Workspace Explorer

The Workspace Explorer is the first window you see when you open HotDocs Author. It is also the main organizing aspect of the HotDocs Author interface, and provides access to all the templates in any workspace you open. The Workspace Explorer also enables you to invoke the different Author interfaces.

Workspace Explorer opens first whenever you start HotDocs Author and you can open new or existing workspaces using the Workspace Explorer toolbar.

Common Tasks

Among others, Workspace Explorer enables you to perform the following common tasks:

Keyboard Shortcuts

Workspace Explorer includes keyboard shortcuts to enable you to work more rapidly than you can by clicking with a mouse.

Workspace Explorer Toolbar

The Workspace Explorer toolbar is at the top of the window and contains the following buttons:

Button What it Does
Workspace Opens a menu of options:
  • New Workspace – creates a new workspace and opens it in another Workspace Explorer
  • Open Workspace – enables you to open a different workspace in another Workspace Explorer
  • Open Recent – enables you to open a workspace from a list showing (up to) the ten most recently opened workspaces. Opening a workspace (that is not already open) causes that workspace to move to the top of the most recently opened list. Choosing an item from the list opens that workspace in another Workspace Explorer.
  • Rebuild Workspace –  enables you to reprocess all templates in the workspace rebuild interview definitions (useful when trying to fix a version mismatch issue or other related issue)
  • (Optional) Selected Destination – enables you (once more than one upload destinations have been configured) to select from a list which HotDocs Advance destination you want to link the workspace to
  • Upload Destinations – invokes the Upload Destinations dialog box that enables you to add, edit, or delete a HotDocs Advance upload destination for the current workspace
  • Close Workspace – closes the current workspace (and Workspace Explorer)
New Template Launches the New Template dialog box that enables you to you to:
Import Enables you to import templates from other workspaces or previous versions of HotDocs into Author.
Options Opens the HotDocs Options dialog box that enables you to edit certain default behaviors for HotDocs Author.
Help Opens a menu of options:
  • View Help – launches a browser displaying the documentation for HotDocs Author
  • View/Hide Author Tutorials – causes the Author Tutorials pane to appear (or be hidden) on the far left of the Workspace Explorer window
  • Suggest Features – launches the HotDocs User Suggestions website that enables you to suggest new features you want added to HotDocs and to comment on and vote for suggestions made by other HotDocs users
  • License Information – invokes the HotDocs License Information dialog that displays your License Type, License Key, and your Machine Key and enables you to deauthorize you HotDocs Author license. You normally deauthorize your license in order to change you license type. You can reauthorize your license by entering a valid license key when you restart Author.
  • About HotDocs Author – shows information about the version of the Author software

Left Pane

The left pane displays templates in the workspace and enables you to search, sort, and filter the templates.

Element What it Does
Search... Enables you to search for files within the current workspace.
Filter (Showing all) Enables you to filter the templates that appear in the column according to what you select from the following options:
  • All Template Types – displays templates of all types you created in your workspace
  • DOCX Templates – displays only the DOCX templates in your workspace
  • Answer Intakes – displays only answer intakes
  • Plain Text Templates – displays only plain text (TXT) templates
Sort Enables you to sort the templates from A-Z. You can choose between the following sort options: Sort by
  • by File Name – sorts templates by their file names from A to Z
  • by Title – sorts templates by their titles from A to Z
  • by Type – places answer intakes first, then DOCX templates, followed by plain text templates; items of each type are sorted within their type from A to Z
  • by Status places  templates containing errors at the top of the list

Sort order

  • Natural—sorts components from A to Z
  • Reverse—sorts components from Z to A
Select Multiple Enables you to select more than one template in the contents pane at once, so you perform the actions available in the right pane on more than one template at a time.

The right pane presents a shortened list of options in multiple select mode.

You can also use keyboard shortcuts to select multiple templates in the contents pane.

Contents pane Displays the contents of the workspace according to search parameters, sorting, and any filters or multiple selections you apply.

Right Pane

This pane displays the template toolbar and the template details pane for the selected template in the Left Pane.

Template Toolbar

The template toolbar contains the following actions you can perform on the selected template:

Button What it Does
Edit Opens the file for editing. There are two other ways to open a template for editing:
  • Double-click the template in the left pane.
  • Select the template in the left pane and press Enter on your keyboard.
Extend Selection (Only appears when you select multiple templates) Add to the Selected templates list all templates that reference (using a placeholder field or an assemble instruction) any currently selected auxiliary templates.
Template Properties Displays the Template Properties dialog for the template you selected in the left pane.
Component Studio Opens the Component Studio so you can edit the components associated with the selected template.
Upload to Creates a template package for the selected template (or templates) and uploads it to the specified HotDocs Advance destination.
Delete Deletes the template from the workspace.

Template Details Pane

The first time you open Workspace Explorer, or if HotDocs cannot locate a recently-used workspace, the template details pane displays a message instructing you how to create your first workspace or open an existing workspace.

The template details pane displays template information for the selected template:

Element What it Does
Template details Displays the template title, which by default, is generated by the template file name. You can also see the template type and a description, if one is available. You can change the template title and description in the Template Properties dialog.
Associated Files Lists the files that go to make up a template:
  • Template File—A link that displays the full file name of the template file. Click the link to open the file location
  • Properties—A link that displays the full file name of the Template Properties file. Click the link to open the file location.
  • Component File—A link that displays the full file name of the template's component file. Click the link to open the file location.
Details Displays the Title and Description properties you set in the Template Properties dialog box. These are the properties your template users see when accessing your template in the HotDocs Advance web application.
Used in (Only appears when applicable) Displays the number of templates that use the currently selected template. These templates need the current template to assemble properly; any changes you make to the current template affect the final documents HotDocs assembles from the templates that use the current template. Clicking Used In reveals the list of templates that reference the current template using either:
Extend Selection (Only appears when you select an auxiliary template) Selects all templates that reference (using a placeholder field or an assemble instruction) the current auxiliary template.
(Only appears when applicable)
  • Displays a slowly flashing red icon on the far left that alerts you to the presence of errors in your template
  • Next to the title, displays the number of errors in the template, e.g., Errors (3)
  • Clicking the title bar displays or hides the list of all the errors found in the current template
  • Clicking an error moves focus to the element in your template that contains the error
Auxiliary Templates
(Only appears when applicable.) Displays the number of auxiliary templates the currently selected template uses to assemble properly. Clicking Auxiliary Templates toggles the list of templates the current template references using either:

The list displays the current template's auxiliary templates and a list of any auxiliary templates these may use. Double-clicking an auxiliary template's name selects the template.

If any of the auxiliary templates contain an error, the title bar displays a red error icon overlaying the auxiliary template icon. In addition, individual auxiliary templates containing an error display a small red exclamation mark. Clicking an error icon opens the auxiliary template that contains the error and places focus on the element in the template that contains the error.

Suggest features Provides a link to the HotDocs User Suggestions web page where you can suggest new features or vote for features others suggest.