giving the instructions below:
- Add your first comment to the white comment box. Either add a custom comment by simply typing into the box or select a saved auto comment (from the steps above). In this example, the Inspection Item is Roof Coverings and the first comment is about nail pops on the roof.
Note that it shows Inspection Item 1.0 and the Summary box is selected:
- To add the next comment as itemized by clicking the + (since it is not related to nail pops from the previous comment but still falls under the same inspection item Roof Covering):
- You will now see a new blank comment tab showing as (2). No comment yet and no photos yet. The prior comment is hidden behind (2) in the tab labeled "Inspection Item 1.0 (1)" and you can click on it any time to go back to that comment and associated photos if needed.
- Add your second comment by typing or adding from the auto comment list as instructed in the previous section.
- Any images added to the box to the right will only show up with the comment in this itemized tab (tab 2).
The example below includes a comment and photo that doesn't need to be part of the summary. The summary box does not have a check.
- Repeating steps 2-5 will add more itemized comments if needed. And just click on the tab if you need to go back to one of the prior comments to modify or add more photos to a different comment:
- You can also itemize a comment from the auto comment local list. Instead of clicking the + to create a blank comment tab, you instead click the magic wand icon to access the auto comment list:
- Click the X column next to the comment you want to add and itemize. Then click the button "Insert As Itemized Comments"
- The comment is added as a new itemized tab:
Itemized comments on a complete report give your reader a clear understanding of what images go with what comments. And allows you to have some comments and images show in a summary while others for the same inspection item may not need to be in the summary. Another benefit to itemizing is that clients that use the CRL tool to build a Repair Request List can make more specialized selections for what they want to include on the list.
This print preview example shows how a report looks with itemized comments. This example is using the Narrative 3 Style & Format. Each Style & Format has slight changes to the presentation and will differ depending on what you use.