HotDocs

Template-driven, automated document & form assembly software

4,1 /5 (50 reviews) Write a Review!

HotDocs Overview

What is HotDocs?

HotDocs is a document automation software that uses a template creation system to transform existing documentation of all kinds. The solution works by having subject matter experts who create the original HotDocs templates before end users complete dynamic HotDocs interviews for populating the document with customized data and calculated figures where required. Benefits revolve around the implied reduction of human error associated with manual editing and the time / effort costs incurred, while enhancing areas around content control, accuracy, branding and overall document quality.

For example, legal and potentially complex documents such as contracts, loan agreements, wills and trusts can require lengthy re-editing to reflect the circumstances of each new transaction or case. This traditionally involves a lot of searching, replacing, cutting, pasting and manual "fixing", which can lead to inaccuracies or inconsistencies. HotDocs automates this process and promises to remove such oversights by working within a preferred word processor to transform existing documents into flexible HotDocs templates that are capable of generating new specific variants. These templates are instantiated by a series of data gathering question and answer forms known as an "interview", utilizing branching logic to fully define a document while validating data entry. Variables are then inserted into HotDocs templates to represent the data normally subject to change such as names, dates and numbers, plus computed variables that are based on calculations. The addition of business rules define the inclusion of relevant clauses that apply to a certain instance, use case or scenario. Once generated, HotDocs templates can be used on the desktop, across a server network environment and within the Abacus Private Cloud.

HotDocs Overview

Pricing

Starting from
US$25,00/month

Pricing options

Free Trial
Subscription
Value for money

Starting at $25 per user per month, with minimum 5 seats ($125). Contact AbacusNext for pricing on 6+ users.


HotDocs Features

Devices
Business size
S M L
Markets
United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, China, Germany, Mexico
Supported Languages
Arabic, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Czech, Danish and 22 others, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Hebrew, Hungarian, Indonesian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Taiwanese, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian

Media

Author field editor
Author simple mark up
Advance help
Interview
Advance work group
Document preview
Answer summary
HotDocs screenshot: Author field editor HotDocs screenshot: Author simple mark up HotDocs screenshot: Advance help HotDocs screenshot: Interview HotDocs screenshot: Advance work group HotDocs screenshot: Document preview HotDocs screenshot: Answer summary

HotDocs Reviews

HotDocs Reviews

Overall rating
4,1
/
5
Excellent
24

Very good
14

Average
6

Poor
3

Terrible
3

Value for Money
3,6
Features
4
Ease of Use
3,5
Customer Support
3,8
76% recommended this app
Gordon B.

Outstanding document production, fair UI

Document automation saves time and reduces errors. I've found HotDocs to be extremely reliable, stable, and bug-free.


Gene T.

The obvious choice for professional users

While we use HotDocs ourselves, and have since 2012, our main use of HotDocs is now on behalf of our customers, who are mainly lawyers (in firms or in-house legal teams). As noted above, we find it is an extremely powerful document automation tool, which can be used on almost any forms of document. We've had good support from our key contacts at HotDocs, and after 4 years with LawHawk (and having recently upgraded to the new HotDocs Author/Advance product range) I remain very happy with the solution.

The overall time savings (75%+) and quality improvements that you can expect to get every time are substantial, and one of our customers won a 2019 IACCM Asia Pacific Award for Operational Improvement as a result of their HotDocs automation project.

Because it is a very established product, with a lot of written guidance and a large user community, it's very easy to work out in advance what can be done and how best to do it.


Jay F.

Gets the job done, quite overpriced, and does about 80% of what it should

Gets the job done, and is ultimately worth it if your time is very valuable. Very expensive, and clearly only going to get more so.

The document sets available are decent, but not amazing.


Jared H.

Great product for automating standard legal forms.

Overall, a very good and versatile experience. You will want to have experience in higher-level logic and computer coding language in order to make full use of the features HotDocs provides (or hire a consultant who can do the programming for you).


Jonathan S.

Great software, but still needs to improve

It's really the best software out there for what it does. It just still seems behind the times in terms of connectivity, componentization, and still no HiDPI support.


Gordon B.

