Why you need an alias (for document creation) 😉

Why you need an alias for document creation

Drafting the question structure for a document template is a task that demands the utmost concentration. The structure must be logical, complete and well-organized. Complete, but not too complete… You can avoid the latter by linking identical questions, i.e. the same question appearing in different places in the template.

Imagine you’re responsible for drawing up employment contracts in your organization. A critical task, where attention to detail is a must. Of course most of the process is now automated. The handy wizard in your document creation software lets you transform a document template into a personalized employment contract in no time at all. It’s too bad the question on the start date appears several times in the question structure. Why is that? Perhaps because your template builder didn’t catch it during the build. And because that start date is linked to three different clauses in the contract. Of course one is the official date when the new employee will start work, but there’s also the start date of the associated cell phone plan and the handover date for the leased car. Isn’t there an easier way?

“Oh boy, duplicate work!” - Said no one ever

It’d sure be surprising if we just told you “it is what it is”, and concluded this blog with “good luck with it, bud!” It’s all so predictable: of course we’re going to tell you there’s an easier way. No one wants to answer the same question three times in a row. That’d be like brushing your teeth three times in a row: a waste of time. Template builders take note! There’s another way.

Meet the alias

The solution in this story is the SmartDocuments alias. An alias lets you link matching questions together. In concrete terms, this means merging those three identical questions into one. The link ensures that the wizard only asks the question once, but plugs the answer into the three defined places. We won’t bore you with all the technology behind it, but one thing’s for sure: it makes document creation that much easier.

Often struggle with building your wizard? Our experienced template builders will be happy to show you the tricks of the trade (like the alias). Is our software all new to you? We’ll be happy to tell you more!