import: When working with libraries, the process of copying template files into the
currently viewed library. These files can be imported for assembly only or for
editing and assembly. When working with answer files, the process of copying an
answer file to the default Answers folder and then adding it to the answer library.
inactive field: A form document field on which the user cannot directly enter an answer.
Fields can be inactive for any number of reasons. For example, the field may be
conditioned or it may contain a Computation variable. Frequently, a template
developer provides an answer wizard to help the user answer all of the questions
that will make the field active.
infinite loop: The process of a HotDocs script repeatedly reprocessing itself until
HotDocs stops responding. For example, a computation can repeatedly scan a text
string, character by character, for a specific value. As HotDocs searches for this
value, it adds information to what is called the processing stack. If too much
information gets added to this stack, HotDocs may get into an infinite loop and
INSERT instruction: An instruction that inserts one template into another. For example, if
boilerplate text needs to be used in multiple documents, a template that contains
that text can be created and inserted in each template that requires it (via an
INSERT instruction). This way, if changes need to be made to the text, the change
has to be made in only one template.
inserted dialog: See child dialog.
inserted template: A template that is inserted into another template using an INSERT
instant update: A command in the HotDocs assembly window that, when selected,
updates the interview every time a user enters or changes an answer in the
interview. Sometimes this updating may cause HotDocs to behave sluggishly as
users move between answer fields. In such cases, the user can turn the instant
update command off. Then HotDocs will update the interview only as it needs to.
instruction: A command in a script or template that performs a special task, such as
inserting a template or asking a dialog at a specific place in the interview.
intake interview: See interview template.
interview: A presentation of questions that must be answered in order to create an
assembled document. The interview is viewable by clicking the Interview tab of the
interview component: A computation script that defines how a custom interview will look
and function. An interview component usually includes ASK instructions to ask all
of the dialogs/variables in the interview. The script frequently includes other
instructions, such as REPEAT instructions and INSERT instructions as well as
conditions for using these instructions. The name of this component is defined at
the Component File Properties dialog box.
interview outline: The leftmost pane of the assembly window that lists all of the dialogs in
the interview. Viewing the outline shows the natural progression of the interview.
Icons in the outline also indicate whether questions in the associated dialog are
completely answered, partially answered, or not answered at all.
Interview tab: A tab of the assembly window that shows the outline of questions in the
interview as well as the dialogs that contain the questions. Users enter answers
while viewing the Interview tab. (See also interview.)
interview template: A template that contains a series of interview questions designed to
gather information about a person (or persons) or matter. Answers are saved in an
HotDocs Developer Help File
answer source file, which can then be linked to a dialog in a template that requires
the same information. Generally, interview templates can be used to create a list of
possible answers so users have more options to choose from
iteration: One instance of a repeated dialog.
browser. When templates are published for use with HotDocs Server, HotDocs
keywords: A broad term used to describe scripting instructions, expressions, and
operators. Keywords are used in a script and generate values or perform certain
label: In a text template, an identification assigned to a REPEAT, IF, or SPAN instruction
to help the template developer identify the instruction in relation to other
instructions in the template. In a form document, the text that is merged in a field
when an answer overflows and is sent to the addendum. (See also reference.)
layout: The placement of variables in a dialog. This appearance is controlled at the
Layout tab of the Dialog Editor.
library: A window used to display and organize templates. The library does not store the
actual files—instead, it contains shortcuts (or links) to the files, which are stored on
disk. In addition to the template library, HotDocs also uses an answer library,
which is more commonly known as Answer File Manager.
LIMIT instruction: An instruction that controls the number of iterations in a repeated
dialog. For example, if a dialog should be repeated only four times, a repeat LIMIT
of 4 can be assigned to the dialog.
line break: A code in a Word document that indicates that text should appear on a new
line within the same paragraph. For example, if the user must enter separate lines
in a single paragraph (such as lines in an address), a line break should be used.
(See also paragraph mark.)
linked field: Represents a HotDocs field in a fillable PDF template that is associated with
an Adobe fillable field. By creating this association between a HotDocs field and a
fillable field, template developers can create HotDocs fields that precisely match
fields in the underlying PDF. Users who assemble the document can then edit
answers associated with linked/fillable fields in the saved PDF.
list: Two or more answers to one question merged in the document.
manual index: See explicit index.
map, mapping: See variable mapping.
mark up, markup: The formatting applied to a Word template or an assembled Word
document that shows simplified template development marks. For example, when
viewed in Markup View, variables in a template appear between brackets rather
than chevrons. (See also Markup View.)
