A 'DotVariable' is a variable to which has been pre-assigned a fixed value. The name derives from the setup of the variable in a document: [.VarName]. Note the period (dot) introducing the variable.See the box below for more samples of DotVariable use.
You might use a DotVariable when you want to assign a variable to a specific value that is not likely to change. The DotVariable, instead of 'hard text' is placed in the document. If the value changes you simply to change the 'value' once, not in each location where you might otherwise have hard coded a document.
You might also use a dot variable when you have composed a document that you wish to share with others. Rather than having the 'share-ee' change each document to reflect personal information, just change the file that contains the dot variables values.
Let's say you have a finite number of branch offices. Rather than hardcoding the branch name and other data into each document, you put a variable in the document that calls on the branch information from the DotVariable list.
You could have a proposal that lists a certain product line. You could list [.Product1], [.Product2], [.Product3], etc. in the cover letter, and modify the DotVariable associations as individual letters are produced. (A variation of this theme that Pathagoras will soon be offering is to allow multiple sets of .DotVariables, each placed in a separate page of the Excel spreadsheet that contains the lists.)
The DotVariable list is contained in an Excel spreadsheet. In fact it's the same spreadsheet that contains the multiple choice *Alias* data (i.e., 'multichoice.xlsx'). The values are stored on the second page of that spreadsheet. (The two tabs in the multichoice.xlsx spreadsheet are labeled 'Aliases' and 'DotVariables' respectively.
By way of example. your letter might look like this:
[.Firm City ST Zip]
With a letterhead in this style, any letter can be shared with any branch of the company. So long as the proper 'local' information has been provided in the DotVariables tab, Pathagoras can quickly complete this document.
The DotVariables are simply listed top to bottom in the first two columns of the DotVariables page of the spreadsheet, the DotVariable name in column A and the values assigned to the DotVariable in column B.
Special situations: If you want an 'enter' to appear in the final document, use <P> indicating a paragraph.
Use: The above 'ABC, Inc.' example gives you some direction on how to incorporate a dot variable into your documents. Don't think that they are limited to header material. You can use them anywhere. The goal is for Pathagoras to automatically complete the value of a variable. Rest assured, you can change the value in the Instant Database screen if need be, but at least you won't have to type the value in initially.
Pathagoras will insert the DotVariable value as the default value of the variable. However, you can overwrite the value as needed.