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Field Editor: Single Select Variable

You can use the Single Select Variable options in the HotDocs Field Editor to create and edit placeholder fields for Single Select variables.

To view the Field properties for a Single Select variable's placeholder field, in the Field Editor select Add a placeholder > Single Select Variable.

Common Tasks

Field Type

The Field Type element of the HotDocs Field Editor declares whether the currently selected HotDocs Field is a placeholder field or an instruction field.

Single Select Variable Editor

When you select Add a placeholder > Single Select Variable or click on an existing Single Select variable's placeholder field in the template, you can view and edit the following options:

Property Name What it Does
Variable Enables you to select an existing variable using a drop-down list or type the name of a new selection variable you want to create. Click the edit button to open the pop-up variable editor and access the same component properties you see in the variable editors in Component Studio.

If you select an existing field that is missing a component, HotDocs notifies you that there is no component, and you can then add a component using the drop-down list or the edit button.

Key column (of Built in table) (Only appears when the option source is a Built in Table) Enables you to type the values you want as possible answers for your selection variable. Unless you use the Option Labels property in Component Studio and choose another column to display in the interview, the values you type in the Key column also become the list of options that appear in the interview. The table contains the following:
  • Key – enables you to type a list of values that you want as possible answers for your selection variable
  • Insert above button – enables you to insert a new row just above your current selection
  • Delete button – deletes the row containing your current selection

If you want to add additional columns to your Built-in table, click the component editor button to open the pop-up Single Select Variable Editor.

Option source Enables you to use a drop-down list to select an existing option source (such as a Fixed Table component), or type to create a new one. The option source provides the text for the list of options you present to your template user in an interview (and can contain other related data).
Linked dialog Enables you to link this component to a dialog using a drop-down list and an edit button.

Assembly value

Enables you to select the column of the option source that contains the values you want HotDocs to replace the (currently selected) placeholder field with during document assembly.
Format Enables you to set the format HotDocs uses when an answer replaces the (currently selected) placeholder field during document assembly. You can select a format using the drop-down list or type in a custom format. The type of format available in the drop-down list correlates to the type of variable selected in the assembly value property.

If you have previously set a default format for the variable, you will see the format grayed and italicized in the format text box. If you set a new format, this overrides the default format, but only for this specific instance of the placeholder field. In addition, when you override a default format, any other property defaults (Unanswered text, Font, Padded width, Answer alignment, Pad character) you have set in component studio are copied into the respective text box and set for that property at the field level. You can use the Revert button in Advanced Properties to set any default properties you override back to the defaults you set in Component Studio.

 

Advanced Properties

Select the Advanced Properties expander to see further properties for the placeholder field:

Property Name Explanation
Unanswered text You can provide a word or set of characters that HotDocs uses in the template in place of an answer if none is given in the interview. This overrides the unanswered text you can set at the component level in the appropriate editor in Component Studio and at the template level in the Template Properties dialog.

If you have previously set default unanswered text for the variable in component studio, you will see the text grayed and italicized in the text box. If you set new unanswered text, this overrides the default unanswered text, but only for this specific instance of the placeholder field. In addition, when you override default unanswered text, any other property defaults (Format, Font, Padded width, Answer alignment, Pad character) you have set in component studio are copied into the respective text box and set for that property at the field level.

Font Enables you to specify a different font for the answer in the assembled document.

When you set a font for the variable, any other property defaults (Format, Font, Padded width, Answer alignment, Pad character) you have set in component studio are copied into the respective text box and set for that property at the field level.

Pad answer to fixed number of characters Enables you to change how answers are displayed in the assembled document by altering the padding of the answer according to the characteristics you specify using the following properties:
  • Padded width – enables you to specify, by selecting a fixed number of characters, the width of the area in the assembled document that contains an answer
  • Answer alignment – enables you to specify the alignment of the answer in the area of the assembled document that contains an answer:
    • Left the answer appears first, followed by the appropriate amount of pad characters
    • Right the appropriate amount of pad characters appear first, followed by the answer
  • Pad character – Enables you to specify which character HotDocs uses to pad any spaces left over if the answer doesn't use all the width you specify in the Padded width property. If the answer is shorter than the padded width, HotDocs inserts the necessary number of pad characters.

The default fill character is a space.

If you have previously set pad answer properties for the variable in component studio, you will see those defaults reflected in the field editor. If you set new pad answer properties, this overrides the defaults, but only for this specific instance of the placeholder field. In addition, when you override pad answer properties, any other property defaults (Format, Font, Unanswered text) you have set in component studio are copied into the respective text box and set for that property at the field level.

Revert (Only appears if you have modified the Format, Unanswered text, and Pad answer-related field properties) Enables you to revert back to the default state (the defaults defined in Component Studio) for the Format, Unanswered text, Font, Padded width, Answer alignment, and Pad character field properties.
Preserve empty paragraph Enables you to force HotDocs to keep an empty paragraph left behind when HotDocs removes a HotDocs field when assembling a document.
Comment   You can use this to add notes about the field. A field with a comment attached displays a grey C next to the field name on the template.

Replace Multiple

When you select a piece of text to replace with a placeholder field, select Replace Multiple to use the following options to find and replace other instances of that text in the template:

Options What it Does
Replace Replaces the selected text in the template with the placeholder field.
Replace All Replaces all instances of the selected text in the template with the placeholder field.

You must be careful when you select the text before a replace all. If you accidentally include the paragraph mark at the end of a selection HotDocs will remove it and any other instances of a paragraph mark following the selected text when you click Replace All. This can lead to a poorly formatted document.

Skip Moves to the next instance of the selected text in the template without replacing the current selection.
Done Deselects the text and closes the replace multiple options.

Field Toolbar

At the bottom of the HotDocs Field Editor, you have access to the following actions:

Buttons What it Does
Add Field Adds the placeholder field to the template in the selected location.
Clear Choices button Clears all the settings in the Field Editor for the currently selected placeholder field.
Delete Field Button [X] Selecting anywhere in a HotDocs field causes the Delete field button to appear. If you select outside a HotDocs field, or include anything besides a single HotDocs field, the button disappears (if it was previously visible), or else does not appear. Clicking the Delete field button removes the selected field completely. Clicking Microsoft Word's Undo button restores the field completely.

The Delete field button exists to solve a particular problem: In Microsoft Word, you can delete a HotDocs field by clicking in the field, then clicking the field's handle, and then pressing the DELETE key on the keyboard. However, if you select the field using only the keyboard, Word does not easily enable you to delete the field. You can do so by deleting all the content of the field and then pressing the DELETE key again, or if your cursor is just to the right of the field, you can press the Backspace button once to select the field's content, a second time to delete the content, then a third time removes the field. HotDocs provides the Delete field button to simplify this process.