An <<*Ask. . .*>> command requires the following elements:

Opening '<<' and closing '>>'  to designate the scope of the command. (Remember: the red, blue, cyan and green colors used in these examples are not important. The color is only for emphasis and clarity.)
 

The term "*AskOptions*", "*AskOptional*", "*AskRepeat*", "*AskValue*" (depending upon the nature of the command) followed by the !groupname!. Of course, this !groupname! will tie the answer to the *Ask* to the related Options/Optional/Repeat blocks in the body of the document.

o<<*AskOptions*>> blocks: list the choices you want to present to the end user. Separate each choice with a '/'. Close the list with a '*'.
 
E.g.,
 
<<*AskOptions*!shipmethod!FedEx/UPS/USPS*>>
 
       and later in the document:
 
Your order will be sent by <<*Options*!shipmethod!Federal Express (2 day delivery)/United Parcel Service (ground; allow 4 days for delivery)/US Postal Service (1st class mail).>>

o<<*AskOptional*>> blocks: pose the question that you want the end user to answer. Close the question with a '*'.  
 
E.g.,
 
<<*AskOptional*!freeshipping!Will shipping be free?*>>
 
       and later in the document
 
<<*Optional*!freeshipping!*Plus, if you place your order in the next 30 days, your shipping is free!>>

oFor <<*AskRepeat*>> blocks, pose the question that you want the end user to answer. Close the question with a '*'.
 
E.g.,
 
<<*AskRepeat*!NumCdn!*How many children?*>>
 
information See discussion on how Pathagoras handles the repeats 'count' with Options blocks beginning this page of the Manual.

oFor <<*AskValue*>> blocks, you can ask a question that you want the end user to answer. Close the question with a "*".
 
E.g.,
 
<<*AskValue*!Score!*>> or
 
<<*AskValue*!Score!Test Score?*>>
 
       and later in the document
 
<<*Options*!Score!0-59/60-69/70-79/80-89/90-100*F/D/C/B/A>>

 

information  Okay, why the final '*'? Just like in a regular <<*Options/Optional*>> block, the asterisk closes the administrative section. The administrative section includes any prompts/questions that are posed. In an <<*Ask*>> block, it is all 'administrative text' since none of it remains in the document. Hence the need for the final '*'.)

information  Each Ask command must reside on its own line. It cannot reside on the same line as another Ask command,  nor can any other text be combined with it.

information  The Ask commands, collectively, constitute the Interview phase of document assembly. As such, the commands should appear at the top of the document. The Ask table can also reside in a separate document that you call in as a 'building block.' You should avoid interspersing Ask commands within the document body. Pathagoras will likely not crash if you do, but it is not considered a best practice.