Markup View: A view that shows a simplified version of a Word template or an assembled
document. This simplified view may be useful if a non-HotDocs user must review
the template or document. When viewing a template or document in Markup View,
variable and answer fields are marked using brackets.
merge field: During template development, the place in the template where a variable is
inserted. During document assembly, the place where the user's answer will be
merge text: The text that will be merged in a document if a user chooses a specific
Multiple Choice variable option. For example, if a user chooses Male as the option,
a masculine pronoun such as he or his can be merged instead of Male.
model: A tool in the script editor that template developers can use in writing scripts. A
model shows the full instruction or expression—including any placeholders that
must be replaced for the script to work correctly. Developers can drag these
models from their respective lists and then replace the placeholders with the
Multiple Choice variable: A type of component that merges a predefined answer in the
navigation bar: In an interview (at the Interview tab), the toolbar used to move from
dialog to dialog. In a document (at the Document tab), the toolbar used to move
between merged answers in a document.
nested repeat: A repeated dialog that is nested within another repeated dialog.
non-breaking space / hyphen: A property that can be assigned to a variable that keeps
the answer from being split across two lines in the assembled document.
notation: An identification assigned to a variable name to help identify what type of
variable it is. For example, Client Name TE would indicate that the variable is a
Text variable. (Typical component notations include TE (Text), DA (Date), NU
(Number), MC (Multiple Choice), TF (True/False), CO (Computation), and DI
Number variable: A type of component that merges a numeric value in the document.
ODBC: Short for Open Database Connectivity, it's a data presentation layer that lets
HotDocs communicate with a database so HotDocs can retrieve data from it and
use it to assemble a document. (See also ADO.)
operator: A symbol or word that causes either an operation (such as addition) or a
comparison to be performed in a computation script or expression.
order: The process of designating the sequence in which form template fields are asked
in the tab order. Establishing this order in a form is important for users who directly
fill the form document.
outline: See interview outline.
overflow: Answers in a form document that do not fit in the allotted field space.
Overflowing answers are usually sent to the addendum.
HotDocs Developer Help File
overlay: The process of using the Overlay Answers command to merge existing answers
into the current answer file. When answers are overlaid, the answers become a
part of the current answer file. They also overwrite any existing answers in the
paragraph mark: A code in a Word document that indicates that text following the mark
should appear in a new paragraph. (See also line break.)
parent dialog: A dialog that contains a child dialog.
pattern: Determines how a Text variable will be displayed and formatted in the interview
and in the assembled document. By default, HotDocs includes three patterns in all
new templates (Social Security number, telephone number, and time of day), but
template developers can create custom patterns.
PDF: File name extension that designates that the file is a Portable Document Format file,
a format created and supported by Adobe. PDFs are a useful way of distributing
documents in a format most users can view—as long as they have Adobe Acrobat,
Adobe Reader, or HotDocs Filler installed. With HotDocs, template developers can
also create PDF-based form templates. They can also create PDFs from
PDF417: The two-dimensional bar code format used in HotDocs Automator and HotDocs
Personal Information variable: A type of component that stores basic information about
a user, such as a name, a company name, and a phone number. This information
is saved in the Current User key of the Windows System Registry. Once
answered, users won't be prompted to enter it again.
pick list: See answer source.
placeholder: A marker in an instruction or expression model that indicates where a value
must be substituted. This value must be a literal value or a variable. Instruction
and expression models help the developer use the correct syntax in a script.
pointed component file: When sharing components across multiple templates,
represents the template's own component file, which, in turn, points to the shared
pop-up interview: A dialog a user can display during an interview. Usually a pop-up
interview shows a different view of the dialog. For example, if a user is entering
answers in a spreadsheet, he or she can click the Edit Row button and a pop-up
interview appears that shows just the questions (and answers) from that particular
row in the spreadsheet.
printer driver: A driver that generates form templates from files designed in other
applications, such as a draw program or a word processor. HotDocs includes one
printer driver—the HotDocs PDF driver.
processing stack: A sequential list of templates and components HotDocs is processing
at any given time. Each time a new component is processed, it is added to the
stack. (Once processing is finished, it is removed.) In some instances where
recursion is used in a script, the same component is repeatedly added to the list. If
the number of components exceeds the stack limit, an infinite loop error will occur.
