Quick Start

The following document is a single-page quick start guide to get you started with HotDocs Advance.


Before you get started, you will have received an e-mail with the following information:

  • A link to your HotDocs Advance site – this link enables you to log in to HotDocs Advance using your web browser.
  • A username – typically your e-mail address


1. Log in to Advance

In this step, you log in to your Advance instance for the first time. Advance will prompt you to change your password the first time you log in.

  1. Open a web browser.
  2. Navigate to the site to which you want to log in; this has a URL like https://sitename.hotdocsadvance.com
  3. Type your username and password into the login fields.
  4. Click Login.

2. Download and install HotDocs Author

In this step, you download the HotDocs Author installer. This installs HotDocs Author on your desktop, enabling you to create the HotDocs templates used by Advance.

You require a licence key for HotDocs Author, please contact HotDocs sales for licensing information.

  1. In the Account menu, click Download AuthorDownload Author.
  2. Follow the steps for your browser for downloading a file. When the download finishes, open the setup64.exe file.
  3. Click Run.
  4. Follow the steps in the InstallShield Wizard to install HotDocs Author.

3. Run Author

  1. Start HotDocs Author by locating and double-clicking the HotDocs Author shortcut on your computer.
  2. When Author's Workspace Explorer opens, at the top left, click Workspace > New Workspace.
  3. Under Workspace Name, type Tutorials.
  1. Click OK; the HotDocs Author tutorial files open.

Using the tutorials files as a guide, you can create an initial template that you can upload to Advance.

4. Configure an upload destination in Author

Before you can upload template from Author to Advance, you need to tell Author where to send the templates.

  1. In a web browser, log in to your HotDocs Advance account.
  2. In the Account menu, click Download ConfigurationDownload configuration.
  3. Follow the steps for your browser for downloading a file. When the download finishes, open the .hdrepoconfig file.
  4. If you are happy with the workspace that the path points to, click OK; otherwise, select the workspace which you want to connect to this upload destination, and then click OK.
  5. Ensure you are happy with the Name of the upload destination; then click Save Changes.

5. Upload a template

To upload a template from Author to Advance:

  1. Working in HotDocs Author, Open a workspace.
  2. Select a template (or templates).
  3. In the right pane, click Upload.
  4. If you are prompted, type your Advance username and password, and click the Log in button.
  5. (Optional) Type a comment into the field and click Continue; the comment is an explanatory note for the new template version.
  6. Once you successfully upload a template, click Continue to open HotDocs Advance in your web browser; your template appears in the templates list.

6. Make the template live

Once you upload the template, you need to make the template live before you can use it to assemble documents.

  1. In the Administration section, select Manage TemplatesManage templates.
  2. Select the template you wish to make live.
  3. In the Details pane a list of versions of the template is displayed.
  4. In the row for the version you wish to make live, click the ellipsis.
  5. Click Make live.

The version of the template is now live and the Live from information updates to a few seconds ago.

7. Create a user group

Next, you create a user group. You use user groups to control user access to templates. At this stage, you may not have any user accounts in Advance apart from your own. You can just assign your own account when you reach the Members step below.

  1. In the Administration section, click Manage User GroupsManage user groups
  2. In the upper-right corner of the screen, click Create new user groupCreate new user group.
  3. Enter the following user group details:
    • Name (required)the user group's name.
    • Description (optional) – a description of the user group.
    • Members (optional) – the members of the user group. You can search for a member or select from the list.
  4. Click Create.

The new group appears in the User groups list.

8. Create a work group

The next step is to create a work group. Work groups enable you to control which users groups have access to specific templates.

  1. In the Administration section, click Manage Work GroupsManage work groups.
  2. In the upper-right corner of the screen, click Create new work groupCreate new work group.
  3. Enter the following work group details:
    • (Required) Name  the work group's name.
    • (Optional) Description — a description of the work group.
    • (Optional) Set default answers template — select a template to use as the default answer set interview in the work group.
    • Active status — either Active or Inactive; users cannot access inactive work groups.
    • Templates status — toggle the templates used by the work group. Either:
      • Work group contains all templates (default) – all templates uploaded to the Advance site are included in the work group
      • Work group contains selected templates – only the templates selected in the Templates tab are included in the work group
    • (Optional) Templates — select templates to include in the work group; you cannot select templates if you selected the Work group contains selected templates option for the All Templates status.
    • (Optional) Access permissions — assign user groups access to the work group. Users in the selected user groups can assemble the templates selected above.
    • Workflows — toggle the work group's use of workflows on work items. Either:
      • Work items don't use a workflow (default) – work items in the work group do not use workflows
      • Work items use a workflow – work items in the work group do use workflows
  4. Click Create.

The new group appears in the Work groups list.

9. Create a work item

A work item is a location – created by you – for a specific work task. For example, producing a contract for a specific client. From the work item, you create a document from a HotDocs template.

  1. From the Work groups section, select a Work group.
  2. In the upper-right corner of the screen, click Create new work itemCreate new work item.
  3. Type a new Work item name
  4. In the Select template list, click a template.
  5. Select the sharing settings of your work item:
    • Do not share this work item
    • Share this work item with all users of this work group
  6. Select the Initial answer file setting of your work item, the options in this list enable you to upload an answer file to use as a set of initial answers for the new work item:
    • No initial answer file
    • Upload an initial answer file or answer package
    • Retrieve answer file from iManage
  7. (Optional) Click Launch to open the interview.
    1. Once you have completed the questions in the interview, click Finish.
  8. Click Save.

You are redirected to the Details pane for the new work item where you will see the message Your interview is currently being processed. Following the completion of document assembly, you can download any assembled documents.

Next steps

Now that you have Advance running, you should familiarize yourself with Advance's general concepts: