Work Group Default Answer Set Overview

The work group default answer set is a basic set of answers used across work items in a work group. Advance automatically pre-populates new work items created in the work group with these default answers.

For example, you enter standard information about your firm as a work group default answer; this can then be used in multiple work items, reducing the need to key it in to interviews.


When a user creates a work item, there are often questions that apply at the practice or department level. This data, such as a law practice's name, address and attorneys, would be the same for all interviews within the group and is unlikely to change frequently. By creating a work group default answer set, you can use one set of answers consistently across work items in a work group. This reduces time spent keying in standard information, makes the data easier to maintain and reduces the risk of errors.

Common Tasks

Among others, the work group default answer set enables you to perform the following common tasks:


An administrator sets a default answer template at the work group level, either when creating a new work group or by updating an existing work group. Members of the work group can then access the default answer set interview and enter the answers. If an Author template in the work group uses the same variable names, when you create a new work item Advance pre-populates the answer set with default answers. You can then launch and complete the work item interview and assemble your documents. If you update the default answer set, new work items created in the group will use the updated version. You can also choose to refresh the data in existing work items. During the interview, you can edit the default answers if needed.

Default Answer Set Template Requirements

You can use any template as a default answers template, provided it has an active, live version. Unlike other templates, the default answer template does not have to be allocated to the work group. Advance always uses the current live version of the template.

Advance only pre-populates the fields in a work item answer set if the work item uses an Author template. This feature is not supported for HotDocs Developer templates.

Variable Names

The default answer set feature relies on the variable names used in the default answer set template matching the variable names used in the work group's templates. For example, if the Text variable Attorney Name is answered in the default answer set, the Text variable Attorney Name will be pre-populated in the work item.

Selection Variables

If you have a number of options your users may need to select from, such as multiple members of staff, you can use the default answer set to populate the value options for a template's selection variable. You use a table variable or repeated values to collect data in the default answer template, then use this as the option source in the work group's templates. When users create a work item, they can then select the relevant information for their interview from the default answer set.

Using Default Answer Sets

The default answers should be correct in most instances. However, there may be occasions when you wish to edit the answers, or to use an updated version of the default answer set.

Editing Default Answers in a Work Item

When you create a work item in a work group with a default answer set, the matching data from the default answer set is automatically imported into the work item's interview. However, should this information not apply in the specific work item then during the interview you can make selections, edit and delete any of these answers. When you save the work item, these changes are saved and will remain in the work item unless you refresh the default answers. Editing answers for a work item does not affect the default answer set for the work group.

Refreshing the Default Answer Set in a Work Item

If the default answer set answers are updated, changes will only apply to new work items created in the work group. Existing work items will continue to have the version of the default answers they were last saved with. If you would like to use the updated default answers for a work item, you need to refresh the default answers.