(The stack limit can be changed at the Component File Properties dialog box.)
prompt: Text that can be assigned to a variable to help the user better understand how to
answer the question.
publish: The process of generating files for distribution to other users. Types of files that
can be published include auto-assemble files, auto-install files, regular templates,
and HotDocs Server files. During publishing, protection options can be assigned to
help safeguard the templates.
Publishing Wizard: The tool used to publish template files for others. The Publishing
Wizard steps through the publishing process and allows different properties to be
set, depending on the type of file(s) that are being published.
punctuate: The process of formatting a REPEAT instruction so that a list of answers will
appear in sentence format, like this: The client owns real estate in New York,
Pennsylvania, and Montana. (New York, Pennsylvania, and Montana are the list
items. The punctuation adds the commas and the conjunction and).
Question Summary: A brief report HotDocs generates that lists questions asked during
an interview. The summary includes blank lines for handwritten answers. (See also
queue: See Assembly Queue.
reference: In a form document, the text that is added to the addendum to identify any
overflow answers. (See also label.)
reference path: A folder path for a template in which the drive letter and some or all of
the folder names are represented by a keyword. At runtime, this keyword is
mapped to an actual path on the user's computer so that when the user accesses
the template, the keyword is replaced by the path. This allows templates saved in
one central location to work on multiple workstations regardless of how the drives
on the workstation are mapped.
register: The process of publishing a template for use with HotDocs Player.
REPEAT instruction: An instruction that repeatedly asks the same variable(s) so that two
or more answers can be entered. REPEAT instructions are used to create lists of
answers in the document.
repeated dialog: A dialog that contains the variables that need to be repeated so that
multiple answers can be entered. (See REPEAT instruction.)
repeated series dialog: One of two representations of a dialog that is repeated. With a
repeated series, the dialog is asked repeatedly until all answers in the list have
been entered. (See also spreadsheet dialog.)
resource: Supplemental help that can be included with a variable or dialog to help users
better understand how to answer the questions they are viewing. Resources
appear in the resource pane of the assembly window.
Resource field: A type of form template field that functions like a hyperlink. Link fields let
users get help while direct-fill assembling the form document. Links are displayed
as underlined, colored text, much like links in a Web browser. They provide a
resource for the form in general, instead of for a specific variable or dialog.
RTF: File name extension that designates that the template file is a Word RTF file. (See
run-on group: A series of form template fields that have been grouped and associated
with each other so that the answer can flow from one field to the next. For
HotDocs Developer Help File
example, if an answer must fill two or more lines on a form, separate fields can be
created on each line and then grouped. Once grouped, they become a run-on
script: One or more instructions and/or expressions that generate a value or execute
some kind of procedure.
script editor: The tool used to write a script. The script editor includes several options to
make the script-writing process easier, including color-coding, auto-complete lists,
and a toolbar for completing other tasks.
selection grouping: A dialog property assigned to True/False variables, clauses, and
child dialogs which presents these options as check boxes (multiple-select) or
option buttons (single-select).
Send to Word Processor command: A command that opens the word processor and
copies the assembled document into it. Once opened in the word processor, the
user can make any changes necessary to the document.
SET instruction: An instruction in a template or script that assigns a value to a variable.
Variables that have their values set should not be asked again in the interview.
shared component file: A common component file to which several related templates
are linked. To use a shared component file, the template's own component file
must be pointed to the shared file. Changes to components in the file are reflected
in all templates that use it. (See also pointed component file.)
SHOW: An instruction used in a dialog script to show variables that have been hidden in
the dialog. (See also HIDE.) Usually this instruction is conditioned so that variables
hide and show dynamically, based on answers the user enters.
sort: The process of alphabetizing answers in a repeated list or items in a library. Sorting
can be done in ascending or descending order.
spreadsheet dialog: One representation of a repeated dialog. Each row in a spreadsheet
represents one repetition in a dialog. (See also repeated series dialog.)
spreadsheet-on-parent dialog: A repeated child dialog that appears as a spreadsheet
on its parent dialog. This allows the user to view both dialogs at once.
static text: The underlying text in a form template or document that does not change. To
enter answers on a form, form fields must be created and overlaid on the static
strike-through field: A type of form template field that is used for crossing out static text
on the form.
summary: See Question Summary and Answer Summary.
supplemental component: A term used to define components such as patterns, example
formats, dialog elements, and merge text. Supplemental components are
associated with regular components, but they can be created and edited as
syntax: The language used in writing scripts. For a script to work properly, the script must
be written in a way that HotDocs can understand. This language consists of
instructions, expressions, operators, and values (such as text, numbers, dates, or
answers users enter).
template: A word processor or form document that has been converted to HotDocs
format so that it can be automated. When in template format, changeable text in
the template can be replaced with variables. Other instructions can be added as
well, such as instructions that create lists, condition text, and insert other
template developer: The person responsible for automating the templates in the set. The
template developer creates and inserts the variables in the template, arranges
variables in dialogs, and performs other custom tasks in the template. (See also
template development: See automate, automation.