Outstanding document production, fair UI

Used Daily for 2+ years
Reviewed on 2018/02/28
Review Source: Capterra

Document automation saves time and reduces errors. I've found HotDocs to be extremely reliable, stable, and bug-free.

Pros

This product's integration with Microsoft Word is outstanding. It is a fantastic scripting tool for document generation. I've also prepared some documents in WordPerfect and it seems entirely capable with that as well.

Cons

Hands down, the data entry interview is crude at best. It is probably ok for a developer who has never worked with another UI, but the "automation" it provides comes at a steep price - loss of control. If you want truly professional user interfaces, you'll have to write the front-end in some other language, write an "answer file" HotDocs can understand (which is not hard, it is very basic XML) and then let HotDocs work its magic to assemble the language in Word. When used that way, HotDocs is very powerful and flexible. When used in its native UI, it is fairly inflexible.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend: 10.0/10

Gene T.
Industry: Legal Services
Company size: 2-10 Employees

The obvious choice for professional users

Used Daily for 2+ years
Reviewed on 2020/03/17
Review Source: Capterra

While we use HotDocs ourselves, and have since 2012, our main use of HotDocs is now on behalf of our customers, who are mainly lawyers (in firms or in-house legal teams). As noted above, we find it is an extremely powerful document automation tool, which can be used on almost any forms of document. We've had good support from our key contacts at HotDocs, and after 4 years with LawHawk (and having recently upgraded to the new HotDocs Author/Advance product range) I remain very happy with the solution.

The overall time savings (75%+) and quality improvements that you can expect to get every time are substantial, and one of our customers won a 2019 IACCM Asia Pacific Award for Operational Improvement as a result of their HotDocs automation project.

Because it is a very established product, with a lot of written guidance and a large user community, it's very easy to work out in advance what can be done and how best to do it.

Pros

I think HotDocs is THE choice to use when you need to prepare more complex legal documents, particularly in packages. We are lawyers who specialise in automating documents for other law firms in areas like loan and security documents, share sale agreements, and complex wills and estates. We really haven't found anything we can't do with HotDocs, but we know that most (if not all) of the other document automation tools we've looked at, and sometimes use for simpler work, couldn't do the job at the high end.

While a lot of focus is on the actual document creation aspect, we also really like the ability to build organisational compliance and training into the interview questionnaires.

Cons

The biggest issue with HotDocs is the annual per user licensing model, which restricts the ability to use HotDocs in situations where you have a lot of POTENTIAL users, who may only need to use it occasionally.

It also stops people from starting to use it when they don't know how large the benefits will be.

I would love to see a more flexible licensing model that allowed people to get started using HotDocs, because they would love it, and would quickly see many more uses. With a more scalable licensing model, I think millions more people would use it.

The ability to collaborate with others (e.g. via client interviews) would be a great help.

I'd also like to see more easy - out of the box - integration with other systems, particularly Office 365.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend: 10.0/10

Jay F.
Industry: Law Practice
Company size: 2-10 Employees

Gets the job done, quite overpriced, and does about 80% of what it should

Used Daily for 2+ years
Reviewed on 2020/06/22
Review Source: Capterra

Gets the job done, and is ultimately worth it if your time is very valuable. Very expensive, and clearly only going to get more so.

The document sets available are decent, but not amazing.

Pros

Saves time, and is very commonly used (and therefore understood) outside of our office.

Cons

Very expensive, and requires re-entry of data already entered far too often. The actual coding in documents is surprisingly opaque, and converting existing document structures to a HotDocs format is exceptionally cumbersome. The existing form sets that are on top of HotDocs are useful, and the community is broad, but the quality is hit or miss.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend: 6.0/10

Jared H.
Industry: Law Practice
Company size: 2-10 Employees

Great product for automating standard legal forms.

Used Daily for 6-12 months
Reviewed on 2020/07/28
Review Source: Capterra

Overall, a very good and versatile experience. You will want to have experience in higher-level logic and computer coding language in order to make full use of the features HotDocs provides (or hire a consultant who can do the programming for you).

Pros

Product provides enough features and flexibility to customize almost any type of form.

