Picture problem in Version 5

After resisting for a long time, I finally upgraded to Version 5. Now that I have officially paid for Version 5, I’m going to complain about it. There are several things I don’t like, but one of the most annoying things is the PDF rendering of pictures in the reports. I have attached two files - the same page from the same report from Version 4 and Version 5. Each time the report was printed using an Adobe Acrobat pdf print driver, which I have been using successfully with Version 4 for many years. You’ll see in the Version 4 page that each of the photos and pictures is clearly outlined with its own border. In Version 5 some of the borders are missing sides, and it looks terrible. This is something that can’t be blamed on Acrobat because it works OK with Version 4 but not with Version 5. Also, all the picture default options are set the same for both versions. I can’t find anything that is different.

When I print the report, I use the Homegauge option to print “Homegauge Internet Ready (html)”, and when the computer print option appears, I use the Acrobat PDF print driver. Yes, I tried using the Homegauge PDF rendering machine, and it does the same thing, with the addition of horrible overall spacing, so that is worse.

I use the grid print formats: “Format 4” in version 4 and “Grid 3” in Version 5. It’s the “Grid 3” that is screwing up the picture borders. Other formats are not a possibility because the grid format is very popular with my clients, and I’m not willing to change to another format.

Does anybody have any ideas what’s causing this? Please don’t tell me to use the Services and forget about PDF, etc., etc., because the whole upload/download, etc. thing doesn’t work in my market for many reasons. It’s fast and furious and demands immediate delivery with no possibility of delay or mistakes to remain competitive. PDF delivery is a necessity.

Thank you to anyone who can help.

I looked at them both and they both look very similar. Not sure what the problem, is here. The line drawings are not the same size? I’m not sure if they were cropped differently?

With html there is no issue about spacing. Your customers are likely as advanced if not more than the mainland and html rocks. Expanding pictures and video in the report. All much better than a pdf. I feel these minor difference bother you more than your customer.

You can always go back to version 4 and I will be happy to refund your upgrade if you are not wanting version 5.

Russell, let me preface what I’m going to say by stating that I think Homegauge is, by far and away, the best inspection program in existence. Over the years, I have tried them all, and there’s no comparison. I want to make that clear up front because you’ve previously taken personal offense to a couple of my posts criticizing your program, and that is not my intention…unless you choose to make it so.

Truthfully, the only reason I upgraded to Version 5 is because I really like one of the new print formats, which is not available in Version 4. I have no use for the rest of the new features, but I was hoping the rest of Version 5 would be at least the same or better.

If you honestly don’t see a difference in the two pages I posted, then there’s no chance of the problem every being acknowledged and fixed. There clearly is a difference, and it’s enough to make a normally excellent report look unprofessional - in my opinion.

I thought I clearly stated the problem, but again… I used the exact same pictures/drawings for both pages. I did not alter them in any way. Version 4 created one page and Version 5 created the other. Plain and simple. Yes, the difference is there are clear and concise borders around the pictures in Version 4, and some of the borders in Version 5 are missing. You seem to think that’s not a big deal, but it is to me because my clientele are used to a very clean and concise report, which is why I chose Homegauge in the first place. The page from Version 5 is not that. All I’m asking is what happened in Version 5 so that the borders are no longer complete after a PDF rendering?

I agree with you that HTML rocks, and the report looks better, etc… The problem I have with it is the delivery. The only reason I use PDF is the 99% reliability and control I have over delivery of the inspection report. The majority of my buyers are Asian with about 20% of them being offshore residents who speak very little English. All of their business is being handled by their realtor who does not want to log in to a site and hassle with a download, etc. Believe me when I tell you that our realtors are extremely busy, and they don’t want or need any more transactions than necessary. I’ve been told that many times.

The vast majority of the inspection business here is through referral of the buyer’s realtor. So, in March of 2014, I sent an online survey to 150+ of the realtors that use my company the most, telling them I was considering using your “Services” for report delivery, etc. Every one of them except 3 said they did not want to “hassle with that” - “too much trouble” they said - “love the PDF format and how quickly and easily it arrives by email”. You have to understand that we are a very small state, and all it takes is one small problem with a download or inability to access a report, and word gets around that your business is not reliable with report acquisition. I have lived here all of my adult life, and believe me when I tell you that is a reality. I have read several times in the HG forum that inspectors do have problems with your site, and I just can’t take that risk with yours or any other cloud delivery.

