A common definition for Intelligent Document refers specifically to document assembly templates, such as are commonly built in document assembly(document automation) platforms. More specifically, though, the term Intelligent Document is also commonly linked to XLM-based document assembly templates. However, this distinction is arbitrary, at best, and misleading at worst, given the most common understanding of the word intelligent.

The problem begins with XML-based editors vs. MS Word, which has many times the formatting/page-layout/auto numbering/etc. types of feature sets as any XML editor. Put another way, Word is radically more intelligent by itself than XML editors. So from a pure word processing viewpoint, XML-based document assembly engines begin at a real disadvantage. 

Now when you take into account that HotDocs, easily the most powerful, flexible, document-assembly platform, works inside MS Word, you really have to reconsider the existing definition of Intelligent Document. Because in comparison to a document template built by HotDocs in MS Word, a template built in an XML-based document assembly application would be . . . well, let’s just say not so intelligent!