The 'Plain Text' Document Assembly Program

Note: The information on this and other screens in this 'Features' section describe the various features available within the Pathagoras Document Assembly and Document Management System.
The actual steps needed to implement the various features can be found in the highly illustrated, fully indexed, interactive Online Help System which can be accessed from the Online Help link at the left of every screen.

     Pathagoras provides true document assembly and document automation without the necessity of programming, hidden fields, SmartTags, etc.

  • Pathagoras uses your text, not a 'canned' set of static clauses. Build documents using words you prefer; the ones you developed over many years of experience.

  • You can store clauses to be used for document assembly in one of two ways:

    • In a folder. We mean a standard Word/Windows document folder. The way you do it right now. No new concept is at play here. You don't even have to create any new folders. The ones you current have will work just fine!

      The 'nice thing' about this method of document storage is that you and your staff are fully familiar with how it works. You are fully familiar with how to edit the content in a folder, and how to add more content to it. Pathagoras changes none of that, and lets you stay fully within your comfort zone.

    • In a 'glossary.'  This is optional. A glossary is a plain Word document that contains all of the terms of a particular subject area. The terms are organized within 'bookmarks.' Glossaries are easy to create, and have some benefits over folders of clauses. But the newcomer to Pathagoras probably should start with folders.

  • Pathagoras uses a libraries/books metaphor to help you organize groups of clauses created for document assembly purposes.
     
    • The top level, a library reflects the subject matter of the group.

    • individual 'books' encompassed by the library contain the clauses on a specific topic.

    For example, an attorney might have an 'Estate Planning' library containing books titled 'Wills,' 'Trusts.', 'Powers of Attorney', etc. That same attorney, or a commercial real estate broker, might have a separate 'Real Estate' library with books titles 'Deeds', 'Contracts,' 'Leases,' 'Amendments and Modifications,' etc.

    You can create and maintain an unlimited number of libraries. Up to 10 books can be placed on each library's shelves.

  • Document assembly is typically performed via Pathagoras' Clause Selection Screen. That Screen displays the clauses and terms from a source you designate:

    • If your source is a 'folder of terms,' Pathagoras lists all of the documents in that folder.

    • If your source is a 'glossary,' Pathagoras lists all of the terms contained in that glossary.

Pathagoras then displays those clause onto a selection screen. Choose one, some or all of the clauses to create a new document or insert the selected clause into the current document.

  • There are several alternatives to the document assembly method described above:

    • 'Mouseless' assembly: This feature allows you to type one or more clause names you want to insert into your document the left margin of a screen. Press the <Alt-G> trigger key and the clause names are read, located and inserted. This feature garners big "wows."

    • Clause Sets:  You can pour any number of clause names into a single document, and save that document out as a 'clause set'. When the clause set is called for assembly, each individual document referenced by the set is brought into the document.

    • DropDown Lists: This is the topic of a separate tab in this section of the website. Click DropDown Lists above.
  • "SuperBooks": Pathagoras offers two additional 'cool tools' to make document assembly incredibly easy. They are called 'SuperBooks.'

    • 'SuperFolder.' This is an ordinary Word document folder which has been designated as the SuperFolder in the Utilities/Settings screen of the program.

    • A 'SuperGlossary.' This is a standard Pathagoras glossary which has been designated as the SuperGlossary in the Utilities/Settings screen of the program.

    Both of these 'SuperBooks' are created and operate in a fashion identical to their counterparts described in the "Libraries and Books" discussion above. However, they operate independently of any library. Whenever you search for a clause mouselessly using an <Alt-G> call, Pathagoras will automatically look in the SuperBooks to see if the clause exists there.

  • Image assembly: Pathagoras can automate the assembly any type of file that can be manually inserted into a Word document. This includes the assembly of image files of any type. A Pathagoras 'book' can be a folder of images, and the list of image files can be displayed into a Clause Selection screen.

  • PDF assembly: Ditto the preceding paragraph.

  • WordPerfect® assembly: Ditto the preceding paragraph.

Note: You should view Pathagoras as a document assembly engine. It provides the tools and the means for you to create anything from a simple to a highly complex document assembly system, but it uses your, not canned, text. Because the clauses are yours, Pathagoras is ideal for all settings and disciplines:  law offices, project managers, contract writers, bid specialists and any other office or setting where documents using extensive standard and boilerplate text are created. See Representative Customers.

