'Document assembly' is the process by which an operator creates an entire document from a variety of component parts and then personalizes that document to meet the needs of the intended recipient.
Included within the scope of the term 'document assembly' are how source clauses are:
Library: A ‘library’ is the top-most level. It is a collection of up to 10 'books,' along with rules and settings that control the assembly process. You can create and save an unlimited number of libraries.
Book: The concept of a Pathagoras 'book' is quite simple. A 'book' simply is a pointer to the folder on your computer (or network) where your source clauses are stored. When Pathagoras makes a call on a book, it is simply reading the file names in the folder to which it points. Recognizing the simplicity of 'what is a book' will lead to a much faster learning curve for Pathagoras. The terms 'book' and 'folder' can be used interchangeably.
• A ‘folder’ is a standard, ordinary Windows folder containing Word documents. This is the most common type of book. See separate topic called Folder of Terms for more additional information on creating and adding terms to folders.
•A ‘glossary’ is a special, entirely optional, type of book. It is an advanced function of Pathagoras. You do not need to be familiar with this specialty 'book' to fully implement the program. A glossary is a single Word document that contains multiple clauses used to assembly documents. Instead of each clause residing inside separate documents within a folder, all terms reside in the same document. The individual terms are separated from each other by ‘bookmarks.’ See Glossary for more information.
It is very important that you understand at this point that 'books' are pointers to locations, and nothing more. Books are not the actual text found at those location. By the same token, a 'library' is not some sort of 'super' folder which contains the actual text of its enclosed books. It is just a text file that contains the (up to 10) references to the books assigned to it.
Therefore, when we say that a library 'contains' books, we mean that a library contains the pointers to the various folders or glossaries reflected in the library. A 'library' is a simple 10-line text file that comprises your collection of 'book' pointers.
This should explain how a library can 'contain' books, yet those books can reflect so many disparate physical locations.
Attempts to make this definition more 'complex' than "a book is a pointer to a folder" will lead to frustration. Pathagoras really is designed on a simple straightforward model. Please don't try to over-think it.
Clause: A ‘clause’ is the smallest component of text that you have designated for assembly. It can be anything – a single word, a phrase, a group of sentences, paragraphs, pages, pictures, charts, etc. A clause can even be a complete document.
•Clauses typically represent the component parts of a larger document. It includes 'boilerplate language,' but also includes text and images that will reflect the personality and personal data of the intended recipient.
•A good 'book' will contain many alternative versions of the same topic. You should make a concerted effort to have a wide selection of clauses from which to build documents. The more variations, the more 'powerful' the system, and the better the final document can be. With an appropriate collection of clauses, strategically organized in appropriate books and libraries, you can create an infinite variety of documents to meet all client and customer needs. When you encounter a new variation of an existing clause, Pathagoras makes it easy to add it to your book.
Package: A group of documents typically produced for a customer as part of a single transaction. A real estate transaction 'package' would comprise a deed, deed of trust or mortgage, warranties and guarantees, and other closing documents. An estate planning 'package' would comprise a will, a trust, funding documents, a power of attorney, etc. See this section of the Manual.
Process: To process a document is to reduce it down (if using a template) or build it up (if clause and paragraph assembly) to an initial rough draft for the situation at hand. The result of a 'processed document is a perfect 'rough draft.' Such draft contains the appropriate text, with all options and optional text block questions answered and repeat blocks handled. All that is needed after 'processing' is to personalize the document (defined below). Options and optional text questions are asked, repeat blocks are 'repeated' the appropriate number of times. Processing occurs before 'personalizing' for a very logical reason. A preprocessed document rarely has the variables you want in place. When using a template as your starting point, it may have far more variables than the final document will contain. When assembling clauses and paragraphs from a blank slate, there may be none at the starting stages. Note: Processing automatically occurs in Pathagoras when you call text to the editing screen via Pathagoras' two primary 'document assembly' tools: the (1) Clause Selection Screen and (2) DropDown Lists. The result of a 'processed' document is a perfect 'rough draft.' (You can 'force' processing a document by pressing <Alt-P>.)
Personalize: To 'personalize' a document is to replace variables in the document with personal text. The Instant Database module (Alt-D) is the tool used for this process. It searches for and displays the variables in the left column. The right column is used to provide the personal information.
Variable: A 'variable' is a place holder for personal data. You should strategically place variables within your source clauses where you want that data to appear. Consequently, those variables will also appear in the first draft of any newly assembled document.
•Pathagoras prides itself on its use of plain text variables. Plain text variables are easy to create and insert into the source text. They are easy for operators and data entry clerks to understand when the final product needs to be personalized. See Variables.
Pathagoras stores source clauses in standard ".doc" or ".docx" files for easiest editing. See '.doc' vs. '.dot'
'Pathagorizing' (more accurately: 'neutering') is the process of preparing a document for use within the Pathagoras document assembly system. The process includes removing / redacting personal information from the original text and designating variables and optional text blocks which will be processed automatically by Pathagoras at document assembly time.
