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Test Overview

A HotDocs Author test is the process of opening the HotDocs Test Browser to check that either a component or a template works as you expect it to. For example, you can use Author's test functionality to see how a dialog will appear to a template user during an interview, whether or not a variable or computation behaves how you intend, etc.


The test functionality, through the HotDocs Test Browser, enables you to check for and fix any issues with your template's components as they may arise, instead of needing to fix multiple issues within a template at once. The HotDocs Test Browser enables you to interact with your template the same way your template users will. Furthermore, the HotDocs Test Browser gives you access to helpful test-related features such as Document Preview, Answer Summary, and the ability to save and open answer files.

Common Tasks

Test Workflow

The workflow for testing both components and templates involves clicking the Test button, with the process varying depending on the interface you are currently working in. For example:

  • You can test a component by opening Component Studio, selecting the component, and clicking Test in the component toolbar.
  • You can also test a component while editing a template in Word or HotDocs Composer by clicking on the field containing the component, and in the View group, clicking HotDocs Field Editor, clicking Edit component and then Test in the component editor's toolbar.
  • If you want to test an entire DOCX template, open the template for editing and in the Author tab of the Word ribbon, in the Template group, click Test. For answer intakes and plain text templates, in HotDocs Composer's ribbon, click Test.

With the HotDocs Test Browser opened, you can use the various test-related features to ensure your component or template works as you expect in the interview and the assembled document. You can continue to edit your component or template while the HotDocs Test Browser is open, but you will need to click Test to refresh the test window to account for any changes. When you've finished testing, you can save the answers you entered into the test interview into a locally stored Answer File for later use.

As you complete the test interview, you can move between dialogs by clicking dialog icons in the interview outline, by clicking the Next or Previous buttons in the navigations bar, or by pressing Alt+N or Alt+P or Page Up or Page Down.

Author-Specific Testing Features

In addition to enabling you to interact with your component or template the way your template users will, the HotDocs Test Browser enables you to use some author-specific features.

Testing with Answer Files

Rather than filling in the answers every time you perform a test, you can create answer files that you can use to automatically populate the interview's answer fields. During a test, you can choose to open an answer file or change the currently open answer file, save your current answers as a new answer file, or return to an interview with blank answer fields by clicking Clear Answers.

Interview Features

There are a number of features available to assist you create and test your template in the HotDocs Test Browser that are also available to your template users as they answer questions in the interview.

For information about these features, such as document preview, answer summary, the interview outline, and more, see HotDocs Test Browser.