Cons

The web-based version of the product is probably still in its early stages of development. This shouldn't discourage you from using it. The program has a bright future and there the potential gains in efficiency and form robustness are worth it.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend: 8.0/10

Jonathan S.
Industry: Legal Services
Company size: 11-50 Employees

Great software, but still needs to improve

Used Daily for 2+ years
Reviewed on 2018/03/03
Review Source: Capterra

It's really the best software out there for what it does. It just still seems behind the times in terms of connectivity, componentization, and still no HiDPI support.

Pros

It is extremely flexible and can help you craft just about any document that you want. I prefer the desktop version to the cloud version. It just works every time!

Cons

I feel that HotDocs has been stagnating recently. Here are some things that they need to address:
*Easy import/export of answer data to other formats. For example, if I use some other tool such as an online form, it should have the ability to import that data into an answer file.
*It still doesn't support Hi-DPI displays.
*It would be great it if could be more flexible in the storage of answer data. The ability to componentize the fields/answer data would be wonderful. As it stands, each template is limited to only one component file.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend: 8.0/10

User recommendation
8,1/10
Based on 50 user ratings
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HotDocs Pricing

HotDocs Pricing

Starting from
US$25,00/month
Free Trial
Subscription
Value for money

Starting at $25 per user per month, with minimum 5 seats ($125). Contact AbacusNext for pricing on 6+ users.

Starting at $25 per user per month, with minimum 5 seats ($125). Contact AbacusNext for pricing on 6+ users.

Value for Money
3,6/5
Based on 50 user ratings
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HotDocs Features

HotDocs Features

API
Access Control
Activity Dashboard
Activity Tracking
Automatic Notifications
Chat
Collaboration Tools
Collaborative Workspace
Commenting
Customizable Branding
Document Management
Document Storage
Drag & Drop Interface
File Management
Permission Management
Projections
Reporting & Statistics
Search Functionality
Third Party Integration
Workflow Management
Features
4/5
Based on 50 user ratings
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Categories

Additional information for HotDocs

Additional information for HotDocs

Key features of HotDocs

  • Application integration
  • Approval process management
  • Customizable fields
  • Customizable templates
  • Document delivery
  • Document storage
  • Multi-language
  • Template management

Benefits

  • HotDocs offers a platform of products to aid the automated generation of all document types for legal and business applications, supporting document distribution within desktop and cloud environments.
  • Capable of handling documents or forms from the most simple to the most complex, the software also promises to fit seamlessly within a familiar manual workflow by residing within a chosen word processing suite.
  • The software works from HotDocs templates, which end users then populate and customize by completing a question and answer-based, dynamic "interview" that embeds customized data and computations using variables.
  • Business rules can also be inserted to intelligently append certain clauses and stipulations that only apply to certain use cases or applications.
  • HotDocs promises to significantly reduce the risk of error and the time taken to produce tailored documents, while significantly improving content control, accuracy, branding and overall document quality.
  • HotDocs FAQs

    HotDocs FAQs

    Below are some frequently asked questions for HotDocs.

    Q. What type of pricing plans does HotDocs offer?

    HotDocs offers the following pricing plans:

    Starting from: US$25,00/month

    Pricing model: Subscription

    Free Trial: Available

    Starting at $25 per user per month, with minimum 5 seats ($125). Contact AbacusNext for pricing on 6+ users.

    Q. What are the main features of HotDocs?

    HotDocs offers the following features:

    • Application integration
    • Approval process management
    • Customizable fields
    • Customizable templates
    • Document delivery
    • Document storage
    • Multi-language
    • Template management

    Q. Who are the typical users of HotDocs?

    HotDocs has the following typical customers:

    Small Business, Large Enterprises, Mid Size Business

    Q. What languages does HotDocs support?

    HotDocs supports the following languages:

    Arabic, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Hebrew, Hungarian, Indonesian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Taiwanese, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian

    Q. What type of pricing plans does HotDocs offer?

    HotDocs has the following pricing plans:

    Subscription

    Q. Does HotDocs support mobile devices?

    We do not have any information about what devices HotDocs supports

    Q. What other apps does HotDocs integrate with?

    HotDocs integrates with the following applications:

    Actionstep, Microsoft 365, Microsoft Word, Tabs3

    Q. What level of support does HotDocs offer?

    HotDocs offers the following support options:

    Phone Support, Online Support, Knowledge Base, Video Tutorials