SaveSmart:

  • Instantly save documents to any folder using the assigned PathSmart number or nickname.


  • Instantly move an open document to another folder. (Without this feature, you would have to 'Save As' the document to the new folder and then locate the original document via Explorer and then delete it.


  • Instantly delete the document that is displayed on the editing screen. (Without this feature, you would have to close the document, locate it again via Explorer and then delete it.)


  • Instantly open the folder containing the active document.


  • Create default 'document saving' rules. You can teach Pathagoras to detect whether a document is a letter, a pleading, a contract or a memo, and assign a uniform naming style to the document based on its type.


Despite all of the features that Pathagoras makes available, all of them are optional. All Word® functions remain intact. Your system looks and operates the same as it did before Pathagoras.
'Document Management' is the process of storing and tracking documents. Pathagoras offers document management tools through its 'PathSmart' and 'SaveSmart' modules.

PathSmart:
  • Assign any folder on your computer to a number (1-12). Access any folders on your computer or across your network with the assigned number. Twelve path assignments can be made per profile.


  • Give your folders "nicknames" to make remembering what you stored there a lot easier.


  • Create unlimited profiles per license on a single computer. Each user can have his or her own "setup" and a single user can have multiple setups. Only your imagination limits how Pathagoras can serve you.


  • Instantly activate any folder (no matter how far away it is in the directory tree) with a simple "double click" of the mouse.


  • Pre-filter the files you want to see before the directory is displayed. The speed is many times faster than the same function in Word. Exclusive filter feature will also 'peel-back' an over-specific filter.

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    E.g., if you are searching for a client whose you think begins with "Andr*" (Andrews?), ask for listing starting with "Andr". If Pathagoras finds no files beginning with those letters, Pathagoras will ask if you want to peel back the search to "And*" files   (Anderson, Andover). If none, then Pathagoras offers "An*" files, etc .

  • Pre-select types of files you want to see (*.doc, *.dot, *.text, etc.) before the directory is displayed.


  • Instant open feature: if you know the name of the file and its SmartPath number, just type it into the screen. Pathagoras will find and open it for you. No need to navigate to a folder or scroll down a list of files.


  • Highlight text, and create a new document using only the selected text.

In most cases, once a draft of a document has been created, must to be personalized to meet the needs of the particular client or customer for whom it was created. That is the role of the Instant Database module.

  • Scan for variables: After you have assembled a document, the [bracketed variables] contained in the source document(s) are carried over into the draft currently on the screen.

    Use the <Scan> feature of Instant Database to locate each [bracketed variable] and present them one an easy to complete 'replacement screen.'  Then, type in the spaces provided the apprpriate replacement text (a name, an address, etc.). Press the <Next> button and Pathagoras will quickly replace each variable with the appropriate personal value.

  • Personal Data Records: You can save the variable-to-personal-data pairings into a Personal Data Record. The next time you compose a document for the same client, the saved personal information can be reused. (This is the 'Database' part of 'Instant Database.')

  • No separate intake form required:  The Instant Database self-generates its own 'Intake Form.' Pathagoras eliminates the need for you (or a system administrator) to do so. No complex forms to create. No guessing at to what all of the possible variables in a particular document might be.

    This is a major time saver, not only early on in program setup, but later in program use. For example, if an interview worksheet required by other programs fails to include a particular document variable, document assembly will grinds to a halt while the worksheet is edited to include the variable.

    This will never happen with Pathagoras. If a Personal Data Record does not include a variable needed to complete a new document, just Scan the document. Any new variables are instantly added to the list where they can be completed and saved for another day.

  • Calendar features:  If the variable contains the word 'date' in any form, a button to activate a built in calendar will present. The user can click on a particular date and it will be inserted into the replacement field. The user can also perform 'date math' using addition tools provided in the calendar screen.


  • Calculator features: Pathagoras offers a simple calculator feature. If variable "A" and variable "B" are numeric values, variable "C" can be determined by composing a simple formula that can be maintained in a 'mask' (see discussion of 'masks' below).


