Many of the posts on this blog assume you already have a basic understanding of the fundamental working parts of HotDocs. However, these “Back to the Basics” posts are specifically designed for those of you who are new to HotDocs, to discuss the basic features that you need to know about.

A HotDocs answer file is produced after filling out an interview. It is basically a list of all the answers you have given in the interview, either manually or through a database connection. This answer file can then be saved and re-used later, to avoid filling in information for the same client or situation more than once.

For example, let’s say you work for a bank and use HotDocs to fill out loan applications and mortgage agreements, among other documents. A customer applies for a loan, so you fill out the loan application HotDocs interview with his or her name, address, phone number, etc. HotDocs merges the information you provided into the template and generates a finished loan application document. You then save the answers you gave in the interview to a HotDocs answer file.

After the loan is approved, let’s say you need to create a mortgage agreement for this same client. Since you already filled in all of his or her information on the loan application template, you can simply open the answer file you saved and use it to fill out part of (or all of) the interview for the mortgage agreement. Just complete the remaining questions (if there are any), and you’re good to go. Thanks to HotDocs answer files, you’ll never have to enter a single piece of information twice again!