Tips & Tricks


The Pre-purchase template is the default template and is the only one available in the basic version unless you purchased others, specifically Re-insurance and Commercial Fish templates available.


Item Choices can now be reordered in the list by dragging and dropping them to the desired line.

NOTE: Item Choice editing pertaining to reordering is only an option in the main systems section. Although you can still edit and save Item Choices in the Findings and Recommendations section these Items can not be reordered by the drag and drop method. And since Findings are Item specific only and Recommendations have a pool of about 15 global recommendations except for what you add, this should not pose much of a problem or inconvenience.


There is now two "user define" Heading Items in each section or sub-section at the near end of these sections you will see a code with the last three digits of UD1 AND UD2 example in the hull construction section the two user definable headers have a code of "HCUD1 & HCUD2" respectively. These headers can be named anything that the program user would like by clicking on the header item in the "Heading Window" and then on the icon to the right of the light bulb or "Findings" icon the dialog box will walk you through the naming of the heading item. This can be changed and customized over and over again from survey report to survey report if you wish.

NOTE: This can now be used to sub-title the Introduction section as you see fit. A couple of suggestions from our more seasoned users are; Use it to differentiate an "Addendum" or "Appraisal" etc.


You can now select and setup your printer in the print utility box under printer setup. You can print sections of the report separately now for those of you who need to FAX there report from a FAX/MODEM this may be very useful. The condensed report printing is available for any survey report produced in V. 6x it just prints in a smaller font and formats the page differently. It currently can save about 30% on the number of pages over the regular report printing. And we are told it is a good style for re-insurance or C&V type reports.


When you start to print your survey report, a notice will usually come up and tell you that you have so many blank items (these are items in the survey report that you did not edit or change or mark as NA). Go to Next and Previous Blanks buttons) Go though the survey by pressing the blank arrow buttons, and address each item by either entering data if necessary or NA the item with the NA item button. Once edited or marked NA it will not be counted as BLANK. Use the buttons to go to previous and next blanks until the program says that there are none found. The important thing here is you have checked your survey for accidentally missed or unmarked items, and corrected them before printing.


Printing "Photo Pages" may be done from the File/Print pull down menus only. You can print the number of Photo pages and the starting page numbers using the dialog box presented when you choose print for the File pull down menu then choose Photo Page option.


The Search Button or (CTRL & F keys) is used to navigate quickly to parts of the program or search for specific text in the windows. It has drop down box feature and will display your last most recently search codes. Clicking the code will put it in the search box again and enter or the OK button will take you to that Heading or text. The last code that you used is at the top of the list, so jumping back and forth is easy. New tip: from a customer he prints out an outline and uses a micro-cassette recorder on the boat. To accomplish this transition from tape to the report he records the ITEM pneumonic (code) first and in Hull Construction Type the pneumonic is HCT so he first looks up the ITEM in the outline list and records HCT then records what he wants about that item. The transcribe listening to the tape clicks on search and types in HCT (the program jumps to HCT hull construction type) and then enters the text description from tape. If you use a tape and you do your own transcriptions for a while you will soon be saving ITEM choices that are mostly pre-written and that will save you even more time.


To search through the survey to a particular Header Item in the Heading Window set your search options under the OPTIONS menu, Search to Heading Window Only and Match first Characters. Click the Search quick Icon and type the three or four digit code ( in upper case all CAPS ) closest to the Header Item listed in the included printed Outline. This is very useful when editing from a draft copy of your survey report since you can not go by page numbers. Note: When going back and editing if you only change a word or two you probably will only have to reprint that page number. (Use the FROM TO boxes in the printing dialogue box). If you add or subtract significant amounts of text you should reprint from that page to the end of the report to insure proper page numbering.


The spell checking program has a user dictionary file that allows you to save your special marine terms and company names or whatever you don't want it to try and correct each time you spell check. We have included a file that gives a head start on that and will simplify your spell checking significantly. Check the manual for operation of the spell checker.


