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Practicalities related to test on multiple sites using paper printouts




We will be conductions tests covering activities on multiple locations (where various equipment and solutions shall be tested by a large number of operational users) during on test session, and hence it is very important that we are able to provide testers and observers with proper material.

Hoping that you can give some advice on the below…

Need for extra columns on the step/expeted result section

During the test itself the majority of observers will nit have online access to TestRail, hence they need to document otherwise. I had thought that the best would be to provide them with a paper copy og the test scripts, where they could note down the observed results. If we were to provide this in excel form we would add addition columns to provide the following info per step (not only on the case level)

  • Main responsible role (since multiple roles may be involved)
  • Location id/information
  • Involved equipment

… and also columns where the tester/observer could note down

  • Ok/Not ok
  • Comment

As far as I can see it is not possible to add columns to the steps field, this would have solved the challenge

  • Is there any way of achieving this?

Printing the testplan

When I print the test plan on detailed level, a lot of the first page is taken by the statistics (passed/retest etc) and the header fields (status/type/priority/Estimate. This causes a lot of extra paper, when we have a high number of test cases this makes it more difficult to «navigate» on-site

  • Is there any way of hiding this at printout time?

Exporting to excel with national characters

If instead of defining additional column as above, we might have to export to excel and format this before printing (kind of cumbersome since this will have to be done manually for a large number of test plans)

When exporting to excel, the Norwegian special characters are not appearing readable, albeit we have set the national character set.

  • What can be the reason for this, and how to correct?

Exporting to excel with one step per row

Also when I export to excel , as steps are concatenated into one cell - this does not work well when printing since we nee to have one step and expected result aligned on the same row for tests/observers to note their feedback with a pen.

I have tried the CSV export as well, but aligning this to a printed form that gives a good structure seems difficult.

One alternative (not preferred) is to have one step only per testcase, another (not preferred either) is to have all test cases formatted outside TestRail and just referred to.

  • Any proposals here?


Hello Wilhelm,

Thanks for your posting! Sure, I’m happy to help with your questions:

Extra columns: extra columns per step are not directly possible but you can configure an actual result field per step which can be used for entering additional details:

You can also add tables to the steps via TestRail’s rich-text format:

Another alternative would be to add one or more separate custom fields on the test result level.

Printing the testplan: it’s currently not possible to customize this besides the Outline/Details option but you can also skip the first few pages when printing this, for example (via the browser’s printer settings). Would printing to a PDF maybe also be an option in your case instead of printing to paper? I guess this would also make it easier to get the results back into TestRail later.

Exporting to excel (characters): TestRail fully supports this and exports the CSV files in the correct format/encoding. It’s just that Excel or some Excel versions don’t detect this by default but you can force this as follows:

Exporting to excel (row layout): Exporting the tests to separate rows (per step) is currently not an option out of the box but there is a workaround. A possible workaround would be to use the XML exports and you can generate your own custom CSV files (or other formats) by post-processing the XML files. Not sure if this is an option but the XML files contain the same data as the CSV files in a very structured format, so this would certainly be doable and our XML exports were specifically designed for such scenarios.

I hope this helps and please let me know in case you have any further questions!



Dear Tobias

Again thanks for a quick answer!

As you proposed, I have solved the need for extra columns by transforming the xml-export using Apache FOP utility, thereby obtain a format that is more practical to use when giving paper handouts.

I was however unable to display the GUI lead text for the custom fields - this is defined in TR, but not exported to XML.

  • Is it somehow possible to force TR to export the lead text as well?

And then when entering description and other texts in th GUI I often use line break to have a better visual presentation. In the XML it seems that all line breaks are stripped, making the visual representation not as I wanted.

I found that entering two dashes “–” causes this to be displayed as an empty line in the TR GUI, and this appears in the XML - but it causes the line above to be bold in the GUI which prevents this approach.

  • Is there some way to force TR to export whitespaces, in particular line shift ?
  • Alternatively, are there any characters you can enter in the GUI which is hidden (as the two dashs on a separate line) but still exported in the XML?

Best regards Wilhelm


Hello Wilhelm,

Thanks for your reply, great to hear that! Do you have an example for the lead text? Do you mean the labels of the custom field values?

Regarding the line breaks/text format: TestRail would also export the line breaks but in the regular Markdown format. TestRail uses this Markdown format to create a rich-text version for the text fields, including lists, tables, bold fonts etc. The exports include the raw Markdown format but you can simply reformat this using a standard Markdown parser/formatter (which is available for most programming languages).



Hi Tobias

Yes, I am thinking of the labels. E.g I have a custom field tt_actor with the label “Aktør involvert”, the I see no sign of the label in the XML - can they be found somehow?

As for the Markdown parser, thanks, I shall have a look at this :slightly_smiling:

Best Regards


Hello Wilhelm,

Depending on the custom field type (e.g. dropdown or multi-select), the name/label would be included in the XML export as well. For example, a typical export for a dropdown field would look as follows:

<name>Aktør involvert</name>



Hi Tobias

I have been using a multiselect field (for instance tt_aktorer), where the values appear but not the /name/ field as you indicate:

/id/187//id//value/OSL Brann og redning//value///item/

(When I paste the xml in this reply, the xml fields are not shown for some reason so i have used the characters /* and */ as field delimiters above)

  • Can you understand why the /name/ field seems to drop out?

Best regards


Hello Wilhelm,

Sorry for the confusion, I actually meant value, not name. This should be the value you are looking for, isn’t it?



Hi Tobias,

In the xml I do receive the values, i.e. the selected drop-down values. I also have the system name in the XML.

What I am missing is the label field, having the comment in TR “Edit field” dialogue saying “The label of the field as it appears in the user interface”. This is sort of the lead text when you print from TR, and since I need this on the paper handout I would like that to be present in the XML as well.

So is the label available somehow through the XML?

Best regards, Wilhelm


Hello Wilhelm,

Ah, got it! Thanks for the clarification :slight_smile: The actual name/label of the field is currently not part of the XML file, “only” the system name (tt_aktorer in this case) and actual property values/names of the cases/tests.