Input Masks Overview

An Input Mask is a text pattern you can use to ensure your template user provides an answer in the correct form when answering a Text variable in the interview. For example, if you want your template user to provide a U.S. Social Security number, you could choose the following input mask (using the Input Mask property on the Display tab of the Text Variable Editor): 999-99-9999, or if you want someone to properly enter a time, you could choose the 99:99 a.m. input mask.

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  1. Overview
  2. Common Tasks
  3. Workflow
  4. Input Masks Included with Author
  5. Use Codes to Customize an Input Mask


Whenever you need to ensure that you are gathering textual data in the correct form, you want to use an input mask. There are a list of input masks that HotDocs provides on the My Formats tab of the HotDocs Options Dialog Box. You can add or delete from this list as you want. The values that appear on the My Formats tab are the values that you can choose from the Input Mask property's drop-down list on the Display tab of the Text Variable Editor.

Common Tasks

Among others, input masks enables you to perform the following common tasks:


A display property that controls the type and order of characters a user can enter into the interview for a specific text variable. You can access input masks in:

Input Masks Included with Author

The following input masks are included with Author:

Input Mask Template User's (Attempted) Answer How Answer is Displayed in the Interview and the Document After Assembly
999-99-9999 222-22-2222 222-22-2222
(999)-99-9999 222-222-222 (222)-22-2222

99:99 am

800 AM 8:00 am

99:99 a.m.

800 PM 8:00 p.m.


1230 pm 12:30

Use Codes to Customize an Input Mask

In addition to being able to create your own input masks, HotDocs also enables you to use codes to customize the specific characters in the input masks you create. You can use the following codes, along with hyphens, periods, static text, etc.) to customize any input masks you create:

Code What HotDocs Will Require in the Interview
X Any character
9 Any numeric character
A Any alphabetic character
U Uppercase alphabetic character
L Lowercase alphabetic character
N Alphanumeric character (9 and A)
H Hexadecimal character (0-9, A-F, a-f)

If you need a character in your input mask that HotDocs may interpret as a code, such as the letter X, you can force the character to appear as part of the input mask by typing a forward slash (/) and then the character.