This section isn’t so much a description of alternatives in Pathagoras as it is a discussion of alternatives to Pathagoras.
Almost every major document assembly program out there encourages you to create 'templates’ as your source document. Pathagoras says create documents for your source documents. As used in Pathagoras and as contemplated by Microsoft, a template gives shape to a document, but is not the document itself. Templates are typically blank or contain only a few lines of introductory text. They are used to give shape (margins, styles and fonts, headers and footers, etc.) not content. (Content absolutely is allowed, but it should be minimal.)
Templates are the preferred source for many programs because templates don’t normally open as themselves, but open as copies of themselves (so you don’t overwrite them). Pathagoras handles that by only opening copies of the original during the document assembly process, not the original. See the Guide to Templates for more information and examples.
The ‘why?’ for Pathagoras’ preference for source clauses being built on a document as opposed to a template platform is simple. Have you ever saved a template? Word forces a template into a template directory. It requires you to navigate back to the folder into which you really want to save the document. Documents are simply easier to save, easier to work with and are the default ‘search’ type of file that Word uses when displaying its File Open dialog. The reasons are not earth shattering, but neither are they insignificant. It is just easier to work with documents than with templates.
That said, templates are important in the proper use of Pathagoras. When used to assign shape (margins, styles and fonts, headers and footers, etc.) to the document that will be built on top of it, template cannot be underestimated. If you have a ‘style’ template that you wish to associate with a document assembly book, create the association in the Document Assembly <Settings> screen. Type the templates name (or navigate to it using the Get Template button).
Because of their importance, Pathagoras dedicates a whole screen to the subject of templates, but even there, the emphasis is aimed at the ‘shape-building’ template, not the complete document ‘template.’
The Templates screen can be found in the Pathagoras features dropdown list.