New Author Resources

If you are new to the authoring process, you may not know where to start. Here are a list of resources we have created for you to learn how to use A2J Author 5.0. We've also included a suggested "How to Get Started" list with suggestions on how to create your A2J Guided Interview project.  

WARNING: Do not use ampersands (&) in your A2J Guided Interviews. It causes the Guided Interview file to become corrupted and you won't be able to open the file from your Interviews Tab. 

New User Resources

A2J Author 6.0 Online Authoring Guide

Sample Exercise for A2J Author and HotDocs (Step-by-Step Instructions)

Video: The Basics of A2J Author 5.0 

Video: Getting to Know A2J Author and HotDocs

Video: Plain Language

Video: Simple and Conditional Branching in A2J Author 5.0

There are more training videos available on our YouTube Channel, youtube.com/a2jauthor.

Monthly New User Webinar - the 1st Thursday of every month at 11 am - generally about a specific area of the authoring tool and we take questions at the end. Register here

List of U.S. states - already alphabetically ordered for you to use in a drop down list within the Fields section of the Question Design Window. 

Document Assembly Programs Best Practices Guide for Court System Development and Implementation Using A2J Author, developed by the New York State Courts Access to Justice Program in 2013. 

How to Get Started

  1. Think about the scope of your project. 
  2. Pick the documents that you would like to automate. 
  3. Create a storyboard or flowchart of the questions you will need to ask the end user to help them fill out the document you are automating. 
  4. Create a list of variables that you will need to use in your A2J Guided Interview and HotDocs template. Think about all the pieces of information you are going to need to collect from the end user. 
  5. Learn how to use the authoring tools. See the list of New User resources above for learning A2J Author. We also host monthly New User Webinars where you can learn about a specfic topic and ask us questions. They are the first Thursday of every month (register here) at 11 am CDT. We have training videos on how to use HotDocs 10 as well on our YouTube Channel
  6. Automate your HotDocs template.
  7. Create your A2J Guided Interview. To access A2J Author 5.0, click the Author Tab at the top of this website. 
  8. Test, test, test! Get a fresh set of eyes to go over your work and pretend they are an end user seeing it for the first time. 
  9. Upload the A2J Guided Interview and HotDocs template to the national server (LawHelp Interactive) or host the A2J Guided Interview on your own server. 

If you have questions about the authoring process, feel free to reach out to us at webmaster@a2jauthor.org