Template Manager: The tool used to manage a library of templates and their associated
components. This includes converting or renaming templates, copying and pasting
components across multiple templates, renaming components, and changing
component file properties for multiple templates.
test: The process of testing a variable or other component to make sure it looks right and
test assemble: The process of assembling a document for the purpose of ensuring the
interview works correctly and the automation within the template produces a
correctly assembled document. During a test assembly, developers can easily edit
components and have the test assembly window updated with changes.
text document: A document that is viewed in either Word or WordPerfect. It can
represent a document before it is automated as well as a document after it has
been assembled. When in document format, it is not associated with (or linked to)
HotDocs in any way. (See also text template.)
text template: A template that is created and automated in Microsoft Word or
WordPerfect. It is distinguished from a form template by the fact that the
underlying text of the template can be modified. (See also text document.)
Text variable: A type of component that merges text in the document.
thumbnail: Small images of each page in the form template. Developers can use
thumbnails as a way to see an overview of the template. Thumbnails can also be
used to move around quickly in a form.
title: A property of a variable or dialog that specifies a more user-friendly name for the
component. For example, if project standards require components be named using
notations, names like Employee Name TE may not make sense to a user.
However a title like Employee Name can be used instead.
True/False expression: A script that must result in either true or false. Expressions are
used for merging or excluding optional text in a document. They are also used for
determining which parts of a script will be executed, based on answers or other
values entered by a user. Expressions are often used when a simple True/False
variable doesn't convey the condition needed. (See IF Instruction.)
True/False variable: A type of component that determines a true/false status of some
condition and then merges the appropriate answer or text.
HotDocs Developer Help File
unanswered text: Text in a text document that indicates that a question is unanswered.
By default, unanswered questions appear as ***Variable Name***, but this can be
UNGRAY: An instruction used in a dialog script to enable a variable that has been grayed
based on a user's answers. (See also GRAY.)
Unicode: Computer specification that makes it possible for computers to represent and
manipulate characters used in most of the world’s written languages. Unicode
support in HotDocs makes it possible to automate and assemble documents in
non-native, left-to-right-reading languages. This includes automating and
assembling Microsoft Word templates as well as PDF-based form templates.
upload: The process of moving HotDocs files to a server so they can be accessed via an
intranet or Internet site.
user: The customer, client, or person who assembles documents from templates. (See
also template developer.)
value: In an interview, it represents a user's answer. In a script, it represents data that
must be used in executing the script. (The value can either be a literal value or a
variable: A component that is used to represent changeable text (such as names, dates,
numbers, etc.) in the template. Types of variables include Text, Date, Number,
True/False, Multiple Choice, Computation, and Personal Information.
variable flow-through: See answer sharing.
variable mapping: The process of associating two HotDocs variables so that they can
share answers. In some cases, this mapping defines the relationship between a
HotDocs variable and a field in a third-party application file, such as a database
table or a field in an Outlook Contacts list.
warnings: A list of cautions that appear in the test assembly window that indicate
problems created by scripting in the template.
wizard: See answer wizard.
WPD: File name extension that designates that the file is a WordPerfect document. (See
WPT: File name extension that designates that the file is a WordPerfect template. (See
XML: Stands for eXtensible Markup Language. It is a computer language designed to
store and transmit data between applications. Like HTML (HyperText Markup
Language), it contains customized markers, or tags, that identify the information in
an XML file. However, while HTML describes the way a page looks, XML controls
the way data is structured, making it easy for diverse programs to access the
same information. (For example, in HTML, to indicate a book title, you would
italicize it using the <i> tag. In XML, you could mark the title using a <booktitle>
tag. The HTML tag simply formats the text (making it italic), while the XML tag
actually defines what the text is (a book title).) In HotDocs, you can save libraries,
component files, and answer files in XML format.
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