Report writing software

Hello all :smiley:

I don’t see a sub for report writing so I will post this here.

I am curious what else is being used for writing reports other than Word and Pages. Or if there are extensions that are being used to make these applications more suitable for writing technical reports.

Over the past few years some of us in the office have been transitioning to Lyx/Latex. Lyx is widely used for academic papers and seems to work well for technical reports. Unfortunately the user base and support community is more limited and there does not seem to be much development to improve or add features.

I am also curious what software is being used to manage large numbers of photographs for use in report figures or generating report appendices (viewing, organizing, selecting, editing, annotating, captioning, paging, etc). When I imaging how this should work in my head there doesn’t seem to be anything out there like it or at least not a single application that merges the capabilities.


I use LibreOffice… an MSWord workalike… and have two main templates… one for large reports and the other for a letter format… The large report has table of contents and various sub-sections… The smaller report has neither. I have large and small reports for different types of work.

The disclaimer of both reports is at the very front… the second item is for photographs indicating that a representative sample of photos has been included, in Appendix A for both reports, and that all photos have been retained including those out of focus and out of exposure, and are available on request, and form part of the report[added]. I also note that I have had complete control over the originals. Some company IT departments shrink them to a more manageable size destroying any evidence value… I still keep my originals and put a signed DVD in the file.

All photos are included in Appendix A and I have a template for including 4 pictures per page, with captions. A *.pdf is made of the Appendix A to reduce a 100Meg file to a 200K one.


Not long ago, I had a new house inspected by a neutral party, before I bought it.
The guy walked around the house for two hours, talking into his phone and taking pictures, then editing the text that the phone app had produced. It had not made a lot of errors, probably in part because he stepped away from anyone to speak, and spoke loudly, using a fairly limited vocabulary and being consistent about how he referred to each device.
Before leaving, he gave me a .pdf file of a well organized report with full color photos illuminating each nit he wanted to pick.

His work was done and he was $400 richer when he went out the door.

Clearly, he was using a template with a standard organization for the report, but the text to speech really blew me away.

Of course, I didn’t write down the name of the app, but it clearly exists.

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That’s taking reports one more step… I often used a recorder when I was out in the field for notes… that’s one better.

Thanks for the info.


@MikeHalloran Michael: Do you mind posting his contact information, name and either phone or eMail. I’ll try to contact him and see what software he is using; can I use your name?

I was at a presentation about 30 years back on an IBM project and at the end of the project a transcript of the presentation and questions and answers were presented within a few minutes of the end. This was done with their Dragon software package… it was pretty impressive back then.


Markus Snedaker
518 Home Inspector, LLC

He might remember me from 16Apr2019.

Thanks Mike, I’ll try to give him a call tomorrow and will inform him that his reply will be posted on SimpliEngineering website, and that that’s where I heard of the practice.


@MikeHalloran I sent Marcus an eMail… we’ll let you know what happened.