Component File Overview

A component file is a file (.cmp) that stores components for one or more templates. For example, when you create a template, HotDocs creates a file with the same name as the template (but with a .cmp file extension) to hold all the components you create as you are building out your template's functionality.

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  1. Overview
  2. Common Tasks
  3. Workflow
  4. Common Reference Topics


A component file is one of three files that make up a template. (The other two are the template file itself, and the template configuration file.) The component file contains all the components you create for a given template. The default name for the component file HotDocs creates for a given template is the template filename and extension, followed by the .cmp extension. For example, a DOCX template's component file name format is: TemplateFileName.cmp.

The name of the component file associated with your template appears in the template details pane of Workspace Explorer. If you click the link to the right of the word Components, HotDocs opens the Windows File Explorer so you can see the location of the component file on your hard drive.

Common Tasks

Among others, the component file enables you to perform the following common tasks:


HotDocs creates a matching component file by default whenever you create a template. If you want to use a different component file with a given template, you can do this (see Common Tasks, above). Once you have a component file, you use it by opening Component Studio, which provides the interface you need to create the various types of components you can create in HotDocs Author, and edit their properties.

HotDocs uses the components you create in the component file to gather and format the information you need to fill in the placeholders in the template file that reference those components. There are two paths to adding a component to a component file, You can:

Common Reference Topics

Among others, the following reference topics relate to this conceptual area: