A very brief HotDocs tip today – the CONCEAL and OMIT instruction models.  These two commands make working with HotDocs dialogs as answer sources a little cleaner and easier for users to work with.

In short, CONCEAL keeps a variable from showing in the “Select from Answer Source” dialog – it is simply hidden from the user, allowing for the more meaningful fields to be shown only.  OMIT does a similar thing, but hides a variable from the user in the “Edit Answer Source” dialog box – again, allowing only the meaningful fields to show to the user.

These two commands go hand in hand to pare down information that displays in dialog answer source manipulation.  Rather than trying to show an example, these two commands are best “tinkered” with on a case by case basis.  If you want to try something cool, try using dialog answer sources in a scenario where only ONE variable is not CONCEALed.  The variable still showing should be an identifier, such as a name or similar.  That way, a user will simply see a nice drop down to pick from and all the other data will ‘appear out of nowhere’ – just like magic!

This stuff is super simple and takes about 10 minutes to master.  Play around with dialog answer sources, CONCEAL and OMIT – it may actually be FUN.