When entering data in the EDIT WINDOW and going from the edit window to the HEADING WINDOW clicking can become a waste of time for some of your more fluid typists, (a member of this elite group I am not). So there is a little trick that we have incorporated into the program, Click on the HEADING ITEM that you want to address, the press the TAB key and you will see your blinking cursor appear in the EDIT WINDOW type in your text and then hold the SHIFT key down and TAB once and you will be back at the highlighted ITEM HEADING (trust me your there). Next use your down arrow key and that will take you to the next HEADING ITEM, use your TAB key again and you will be in the EDIT WINDOW again. These shift tab and tab functions are straight Windows editing conventions but it does make it a little smoother for you mouse hating typists. To make it a little more interesting you can also TAB from the edit window to ITEM CHOICE WINDOW and use your arrow keys to choice an item choice and then use the enter key and shift tab again to go back to the edit window. The rule is TAB to go ahead and SHIFT TAB to go back again. Try it you might like it.


The Window banner the gray bar at the top of Edit Window or Default Window will turn red edit windows when there is an empty line or more specific a carriage return (enter key) by itself followed by no text. This is usually caused by typing text into an Edit Window and at the end of a block of text you hit the enter key, and the cursor changes lines and you don't type anymore text but go on to the next heading Item. A blank line or several, will print as extra white space in the body of the report. To remove an un- wanted blank line, click into the edit window and backspace it to the top right end of the line above the red line will disappear. Note: a red banner on the THAW & THBW in the Thru-Hull section is OK and you don't have to delete it.

**Tip** If the program ever prints a blank page with no text just the footer and page number make sure you go to the last item addressed on the previous page and make sure that you do not have a Red Window Banner. Putting a carriage return (hitting the enter key) will not leave a visible mark on the page but will let the program think it must move that hidden mark to the next page none the less. Back space out all unwanted characters to the end of the visible text and you should not have unwanted lines, spaces or blank pages.


Right clicking over the Icons will turn off and on the hint bar help boxes. that appear when you move your mouse over and Icon or button. Of course you can turn on and off the Hint Bars by pulling down the Options button and clicking on the Show Hints or by using the F7 key on your key board. All these methods are just toggle switches to turn the feature on or off.


The table feature is temporarily turned off until we can provide and easier way to make it work for you. But the heading still exists so you can type your own list in that space or just NA it. Look for this feature in version v6.75 and our 32 bit version v7.xx in the late fall at the SAMS national meeting in St. Louis and in Ft. Lauderdale at IBEX 98.


Findings and Recommendations are only allowable in the System Section III and you must enter and edit them at the heading item that they apply to, NOT at the Finding and Recommendation sections. The Findings and Recommendations section is available to allow you to change the heading item and to view all of the Findings and Recommendations that you have accumulated in the report by category i.e. *A *B or *C. The Tabs have the Heading code on the tab and if you click the tab it will display the associated Finding and Recommendation text. If you wish to edit the text you must either Shift click the left mouse button over the tab you want to edit or click once with the right mouse button over the tab. This will take you back to the Heading Item edit window so you can edit or remove the Finding or Recommendations Item. All the same editing features are available in the edit windows of Findings and Recommendations as in the main text Edit Window, i.e. spell checking, cut, copy, past etc.

NOTE: To enter findings and recommendations at a heading item there must be at least one character of text or a space in the main Edit Window. The Findings button (the Light Bulb Icon) will then be enabled (not grayed out anymore) and useable. Multiple findings and Recommendations are allowed in this version of Force5. No editing of Findings and Recommendations at the Heading code of FRA, FRB or FRC but cntrl left click or single right click on the tab and it will jump to the heading code that you want to edit then use the search button to get back.


Please contact Tech Support for any questions you may have.

Helpful steps to take:

  1. Read the manual to try and resolve your problem.
  2. Create a test survey and see if your problem persists.
  3. Try and repeat the problem consistently, then document the steps for doing that.
  4. Experiment with one of the two sample survey files that the program installs. They are named COOK.SVY KELLYBEL.SVY. Print one, or both out.
  5. Is this a Force5 issue, or a Windows issue ? If it is not a problem with Force5 then read your Windows documentation or try and call Microsoft. For example if your printer won't print anything from Windows notepad  it is more than likely a printer setup problem or a Windows problem not Force5.
  6. In the event of an emergency call the phone numbers on our contact page.  When you leave a message on our voice mail we get beeped on our pagers so we know a message is in the box. We will act on it as soon as we can. If your call is not urgent please say so in the message and we will prioritize and respond in a timely manner.