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Template Basics: Sections, Items, and Comments
Template Basics: Sections, Items, and Comments

Templates in Spectora have a specific hierarchy - here's the terminology we use and some info about each.

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Written by Support Team
Updated over a week ago

If you pop into "Templates" from the main menu, you'll be in the Template Editor. This is where you customize your template, the base or master comment library that gets "stamped out" on every inspection report.  

(This means that when you start a report, only what was in your template at the time of creation will be in that report. If you make changes to your template after you started an inspection, you won't see those changes until you start a new inspection report)

First, choose a template here:

Now let's break down how we organize templates:

  1. Sections are the highest-level organizational unit for templates. Often, these are systems like "Roofing", "Plumbing", and "Heating" for example. For those of you that prefer room-by-room templates, these might be "Kitchen", "Bedroom", and "Bathroom". (Note you should not create multiple sections like "Bedroom 1" and "Bedroom 2" since you can duplicate sections on each report.) These show up in reports in the Table of Contents, and the report is divided up by these: 

2) Items
are the subsections within a section. For example, in "Roofing" the items might be "Coverings", "Flashings", etc. If you use a grid in your report, they can have "ratings" (like Inspected (IN), Not Inspected (NI), Not Present (NP), etc.) and show up like this:

They also show up in various places like with comment titles:

3) Comments
are all of your pre-written narratives. They are grouped within each item and separated into 3 types:

3a) Informational Comments are where you provide basic info in your report. These might be things like "Material", "Type", etc. They show up in the report under the Information tab:

3b) Limitation Comments are comments where you state limitations that may have prevented a full inspection, such as "Snow on roof" or "Area obstructed".  They show up in the Limitations tab in the report:

3c) Deficiencies, whatever you name them (in Template Settings), are all the defects you're calling out for a property. We've seen "Observations", "Issues", "Recommendations", "Findings", "Defects", and many other words here. They can be categorized based on severity into blue, orange and red (you can customize the severity names within Template Settings, like "Maintenance Item", "Defect", and "Safety Hazard".) In the report, they each get a "card" and are the main highlight of the report:

Deficiency comments are what show up in summaries and the Repair Request Builder. They are the only comment type that includes severity, recommendations and optional cost estimates.

These are the basics of our template structure! Please use these terms when communicating with our support team to everyone is on the same page when discussing templates.

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