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  1. #1
    Platinum Lounger
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    How to document software settings

    This is a problem I've come across many times over the years, but never found a non-tedious solution.

    Suppose you want to document all the configuration settings on a router, or in Internet Explorer/Firefox (yes, the usual Tools -> Options ones), or Outlook/Outlook Express, or some other piece of complex software, in an efficient manner.

    My only answer has been the spectacularly tedious method of setting up a TXT file or a Word document with the options laid out in indented format. Here's an example from yesterday's router documentation event (the posted layout is not as good as the original, I'm afraid):<pre> Quick Setup (click on the Next button to move to next screen)

    Configure ATM PVC
    VPI: 0
    VCI: 38

    Configure Connection Type
    Protocol: PPP over ATM (PPPoA)
    Encapsulation: VC-MUX

    Configure WAN IP settings (left as defaults)
    Obtain IP address automatically: radio button ON
    Enable NAT: ticked
    MTU: 1400
    </pre>

    Trying to save the browser screens for the router configuration didn't get me anywhere. All bright ideas gratefully accepted!
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

    Ita, esto, quidcumque...

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Re: How to document software settings

    I screen-grab the set-up windows and paste them directly from my screen-grabber prog into a Word document. Quick - and saves on typo's...
    Attached Images Attached Images
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  3. #3
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    Re: How to document software settings

    That sounds like a considerably more efficient method than mine! But I'd need a much better screen grabber that would cope with multiple screens and be able to select appropriate rectangular areas from the original screens. (Currently I use PrintScreen and Paint/crop for one-offs). I think I downloaded something at work, but I've never really used it... [I'd want to avoid one that put red rectangles all over the useful bits, though! <img src=/S/innocent.gif border=0 alt=innocent width=20 height=20>]
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

    Ita, esto, quidcumque...

  4. #4
    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Re: How to document software settings

    Hardcopy is my tool of choice, although there are plenty to choose from.

    Oh - and you can choose from a whole spectrum of blank-out colours if you don't like the red <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>

  5. #5
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: How to document software settings

    Since, as Leif said, there are so many capture programs discussed here, I started with FastStone Screen Capture several months ago and have been VERY happy with it. I have it set to automatically save captures as PNG files in a temp directory and I just love the Ctrl-PrtScr function that lets me mouse drag a hunk of screen that I want. Give it a look-see.

  6. #6
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: How to document software settings

    I like FastStone Capture too. As mentioned in the thread starting at <post:=631,143>post 631,143</post:>, it is no longer free since May of 2007, but the last free version can still be found.

  7. #7
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: How to document software settings

    Ironically, I have used that Ctrl-PrtScr selective capture to do just exactly what he's trying to do. I went through my router settings screens for someone, one screen at a time, clipping a pix as I went. When I was through, all I had to do was include the pictures in an email for a perfect tutorial on how to setup the router.

  8. #8
    Platinum Lounger
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    Re: How to document software settings

    A further possibility is something that extracts actual text from the dialogs (perhaps to build a script that will reinstate the settings).
    The ones I've used, with varying measures of success, are:

    CopyMessageBox
    Pete's Window Tool

    YMMV

    Alan

  9. #9
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    Re: How to document software settings

    I like Printkey2000, from http://www.webtree.ca/newlife/printkey_info.htm
    Works will ALL Windows including Vista.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  10. #10
    Platinum Lounger
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    Re: How to document software settings

    Thanks to everyone for their documentation suggestions!

    How do we overcome the problem where the information on a web-page extends beyond a single screen (other than the obvious one of multiple screen-dumps)? Is there another way?
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

    Ita, esto, quidcumque...

  11. #11
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    Re: How to document software settings

    FastStone Capture (mentiioned above) has a "Capture Scrolling Window" feature that lets you capture the complete contents of windows with scrollbars (both horizontal and vertical). I assume some other screen capture progams have a similar feature.

  12. #12
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: How to document software settings

    To add a bit of humour to what Hans just said, it works quite nicely - Ctrl-Alt-PrtSc. My Palm Desktop calendar has 355 entries for nursing home medical escort trips I've done in the past few years. I wanted to make a list of them so I could sort it by patient name, but the calendar won't let me highlight them for pasting into a spreadsheet. Just for the fun of it, I tried the FastStone Capture feature and it DID make a very nice graphic containing all 355 entries (.png) for me. The graphic measured 332 x 5,694 pixels! Hey Big Al, be careful of what you ask - you may GET it!
    <img src=/S/anigrin.gif border=0 alt=anigrin width=19 height=19>

  13. #13
    Platinum Lounger
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    Re: How to document software settings

    There are a few purpose-built utilities for this purpose. A couple are:
    url2bmp
    URL2JPEG

    Both <img src=/S/free.gif border=0 alt=free width=30 height=15>ware.

    Alan

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