Creating How-To Documents with PSR (Problem Step Recorder)

We often find the need to document the steps we take towards solving a particular problem – whether that solution be to help a customer with a similar problem, or to keep track of how to make tricky changes we don’t want to have to “re-figure out” in the future.

These HOWTO documents are invaluable to have and maintain, but are very often a hassle to make. It looks like Microsoft ran into the same problem and decided to create an application called “psr.exe” (Problem Step Recorder) to help one create these documents with minimal effort, but with excellent formatting.

To use this tool, just click “Start” and search for “psr.” Then, you can run the executable and start recording. This tool records every mouse-click and keyboard input, capturing a screen shot at every step. You also have the ability to add your own comments to each step of the process.

Then, we you are finished recording, you can click “Stop Record,” and you will be asked to save the recorded steps as a zip folder. Then, just open up the folder to find the MHT document (that contains all the steps you took) that will open in a web-browser.

This document can then be saved or distributed as needed. Needless to say, this tool can save everyone time since you just have to follow the steps once and the application will create the HOWTO document for you. As mentioned above, this tool can create HOWTO documents, but can also be used for other purposes, such as having a customer show you exactly what they do to create a software issue.

General Windows 7