Change Font Properties of Text

Dot codes that change the character format (bold, italic, font size, etc.) do not work in prompts for True/False and Multiple Choice variables that are set to appear as buttons or check boxes.

Frequently, you use a computation script to generate an answer that must be merged in the document. Because answers generated by a computation script are in plain text (which can't be formatted at the Script Editor), you can insert formatting dot codes in the plain text. These dot codes will be processed and the formatting will be applied once the answer is merged in the document.

Additionally, you can use dot codes to assign formatting to variable prompts and dialog element text. This allows questions in the interview to be formatted according to your needs. Specifically, using dot codes, you can apply font properties (such as bolding and italicizing) to answers. You can also specify font sizes and capitalization.

When formatting sections of text using dot codes, you must first highlight the text you are formatting before you assign the dot code. This surrounds the text with beginning and ending codes that instruct HotDocs where the formatting starts and stops. Additionally, when you insert multiple dot codes for a single block of text, the codes must be nested, meaning the first opening dot code you assign must be the last closing dot code. For example, this is an example of «.b»«.i»nesting«.ie»«.be».

To apply formatting to plain text

  1. Either edit a Computation variable (See Customize a Computation Variable), or edit a prompt or dialog element text (see Create a Prompt for a Variable and Add Text to Your Dialogs).
  2. Highlight the text you want to format and right-click. A shortcut menu appears.
  3. Choose Character Format > Format (where Format represents one of the dot codes described in the following table). (WordPerfect users: To insert the dot codes, manually type the codes as you see them in the table below.)
Dot Code What It Does
«.b» (Bold)

«.be» (Bold End)

Applies bold formatting to a word or group of words.
«.h» (Hidden)

«.he» (Hidden End)

The hidden property is not supported in WordPerfect templates.

Applies the hidden text property to a word or group of words.
«.i» (Italics)

«.ie» (Italics End)

Applies italic formatting to a word or group of words.
«.u» (Underline)

«.ue» (Underline End

Applies underline formatting to a word or group of words.
«.x» (Strike-through)

«.xe» (Strike-through End)

Crosses out a word or group of words.
«.z» (Font size)

«.ze» (Font size End)

The font size options are not supported in WordPerfect templates.

Increases or decreases the font size for a word or group of words by a specified percentage. The dot code, «.z +Size», is a percent increase in the current size. The dot code, «.z -Size» is a percent decrease in the current size. (When you select this option, HotDocs displays a dialog box asking you to specify these properties.)

The following is an example of a computation script that uses dot codes. The account status is bolded:

IF DAYS FROM( Purchase Date, TODAY ) > 60

"Your account is «.b»past due«.be»."


"Your account is «.b»current«.be». Thank you."


Likewise, this is an example of a variable's plain-text resource that uses dot codes. Here, the name of a required form is italicized:

To get free service of the court's orders without paying a fee, you must fill out and file the «.i»Request and Order for Free Service of Restraining Order«.ie».

When you type double angle brackets (<< >>), HotDocs converts them to chevrons (« »). You can manually enter the dot code by typing the brackets with the format code between them.