If you’re a new convert to HotDocs document assembly, you might be wondering how to get started. Here’s a handy checklist you can use to make sure you have everything you need to create your first HotDocs template:

1. HotDocs Developer. First and foremost, you need the HotDocs authoring tool, HotDocs Developer. It is the key piece of software that will allow you to create templates. Click here for a full list of system requirements for Developer.

Note: You can also generate documents using the templates in Developer, but if someone besides yourself (or multiple someones) will be assembling documents from the templates you have created, they will each need a license to HotDocs User or a subscription to HotDocs Document Services.

2. A PC with Microsoft Windows. Unfortunately, HotDocs Developer and HotDocs User will not function on a Mac computer, unless it runs in a virtual PC environment with Microsoft Windows (version 7, Vista, or XP). 

Note: While templates cannot be created on a Mac, they can be deployed to end users (those people who create documents from templates but cannot edit the templates themselves) on a Mac by using HotDocs Document Services.

3. A Word Processor. HotDocs Developer works inside Microsoft Word (version 2010, 2007, 2003, XP, or 2000) or Corel Word Perfect (version X5, X4, X3, 12, 11, 10, 9, or 8). As long as you have one of these standard word processors installed on your computer, you’re good to go.

4. Your documents. HotDocs doesn’t sell ready-to-use templates or pre-packaged forms, which means Developer helps you create templates from your own documents. That’s great news for you because it guarantees that each document you assemble will have your own personal touch and customization, instead of a mass-produced form that may not be able to reflect each unique situation. So pull out all the documents that you want to turn into templates, and get ready to roll!

While it is certainly not required to use HotDocs, we highly recommend that you watch our free “Intro to HotDocs Document Assembly” webinar before diving head-first into template development. It will teach you how HotDocs works and walk you through the process of simple variable creation. If you need some extra help learning how to use the software, you may also want to download the complimentary HotDocs Developer Installation Guide and Tutorial, attend a HotDocs training class, or sign up for our personalized consulting services.

If you have any questions about the specific requirements for developing templates, feel free to give us a call at 800-500-3627F or leave a comment below.