Inspectors normally have a certain way of inspecting a property, and order by which it is done. But for final presentation purposes, you may wish to organize your findings slightly differently, such as by subject, component, or system.

For instance, as you inspect various rooms or items you’ll note doubt inspect various “electrical” type items as you move through the rooms. Yet you may prefer to consolidate those electrical findings together on a main Electrical form in your final report. This may be likewise true for other items encountered while inspecting or surveying.

While completing findings for an inspection report you “could” simply jump around the inspection form using the handy navigation tools provided and enter information in the correct locations. But more time is saved when forms are arranged primarily in the order of inspecting and then the final report automatically re-arranges its information to the correct report category.

Printing a Subheading in another Form Category
How can this be done in the 3D Inspection System software? By assigning subheadings in your forms to another final form category for print time. To set a specific subheading in a report this way, use these steps:

  1. In the inspection report directly click on the subheading “label” in the report writer screen to display its properties.
  2. In the “Category” prompt, enter the form where you wish the item to move to at final print time. Tip: Use the selection menu to select an existing form in your report.
  3. If you wish to make the change permanent for future inspections after your forms are compiled choose “Modify in master forms”. Otherwise the change will only affect the report in which you are working.
  4. Click OK to save your changes.

Category FeatureNote: If you decide you don’t wish to use category settings, or wish to remove them later, just use the same steps to remove the Category from the subheading properties. Click a subheading label to view, check, or adjust its settings at any time.

To see how items are relocated to the form Category assigned, just enter information for the subheading field and then preview your report. If the Category name you use exactly matches an existing form, then the information is moved to that form. But if you entered a category name for a form that doesn’t exist, the software will generate a brand new form using that name in the final printout.

You’ll notice something else happens when the item is moved- the original subheading and heading are reversed in position (flipped) in the new or existing "category" form. That is, the former subheading becomes the heading, and the former heading becomes the subheading. This allows items that share the same subheading label throughout an inspection to categorize together on the final printout in a common heading.

Therefore for best results, you’ll want to use the exact same sub-heading label for similar items throughout your forms that you want relocated to a common shared final heading (of that name). Also, we recommend including “location” type information (room or area) in the original heading for the item, while using the original subheading to indicate the actual component or item. That way when reversed, the comments for the various locations throughout the inspection site will be listed together under the same item/component heading in your form category.

For instance, you might use identically labeled "Outlets" subheadings in various areas/rooms throughout your forms where the information is collected, each set to the Electrical form category. But use the main Heading above each of those respective subheadings throughout the report specify the location, such as “Kitchen Electrical”, “Bathroom Electrical”, and so forth. Thus when categorized in the final report, the Electrical form will end up with an “Outlets” Heading, with all the flipped subheading locations and respective comments for Kitchen Electrical, Bathroom Electrical, et cetera beneath.

Categories could also be used to print certain information on a separate page. For example, someone recently asked how they might print all the model and serial numbers collected throughout the report on a separate handy Serial numbers page for the benefit of clients. Separate subheadings used for entering that information could be assigned to a new form category name so that those particular items all print together there. Categories can also be used for other purposes as well. See the Custom Form Studio "Category Options" help topic for further details about this feature.

An Example in Action
If you’d like to examine a form group already designed to use categories similar to the electrical example discussed above, take a look at the “Residential Checkstyle” form group that often comes with 3D software. (If you don’t have or use Residential Checkstyle forms and would like to check out its design, download it from the Bonus Downloads page under User Community on our website.)

In Residential Checkstyle forms, various electrical items are set to print in the Electrical form category, regardless of where the items located for entering findings in the forms. Thus at final print time they all move to the Electrical form. Other categories are used for other kinds of items in these forms also, for instance to print findings for components from various rooms together, rather then in the room by room order of the master forms themselves.

Examine how headings and subheadings for these items are labeled so that they work nicely when reversed on the final report. Click on the various subheadings to check the category to which they are assigned. Inspector Notes in the lower pane throughout the report also shed light on how many form items are specially designed to work or relocate items.

Printing Information in Both Places
Perhaps you like the idea of using categories to print information in a more appropriate form area, but you also would like to leave the findings printing in their original order/location as well.Subheading Category Preferences If this is your preference, you may turn on an option to “Copy” the items to their alternate form category, rather than move them. To do so for future reports:

  1. In the report writer access File > Custom Form Studio
  2. Right-click the form group you are using and choose Group Preferences.
  3. Click the Categorized subheadings tab.
  4. Turn on "Copy categorized subheadings to the new location"
  5. Click OK when done. When prompted to compile, do so to update your form group.

Now new reports created with that form group will print any subheadings assigned to categories in both their original location in the forms as well as in their assigned category- basically copying the items to the new location rather than just moving them. The original heading and subheading remain the same in the original location, but are still reversed or flipped in the form category into which they are copied.

Once you’ve set up your forms with alternate Category printing to suit your needs, it will just work automatically. This nicely adds to your personal arsenal of options for streamlining the reporting process!