HotDocs Pricing, Features, Reviews & Comparison of Alternatives

HotDocs

Template-driven, automated document & form assembly software

4.06/5 (50 reviews)

HotDocs overview

What is HotDocs?

HotDocs is a document automation software that uses a template creation system to transform existing documentation of all kinds. The solution works by having subject matter experts who create the original HotDocs templates before end users complete dynamic HotDocs interviews for populating the document with customized data and calculated figures where required. Benefits revolve around the implied reduction of human error associated with manual editing and the time / effort costs incurred, while enhancing areas around content control, accuracy, branding and overall document quality.

For example, legal and potentially complex documents such as contracts, loan agreements, wills and trusts can require lengthy re-editing to reflect the circumstances of each new transaction or case. This traditionally involves a lot of searching, replacing, cutting, pasting and manual "fixing", which can lead to inaccuracies or inconsistencies. HotDocs automates this process and promises to remove such oversights by working within a preferred word processor to transform existing documents into flexible HotDocs templates that are capable of generating new specific variants. These templates are instantiated by a series of data gathering question and answer forms known as an "interview", utilizing branching logic to fully define a document while validating data entry. Variables are then inserted into HotDocs templates to represent the data normally subject to change such as names, dates and numbers, plus computed variables that are based on calculations. The addition of business rules define the inclusion of relevant clauses that apply to a certain instance, use case or scenario. Once generated, HotDocs templates can be used on the desktop, across a server network environment and within the Abacus Private Cloud.
www.hotdocs.com

Pricing

Starting from
$25/month
Pricing options
Subscription
Free trial
Value for money
View Pricing Plans

Devices

Business size

S
M
L

Markets

United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, China, Germany, Mexico

Supported languages

English, Arabic, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Czech and 22 other languages, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Hebrew, Hungarian, Indonesian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish, Ukrainian, Taiwanese, Thai
HotDocs screenshot: Author field editorHotDocs_UKHotDocs screenshot: Author simple mark upHotDocs screenshot: Advance helpHotDocs screenshot: InterviewHotDocs screenshot: Advance work groupHotDocs screenshot: Document previewHotDocs screenshot: Answer summary

HotDocs user reviews

Value for money
Features
Ease of use
Customer support
  3.6
  4.0
  3.5
  3.8
Gordon Bailey

Outstanding document production, fair UI

Used daily for 2+ years
Reviewed 2018-02-28
Review Source: Capterra

Document automation saves time and reduces errors. I've found HotDocs to be extremely reliable, stable, and bug-free.

Pros
This product's integration with Microsoft Word is outstanding. It is a fantastic scripting tool for document generation. I've also prepared some documents in WordPerfect and it seems entirely capable with that as well.

Cons
Hands down, the data entry interview is crude at best. It is probably ok for a developer who has never worked with another UI, but the "automation" it provides comes at a steep price - loss of control. If you want truly professional user interfaces, you'll have to write the front-end in some other language, write an "answer file" HotDocs can understand (which is not hard, it is very basic XML) and then let HotDocs work its magic to assemble the language in Word. When used that way, HotDocs is very powerful and flexible. When used in its native UI, it is fairly inflexible.

Rating breakdown

Value for money
Ease of use
Features
Customer support

Likelihood to recommend: 10/10

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Gene Turner

The obvious choice for professional users

Used daily for 2+ years
Reviewed 2020-03-17
Review Source: Capterra

While we use HotDocs ourselves, and have since 2012, our main use of HotDocs is now on behalf of our customers, who are mainly lawyers (in firms or in-house legal teams). As noted above, we find it is an extremely powerful document automation tool, which can be used on almost any forms of document. We've had good support from our key contacts at HotDocs, and after 4 years with LawHawk (and having recently upgraded to the new HotDocs Author/Advance product range) I remain very happy with the solution. The overall time savings (75%+) and quality improvements that you can expect to get every time are substantial, and one of our customers won a 2019 IACCM Asia Pacific Award for Operational Improvement as a result of their HotDocs automation project. Because it is a very established product, with a lot of written guidance and a large user community, it's very easy to work out in advance what can be done and how best to do it.

Pros
I think HotDocs is THE choice to use when you need to prepare more complex legal documents, particularly in packages. We are lawyers who specialise in automating documents for other law firms in areas like loan and security documents, share sale agreements, and complex wills and estates. We really haven't found anything we can't do with HotDocs, but we know that most (if not all) of the other document automation tools we've looked at, and sometimes use for simpler work, couldn't do the job at the high end. While a lot of focus is on the actual document creation aspect, we also really like the ability to build organisational compliance and training into the interview questionnaires.

Cons
The biggest issue with HotDocs is the annual per user licensing model, which restricts the ability to use HotDocs in situations where you have a lot of POTENTIAL users, who may only need to use it occasionally. It also stops people from starting to use it when they don't know how large the benefits will be. I would love to see a more flexible licensing model that allowed people to get started using HotDocs, because they would love it, and would quickly see many more uses. With a more scalable licensing model, I think millions more people would use it. The ability to collaborate with others (e.g. via client interviews) would be a great help. I'd also like to see more easy - out of the box - integration with other systems, particularly Office 365.