•The goal of 'Pathagorizing' is to make all clauses 'neutral' so that, after you bring it to the screen during a document assembly session, you can quickly and accurately personalize it for the specific client.
•The more neutral the document, the lower the chances will be that you will have a noun, pronoun or verb that is inappropriate in the context, or that you will accidentally leave the name of an earlier client's spouse as the beneficiary of the current client's Will!
•See separate section called Pathagorizing text for more information.
Optional Text: Keep it or delete it text. Fully discussed beginning at this link.
Options Text: Multiple choice text. Select the text you want to keep; the remaining choices will be deleted. Fully discussed at this link.
Repeating text: Blocks of text that will be repeated 'X' number of times. Useful for listing actors (e.g., 'children,' 'shareholders,' etc.) when the number of these actors is not initially known. Fully discussed at this link.
Document Disassembly: The process of deconstructing a complete document into its component parts. The result is two (or twenty or two hundred) building blocks of text. The blocks in turn can be augmented by appropriate additional clauses offering variations and alternatives, and further augmented by bracketed variables and by strategically placed option, options and repeat text blocks. The goal is to be able to select from a large variety of available terms so that finely tailored initial draft can be created to quickly address the client's or customer's need. See this link for full discussion.
Administrative text: Those non-substantive portions of Pathagoras' Options, Optional and Repeat text blocks that will always be deleted from the document during processing. The administrative text comprises the boundary markers, the command terms (and any arguments), the (optional) !groupname! of the block, the (optional) prompts and multiple choice labels, and other processing instructions that are unique to the block being created. Since these elements will never remain in the document, regardless of choice being made, that's what makes them 'administrative.'. The end of administrative text is denoted by a closing asterisk ('*'). See this link for form information and examples.
Interview: A series of questions asked at the beginning of the final assembly process regarding what you want included/discarded in the final document. It consists of <<*Ask. . . >> questions (AskOptions, AskOptional and AskRepeat) that are presented in a menu format. The interview is asked in a single window, with multiple questions being asked. (This is as opposed to the typical assembly process where the questions are asked as the Options and Optional blocks are incurred as Pathagoras scans the document for those commands. The interview is often referred to in this Manual as the 'Ask Table'..
Document management deals with quick and efficient storage and retrieval of documents.
Pathagoras’ document management module is reflected in the PathSmart and SaveSmart modules. They shed the 'library/books’ metaphor used in the document assembly module, and adopt the terms 'Profiles’ and 'SmartPaths' to describe the groupings.
A ‘SmartPath’ is a pointer to a specific folder on your computer or network. Each SmartPath is assigned a number and a nickname. The program can access the SmartPath by 'clicking' on the desired SmartPath or, mouselessly, by typing the SmartPath number to the screen and pressing <Alt-G>. (The module is called PathSmart, but each pointer is called a SmartPath.) See separate topic called SmartPaths.
A ‘profile’ is a collection of up to 10 ‘SmartPaths.’ A profile groups the folders ('paths') that a user is likely to go for non-document assembly purposes. (It can be for document assembly purposes as well, but 'libraries' were specifically create for that purpose. Since it reflects the usage pattern of a specific user, a profile is typically given the name of the current user or the name of an office section. See Also: Settings
A ‘SuperSmartPath’ is a regular SmartPath with one additional, but very powerful, feature. A SuperSmartPath allows you not only instant access to the folder to which it points, but to all sub-folders beneath it. See Also: SuperSmartPaths.
A database is simply a tool to collect and save important information for a process. Pathagoras has its own 'Instant Database' that allows you to assign values to variables for a particular client, to save the variables-to-values pairings for that client, and to reuse that data anywhere else it can be used to save you some typing (and opportunities for errors). Pathagoras can also link to other sources of data.
Pathagoras can link to a variety of data source for completing variable and obtaining (when properly constructed) assembly instructions (clause/document names, conditional text choices, and repeat instructions)
Simple Database: Excel only: Either two columns or two rows of data, 1st column (or row) contains variable names that match your document variables. 2nd column (or row) contains the values assigned to the variable for this particular client or customer. When you import a simple database record, the text in the first column occupies the left column of the IDB screen and the value in the second column (row) occupies the parallel entry at the right.
Fancy Database: Excel only. Cells in the spreadsheet have been given names that match your document variables. When you import a fancy database record, the name of the cell occupies the left column of the IDB screen and the value in the named cell occupies the parallel entry at the right.
Multi-record: Excel only. With a multi-record spreadsheet, you can store an unlimited amount of 'standard' data in a single spreadsheet for an unlimited number of clients/customers. The first row of the spreadsheet must contain the variable names that match your document variables. This is called the 'header' row. The remaining rows contain the personal data for your clients/customers. When you import a database record into your IDB screen, the variable names in the header row occupies the left column of the IDB screen and the value of the selected individual record occupies the parallel entry at the right.