Force 5 Marine Survey Report Software

Work Smarter Not Harder

Tech Tip #3

(Mobile) From the Desk of Ted Stevens, CEO

I just recently had a longtime customer ask why he couldn’t edit his “Findings and Recommendations” in the Findings and Recommendations section of the Force5 software. He was annoyed that when he was at the A, B, or C findings heading of FRA, he could see all his Findings and Recs (F/Rs) that were currently in his report, but could not edit them in that section, only view them. He wanted to know why he had to go back to the heading where it was entered to edit them and then back to F/Rs heading FRA2. He complained that it was too time consuming and suggested we fix it. I was surprised to hear that from a long-time user, but I suddenly realized that we (at Force5) have done a poor job in our Help section, by not showing him how to use a long time feature built into Force5 for at least ten years.

I did a frantic search through my Help videos to find the feature listed, but it was not in the video tutorials. Then I opened up the Force5 manual and looked at the table of contents. Nope, not there either, but then I went to the back of the manual and looked into the Read Me section and there it was!

However, you may not be aware of the speed edit feature that we have in Force5, just for the purpose of browsing your findings by section headings in FRA, FRB or FRC, and quickly jumping back and forth to the heading and back to the Finding and Recommendation section.  In short, right click the selected tab and it will jump you back and forth…try it.

Below is copied from the Force5 User Manual:   Tip you can access the manual from Force5 by typing the F1 key, it will display the manual in your PDF document reader app.

[FINDING AND RECOMMENDATIONS] 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 or in 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 mnemonic FRA2 or FRB2 or FRC2.  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 type the heading code into the search and go 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. To return to the Findings & Recommendation section, right click on the Finding Tab again and it will jump you back.  All the same editing features are available in the edit windows of Findings and Recommendations as in the main text Edit Window, i.e. item choices, spell checking, cut, copy, past etc.

By the way, talk about saving time… Have you taken a look at using our new data acquisition app (SmartNotes) for Android phones or tablets?  It allows you to download your templates or surveys to an Android device and take it to the boat. You can start putting your system section and findings and recommendations together on the app, then upload them back into Force5.   I have several surveyors happily and successfully using it now for months and I am getting very exciting feedback about time savings.  Try it free for five full surveys that you can deliver to your customer.

Received from SAMS AMS surveyor Force5 user: 7/09/18 used SmartNotes version 3.xx for 4 months

“I do love my SmartNotes now, it has saved me many hours of time.  I have shaved an average of 2 hours a night in typing my report and it is getting better every day.  Took a while to get used to it, I started out on small outboard center consoles before I started using if for the big stuff.   Use it every day now and love it. Would say I have surveyed 50 boats now with it.” SAMS AMS

Caution SmartNotes users: Samsung Galaxy Tablets, Power Saver mode DOES NOT send the survey to the cloud properly. To save survey to the cloud, take your tablet out of Power Saver Mode, or set power saver mode to use Wi-Fi, or plug it in to a charger source. This has been tested only on our Galaxy Tab 8 and 6 models. The tablet functions normally in all other SmartNotes operations and saves the survey to the tablet in the Power Saver mode. Contact us for info or help. 772-334-8555 or email

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