When Should I Use GotForms?

   If Instant Database is so good, why should I ever use GotForms?

   Our experience is that most customers never use and likely never will use GotForms?. The Instant Database is just too powerful and flexible to require the use of this auxiliary tool in most situations.

   However, there are a few circumstances where GotForms? will be a life saver. Consider these:

Variables as underlines: this is discuss in the previous section, so we invite you there.

You only have a couple of variables in the document and just want to quickly replace them and you don't need or want to save out the variables and their replacement values as an Instant Database record.

You need the context to complete the variable:

By using sufficiently long groupnames and/or 'colon phrases' to introduce variables, you can almost always give the end user a sufficient contextual basis for making a selection or completing a variable. But sometimes the process can get out of hand. Consider the following text:

The (husband or wife) shall be entitled to use and claim all of the payments made to the IRS in (Tax Year) which were sent as estimated quarterly tax payments for (Quarterly Tax Pmts For), including payments made which reflected both parties social security numbers and {wife or husband) shall sign all appropriate releases to (husband or wife] to enable (him or her) to claim the appropriate credits.

Neutering this can be quite a challenge. If you try to give meaningful group names to each variable, you might end up with something like this:

The [!spouse entitled to prior tax payments!husband/wife] shall be entitled to use and claim all of the payments made to the IRS in [year for which spouse is entitled to tax payments:Tax Year] which were sent as estimated quarterly tax payments for [Year Associated with Quarterly Tax Pmts], including payments made which reflected both parties social security numbers, and [!spouse forgoing interest in prior tax payments!husband/wife] shall sign all appropriate releases to [!spouse entitled to prior tax payments!husband/wife] to enable [!spouse entitled to prior tax payments!him/her] to claim the appropriate credits.

This setup will work. Try it: copy the above and paste it into a document and run the Instant Database against it.

Nevertheless, this may be too complex a setup. When these variables appear in the Instant Database screen, they are much longer that the space typically allotted. Plus, it is just a lot of text. If you feel that a simpler setup is better, consider this:

The [**husband/wife**] shall be entitled to use and claim all of the payments made to the IRS in [**Tax Year**] which were sent as estimated quarterly tax payments for [**Tax Year**], including payments made which reflected both parties social security numbers, and [**husband/wife**] shall sign all appropriate releases to [**husband/wife**] to enable [**him/her**] to claim the appropriate credits.

Something like the above is 'perfect' for GotForms? and requires practically nothing in terms of setup. When the  document is scanned by GotForms?, the user can see all of the variables in context, making it quite easy to complete.

Note the following: The variables are introduced by a regular bracket followed by two asterisks. In another section of the program -- in the Instant Database setup screens -- a 'double asterisk' is the default 'ignore' this text for an Instant Database scan. Therefore, the variables in the above example will not be displayed in the Instant Database screen after you press <Alt-D>. These are viewed as 'final cleanup' type variables and are typically looked upon as the 'exceptions'.

 

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