Rating breakdown

Value for money
Ease of use
Features
Customer support

Likelihood to recommend: 10/10

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Jay Frantz

Gets the job done, quite overpriced, and does about 80% of what it should

Used daily for 2+ years
Reviewed 2020-06-22
Review Source: Capterra

Gets the job done, and is ultimately worth it if your time is very valuable. Very expensive, and clearly only going to get more so. The document sets available are decent, but not amazing.

Pros
Saves time, and is very commonly used (and therefore understood) outside of our office.

Cons
Very expensive, and requires re-entry of data already entered far too often. The actual coding in documents is surprisingly opaque, and converting existing document structures to a HotDocs format is exceptionally cumbersome. The existing form sets that are on top of HotDocs are useful, and the community is broad, but the quality is hit or miss.

Rating breakdown

Value for money
Ease of use
Features
Customer support

Likelihood to recommend: 6/10

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Jason Barnes

TOO PRICEY -- In my opinion HotDocs priced themselves right out of the market

Used daily for 2+ years
Reviewed 2019-02-26
Review Source: Capterra

Love it, but not for the price they want you to pay. I have been using Hotdocs since around the mid-nineties and have seen the company change hands. The current "custodians" of Hotdocs have unfortunately missed the boat on pricing.

Pros
I can easily sell this program to anyone, and have in fact have turned several attorneys on to this program. It's a great way to automate your documents. It's logical. Is it complex? Sure it can be, but that gives the user a lot of options and makes it a powerful tool.

Cons
Cost prohibitive. For some reason HotDocs has elected to increase the price of HotDocs well beyond what they charged. From my understanding they want to have you pay a MONTHLY FEE where they used to just charge you a one time fee for the program. The price is too high for solo attorneys and small law firms. Bottom-line: Until Hotdocs can figure things out on the pricing, do not start using Hotdocs; there are other ways to get the same job done for cheaper, A LOT CHEAPER!

Rating breakdown

Value for money
Ease of use
Features
Customer support

Likelihood to recommend: 0/10

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Jonathan Schmidt

Great software, but still needs to improve

Used daily for 2+ years
Reviewed 2018-03-03
Review Source: Capterra

It's really the best software out there for what it does. It just still seems behind the times in terms of connectivity, componentization, and still no HiDPI support.

Pros
It is extremely flexible and can help you craft just about any document that you want. I prefer the desktop version to the cloud version. It just works every time!

Cons
I feel that HotDocs has been stagnating recently. Here are some things that they need to address: *Easy import/export of answer data to other formats. For example, if I use some other tool such as an online form, it should have the ability to import that data into an answer file. *It still doesn't support Hi-DPI displays. *It would be great it if could be more flexible in the storage of answer data. The ability to componentize the fields/answer data would be wonderful. As it stands, each template is limited to only one component file.

Rating breakdown

Value for money
Ease of use
Features
Customer support

Likelihood to recommend: 8/10

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HotDocs pricing

Starting from
$25/month
Pricing options
Subscription
Free trial
View Pricing Plans

Starting at $25 per user per month, with minimum 5 seats ($125). Contact AbacusNext for pricing on 6+ users.

HotDocs features

API
Document Management
Document Storage

Access Control (255 other apps)
Activity Dashboard (216 other apps)
Activity Tracking (155 other apps)
Automatic Notifications (199 other apps)
Chat (169 other apps)
Collaboration Tools (392 other apps)
Collaborative Workspace (247 other apps)
Commenting (220 other apps)
Customizable Branding (188 other apps)
Data Import/Export (156 other apps)
Drag & Drop Interface (191 other apps)
File Management (170 other apps)
Permission Management (219 other apps)
Reporting & Statistics (171 other apps)
Search Functionality (301 other apps)
Third Party Integration (267 other apps)
Workflow Management (164 other apps)

Security and privacy

Encryption

Encryption of sensitive data at rest
HTTPS for all pages

Access control

Multi-factor authentication options
This will ask you to sign in with LinkedIn

Videos and tutorials

Additional information for HotDocs

Key features of HotDocs

  • Document delivery
  • Approval process management
  • Application integration
  • Customizable templates
  • Document storage
  • Multi-language
  • Template management
  • Customizable fields
View All Features

Benefits

HotDocs offers a platform of products to aid the automated generation of all document types for legal and business applications, supporting document distribution within desktop and cloud environments.

Capable of handling documents or forms from the most simple to the most complex, the software also promises to fit seamlessly within a familiar manual workflow by residing within a chosen word processing suite.

The software works from HotDocs templates, which end users then populate and customize by completing a question and answer-based, dynamic "interview" that embeds customized data and computations using variables.

Business rules can also be inserted to intelligently append certain clauses and stipulations that only apply to certain use cases or applications.

HotDocs promises to significantly reduce the risk of error and the time taken to produce tailored documents, while significantly improving content control, accuracy, branding and overall document quality.