My market is very different because the inspection report is pretty much a necessary evil rather than an absolute determining factor in buying or not buying. Real estate is so hot and dynamic here that pretty much everything sold is “as is”, and the report is more of a formality and many times done only through the insistence of the buyer’s realtor. Average days on the market is under 2 weeks, and properties usually sell for over asking price with multiple backup offers. The bottom line here is that buyers aren’t interested in wasting their time looking at videos or logging into some site to download things, etc. Tech-savvy or not, the majority just don’t care. That’s not saying that those features aren’t awesome in the right market, but that does not mean every market.

Your response “I feel these minor differences bother you more than your customer” implies that you think you know my market better than I do. I take that as an insult. Russell, you might have the best software inspection program on the market, but you DO NOT know my market and my people. It’s arrogant of you to think you do. The inspection business is very competitive here, and I haven’t been extremely successful for 15+ years by not knowing my market and not generating a report that I’m proud of and is well-accepted.

Since I think that anything that does not pertain to HTML and cloud delivery will never be improved upon, I will call next week and take you up on your offer of a refund. Version 4 has been working fine, so I’ll continue to use it.

Sounds like I may have upset you. All I am saying is that I loaded both of the images you presented and version 4 has an outline around the picture that is more bold. Version 5 has an outline that is less bold. That’s about it. I bet if you retake that survey with your agents which do you like better they would probably tell you they didn’t even notice. I also think your survey could have been skewed in wording about delivering a web presentation versus pdf. I do have inspectors in HI delivering their report as a web presentation and their agents being able to use CRL (Create Request List) saves them a lot of time.


I could ask and see if we can customize the print format you prefer to increase the bold outline around the picture if you see any other reason to use HG Services. Or call in and be in front of the computer and we can remove the activation and refund your upgrade.

I’m beginning to feel like I’m talking to Lorne Steiner again…

I was all set to drop this whole thing, but I’m not going to let you get away with falsely accusing me of sending out a skewed survey to influence people to not use your services, or whatever you’re thinking I did.

I suggest before you make an accusation, you get the facts. The FACT is that I initiated the survey in an effort to be able to use the HTML/cloud thing to produce a more readable report and to make my work easier. Not once in 15+ years has a realtor or client asked me why I wasn’t using the HTML/cloud thing, so what would be the point of skewing a survey away from something nobody has ever asked me about? Think about it…

The idea for the survey was mine. I even put links to the Homegauge site (and HIP) so they could see what I was asking. If anything, the survey was skewed toward your services. Too bad you didn’t like the results, but that’s what they were.

So the question is: should I push the HTML/cloud thing down their throats, or should I go with what has been working very well for 15+ years. Let’s take an example you can relate to. Quite a few years ago, I posted a question on your forum asking about the possibility of an IOS version of Homegauge for the iPad. As I recall, several people wanted the same thing and kept asking for it. At the time of my post, your response was (paraphrased) that there will never be a Homegauge program for IOS. Yet, you do now have just such a program. Did you listen to the (I’m guessing) large amount of people asking for an IOS version? It seems like you did. So, should I go against the overwhelming majority of people who said they prefer PDF delivery. Certainly doesn’t seem like a sound business decision to me.

What I mean by skewed is how its presented can affect the outcome. How its explained. Most inspectors just send the link. If a long wordy survey was used instead of just sending the link so they could experience could have two different outcomes. Some users in Hawaii where you are use the html and not pdfs. PDfs are used by most people. Html is a web page and most people don’t save a document as a html. However it can be presented with coding and gives the buyer and agent a better experience. You and me have had this conversation before and a few times. Others on the island use HG and deliver web presentations. The choice is yours in the end. I bet some of your agents would love the CRL Create Request List feature. It would save them a lot of time.

I give up. Clearly, I’m beating my head against the brick wall here. I’ve wasted far too much time on this already. You are the ruler of your kingdom. I should have known better…

Gary …

I tried looking at your 2 examples BUT on my 2016 PC when I tried to open them BOTH gave an error message saying file was corrupt so I got no idea what they look like.

Brother is Past Pres of MLS; sister-in-law is on NAR’s board of directors; niece is current Pres of Realtor Board … SO we get a lot of realtor exposure.

PLUS as you know, every 2 months we hold an entry level 2 week training class for home inspectors in the Kansas City area. Many of our students end up buying HomeGauge … I’ve used every format on HG’s site BUT lean mostly toward Format 3 or Format 4.

I’ve changed colors, switched back and forth between formats and tried pdf vs UPLOADING to HG’s site for delivery.

After 11 yrs using HG, I’ve not had but 1 or 2 REA’s tell me they prefer one Format over the other. AND only 2-3 times have I ever had one of our real busy REA or buyer ask for pdf … They love the delivery from HG from up there in lala land OR wherever it comes from.

You may be selling yourself on the pdf / format issues that don’t exist in clients eyes (Pictures I can not comment on cause can’t see them)