Undo and Redo in HotDocs Author

In HotDocs Author, the Undo/Redo feature works similarly to Microsoft Word's Undo/Redo feature. For example, when you make a change to a Word document, Word keeps track of the changes in a list. The most recent changes appear at the top of the list. Clicking Undo enables you to revert the changes in the reverse order you made them.

Undo/Redo in the Field Editor

With Author's Undo, each interface element (window) keeps track of its own changes, so you use each interface element's own Undo to revert changes there.

Component Studio keeps track of any changes made to the component file, whether they happen in Component Studio or somewhere else. So to Undo any changes you make to the component file, you must use Component Studio's undo, regardless of where in the Author window you used to make the change.

Changes that affect the component file

Most changes you make to a component affect the underlying component file, which defines the components you create from the Field Editor or from Component Studio.

Any change you make in Component Studio, whether made in the script box or any other property, can be undone using the Undo button in Component Studio.

An easy way to see whether you're changing something in the component file when working in Field Editor is to look for the vertical blue bar by the component properties as you set them. Properties that have the blue bar next to them are changes that happen in the component file.

Some changes appear to be a single change but are actually multiple changes happening in multiple places in Author.

For example, adding a new Text variable to a template could actually consist of three or four changes that happen in as many as two different places in Author:

  1. In Field Editor, click Add a placeholder.
  2. Click Text.
  3. In the Variable Name box, type a new variable name.
  4. Click Create Now. HotDocs creates a new component. This adds the new component's definitions to the component file. Change #1.
  5. Choose an existing dialog from the Linked Dialog drop-down arrow.
  6. Click Link. HotDocs associates the Text variable with this dialog. Change #2
  7. Choose a Format from the drop-down list.
  8. Then, click Add Field. Choosing a default format and creating the placeholder field are tracked by Word. Change #3.

Because changes 1 and 2 were changes to the component file, you must open Component Studio and use its Undo to undo these two changes. Word tracked change 3, so to undo that change, click Undo in Word. To undo the first two changes, you need to open Component Studio and click Undo twice.

Undo/Redo and Component Studio

The Component Studio is the editor interface for the component file. While you can use the Field Editor in Word and Composer to make changes directly to the component file by adding, deleting, and editing components, Component Studio keeps track of these changes and is therefore the place you must go to Undo and redo these changes.

It is possible to need to undo what appears to be a single change in multiple locations. For example, if you create and insert a new component into a template using the Field Editor, this is actually two actions: inserting a placeholder field into a template and creating a new component. Anything to do with placeholder fields will be tracked by Word, and therefore needs to be undone there. Anything to do with creating, deleting, or editing components is tracked by component studio, and therefore will need to be undone there.