  • CSV storage of Personal Data Records: Pathagoras saves its data in Comma Separated Value ("CSV") files. The benefits are two-fold.


    • CSV files can be read by other programs, so data put in once via Pathagoras can be readily used by other programs --database or otherwise -- that have the ability to read CSV files.


    • Pathagoras can read data from other programs that has been exported to a CSV file. Many Pathagoras customers export selected information from their main databases into a CSV file stored in the folder where Pathagoras looks for its data. After a document has been assembled and ready to be personalized, the user simply calls up the Personal Data Record.


    • NOTE:  If there are variables in the document that are not in the exported record (and that is frequently the case since most database systems do not attempt to store all variable data needed by every possible type of document), the user can simply Scan the document for the remaining variables. Pathagoras will find them and put them at the end of the variable list. The user then provides the personal information and completes the replacement process. Nothing could be easier.

  • 'Spell out' features: The IDB module provides tools to expand numbers to their 'spelled out' equivalents. So "$22,150" and be transformed to "Twenty-two thousand one hundred fifty and 00/100 Dollars."


  • The world is your library: Since there are no underlying codes or fields that tie you to a specific program, any document and any term composed on any computer or derived from any source, is automatically 'Pathagoras ready.'

    Many 3rd party sources distribute sample forms and sample text with placeholders for personal information denoted between brackets. All of those documents are readily useable by Pathagoras.

    So, if any document has variables denoted by [brackets], you are ready to roll.

    Even if those markings aren't present, Pathagoras plain text editing makes it easy to add them.


  • Intake Form Masks: When you scan a document, the order in which Pathagoras will present the variables it finds will be in the order 'discovered' during the scan. This may not be optimal way to present the variables for completion.

    Pathagoras lets you reorganize the entries, add completion tips and save the result as an Intake Form mask. This mask can be easily edited for clarity, and it can be linked with various types of documents which contain the same variables. Multiple Intake Form masks can be created to take the various types of documents that you firm or company produces into account.

    DropDown Lists are always on, always visible lists of clauses, documents or forms in a designated folder or glossary.  There is really nothing quite like a DropDown List to quickly access your frequently used documents and clauses.

    • DropDown Lists sit at the top of the screen along side of other drop down lists that you use every day. 'Fonts,' 'Font size,' and 'Styles' are examples of drop down lists.

    • Pathagoras can display and maintain up to 10 DropDown Lists simultaneously.

    • When you need a clause for your 'work in progress' (whether that clause is a single sentence or paragraph or a complete multipage contract), it is simply a two step 'point and click' to transfer the content of the selected clause into the document you are currently editing.

    • Document assembly from the same or from several folders can be quickly accomplished.

    • Pathagoras provides a toggle to the right of the DropDown List collection which allows you to select whether the next item selected from a List will be inserted into the current document, or whether a new document should be created.

    • A selection from a DropDown List always brings up a copy of the selected item, never the original. There is no risk that you will accidentally overwrite your source document.

    • Handy tools provided at the foot of each DropDown List allow you to:

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    • change the width of the display to suit your needs.

    • switch the display to show document 'subjects' vs. document 'names' (assuming that you have assigned subjects to your document properties).

    • open the folder containing the listed terms. (You can quickly get to the source folder --no navigation required -- so that you can edit the source document.)

    • refresh the list to capture any new clauses added to the containing folder.

    • add highlighted text to the containing folder as a new document. Stated differently, you can simply highlight any text from any source, and add that highlighted text as a new document into the folder represented by the DropDown List. Pathagoras creates the new document automatically, saves it to the proper folder and refreshes the DropDown List. This is an absolutely remarkable tool that must be seen. A Pathagoras exclusive.

    • display the contents of the containing folder onto a Clause Selection Screen. From there, you can quickly select and assemble numerous (including all) items in the list at one time.

    • turn on/off Pathagoras 'Tree Service.'   Tree Service 'on' allows you the quickest possible access to the documents in the parent folder and any sub-folder beneath it.

  • Image assembly: Pathagoras can automate the assembly any type of file that can be manually inserted into a Word document. This includes the assembly of image files of any type. A Pathagoras DropDown List can list all image files in a folder, and the user can simply point and click into the current document the appropriate image files with no navigation whatsoever.
     
