This may be the most important topic of all in this Manual. It deal with the KISS principle, the first three letters of the acronym standing for 'Keep It Simple'.

   Pathagoras is designed in such a way that you can keep KISS firmly planted in mind.

   When you first begin to implement a project, keep it simple.

Leave everything in place. You do not have to create a 'Pathagoras folder' to store your documents. (You may if you wish, but that is a step you can take later on.)

Add only a few variables before you begin testing. Other programs have to convert your documents to their forms before you can test anything, so the tendency is to wait to test until the form is complete. Pathagoras, being all Word, and plain text, you can test immediately with no time wasted on compiling a form.

You do not have to create new documents just because you have 'Pathagorized' them. Let's say you have a form named "Simple Will." That form has underlines as holding spots for the variables. You manually change the first underline to a bracketed variable '[Testator]'. You then want to save the document. You now have a choice:

oSave and overwrite the original "Simple Will" document,

o'SaveAs' and create a new document.

Our preference is the first choice. When you make a simple change as described above, you have not affected the essential character of the document. Is simply has [Testator] instead of ______________. It is still your "Simple Will" form and there is no reason to clog your system with yet another Simple Will form.

Baby steps: In the beginning, don't try to use the high end tools, or the ones you don't yet understand.

oUse simple square brackets to identify your variables.

oUse {simple curly braces} to identify optional sections of text (text that you want to keep in some cases and discard in others).

Only after you have assembled a few client documents based on the simpler approaches should you take on the more sophisticated tools. You won't be doubling the work. That's because Pathagoras has a tool that can automatically convert your 'simple' forms to those which will utilize the more advanced and robust tools.

Here is an example:

You have a letter into which you have inserted a series of simple {options} blocks. You assemble the letter 4 or 5 times and realize that several of the options blocks are closely related -- if you choose to keep the first option block, you necessarily want to keep the other closely related ones. So you decide to assign each to the same group by inserting a simple !groupname! just to the inside of the option. E

E.g., {!children!I have [number of children]}  and later in the document:  {!children!I bequeath my property to my children.}

Still later, as you are assembling more and more documents, you may observe, "it sure would be nice if, instead of answering the variety of questions posed throughout the document as individual questions, I could answer them all at the beginning of the assembly process."

And Pathagoras can do that as well for you. From something as easy to create as the {simple options} discussed above, Pathagoras can automatically create for you robust <<*Options/Optional*>> text blocks. These blocks will allow you to pose more meaningful questions and prompts to the end users, all with plain text setups, of course. From there, Pathagoras can automatically create a 'question menu' at the top of the document. Pathagoras does so by scanning your document for <<*Options/Optional*>> blocks, by 'dissecting' out its component parts, and creating what we call an Ask Table. And, true to Pathagoras underpinnings, the Ask table is plain text and facial, and very easy to edit further (refine the text of the questions, change the order of appearance of the questions, etc.)

All of the above is done within the existing Word document, and none involves any real duplication of effort. Because you took 'baby steps' to accomplish what is quite a sophisticated end, you hopefully understood what happening at each step along the way. So if you need to augment the now 'powerful' document, you are not overwhelmed by the now robustly Pathagorized document.

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