  • PDF assembly: Ditto the preceding paragraph.
  • WordPerfect® assembly: Ditto the preceding paragraph.

Summary: If you typically build your final documents from complete documents or templates, DropDown Lists will save you countless steps compared to other systems, and even compared to Pathagoras' own document assembly systems.

     There are many more features within the Pathagoras suite that are not discussed in previous sections. Here is a short list of some not yet mentioned.

  • GotForms? This is similar to the Instant Database module describe under a separate tab. It identifies [bracketed variables] and allow you to replace each variable with its appropriate personal value. However, it operates one variable at a time (as opposed to all variables at a time in the IDB module) and does not have a 'save to a database' feature. It is intended to work with quick, down and dirty forms completion where there is no need to save the information for reuse.
     
  • Name & Subject Editor. A tool such as this just doesn't exist anywhere else. It lets you display the names and current subjects of an entire folder of documents onto a single editable table. Change the names and subjects of one some or all of the documents as if you are editing a regular document. There is no easier way to edit and manage your document names and subjects.
  • SmartNotes. You can attach a 'usage' note to every clause to let a user know how and when a particular clause should be used within a document.

  • Conversion tools. Easily convert folders of clauses to glossaries, and vice versa. This makes it easy to 'test' which kind of book works best in your particular office environment.

  • Networking tools. If you purchase 3 or more licenses, you can activate Pathagoras networking tool, which include library and profile sharing features, messaging and other features. See the Help System for the full list.

  • *Star variables* Pathagoras allows you to maintain very long lists of multiple choice variables within what we call *star variables*.  These are easy to create lists which might represent the 50 United States or all of the countries on Earth. You reference them within a source document simply as (for example) "[*states*]". When the IDB module is activated, you are presented a list of all 50 states from which to choose.

  • "Tree Service." Available in several of the Pathagoras modules, the optional 'Tree Service' tells Pathagoras to display not only the documents within the target folder, but the sub-folders beneath it. This allows you instant access to hundreds, perhaps thousands, of documents without ever having to return to the Windows Explorer (the 'file opening screen').

  • Clause-sets. When assembling documents of let's say 12 sections, 10 of which are almost always the same, and only 2 might vary, it gets frustrating to repetitively select the same base paragraphs time after time. But on the other hand, you don't want to use a complete document as source text. Why? Because if a clause in a 'complete' document needs to change, and that same clause appears in 20 other 'complete documents,' you must open all 20 to effect the change.  Clause-sets is the solution. A clause set is in the nature of a complete document, but it is 'composed' of references to text, not the actual text. When document assembly is requested, Pathagoras assembles the referenced clauses. That way, if the substance of a particular clause changes, only the source clause need be changed. And the next time a clause set which contains a reference to the source is called, the freshest text will be inserted.

  • Synchronize:  Pathagoras allows you to store your source documents anywhere. On your 'C:\ drive, on any network drive, across the world on your wide area network, on an 'ftp://' server. And you can assemble with a direct connection to those files. But sometimes your connection to the file server is not available. A broken connection, no landline or wireless access. Or sometimes the connection is there, but the speed is lacking. Pathagoras allows you to synchronize you local computer (whether desktop or laptop) to the file server in the morning to make sure that you have the latest versions, and then you are no longer dependent upon the remote connection.

  • Backup and Restore: Save settings from one computer and store them in case of a crash, or transfer them to another computer.

  • 'Non-system' features of note:
    • You own the program. There is no monthly or annual license fees in order to keep what you have paid for.
    • You use your clauses. You don't need to convert to language proposed by someone else, but can use the clauses, paragraphs and documents that you have developed over the years.
    • You are not wedded to the Internet. The newest programs seem to be concentrating on storing text on remote servers. While not a bad idea in concept, it does make you dependant upon a service (your Internet connection) being up and fast.
        
    • We offer a 90 day free trial period. Lots of time to see if Pathagoras is right for you.

    • We offer the best customer service you will find anywhere. Write to us and we will answer your question within hours, not days. Call us and we will actually talk to you and point you in the right direction in seconds. (See our Reviews and Kudos page to see what others have to say about us.)

    • Full customer service is available whether you are using the 90 trial version or are a fully licensed user. Pathagoras is a true 'open source' program.