Running HotDocs Player and HotDocs Developer (in different versions)

Face it: we don’t always upgrade to the latest version of a program. There is the cost of the upgrade, and the cost of “conversion”.  The cost of conversion on HotDocs upgrades has been over-rated.  With HotDocs 2009, you can keep the CMP in the HotDocs 2006-2008 format, ensuring painless upgrades.  However, if you don’t upgrade, some issues can arise.  This is particularly true for those who purchase LexisNexis automated forms or other published form set such as Wealth Transfer Planning.  These programs typically come with a license to “HotDocs Player 2009”.  This is the SAME as HotDocs User (previously HotDocs Standard) with one exception.  It will ONLY run “published form sets” and to publish a form set you need a “publisher’s key” and a special license arrangement with HotDocs corporation.  This is a non-issue if you have HotDocs 2009 (or the latest version).  However, if you don’t you can find that your own firm-developed templates NO LONGER WORK.

The Cause of the Problem

When you install a published form set it check if you have the most current version of HotDocs Developer, Standard or User.  If your machine does, the templates are installed and everything works.  If you do NOT have the most current version, it find the HotDocs6 folder in your program files directory, and inserts a subfolder called PLAYER.  It installs HotDocs player in this subfolder.  When you launch a one of the Automated Forms libraries, Windows “associates” the .HDL (Library files) with HotDocs 2009 Player.  So, that the next time you launch a library .HDL (assuming you have shortcuts to each of your libraries), it launched HotDocs Player and your library.  However, HotDocs Player will not PLAY your templates, so they are locked and unusable. Conversely, if you launch HotDocs 2008 (or earlier), it will open the last library, which will be the Automated Forms, which will throw an error that says cannot run templates, wrong version of HotDocs.

The Solution

Upgrade to HotDocs 2009 is the easiest solution.  However, you can also take advantage of the “command line” options of HotDocs to effectively tell Windows which version of HotDocs to run with each library. This is done by creating a shortcut to each library and putting them on your desktop:
1.  Right-click on each library (.HDL) file, and choose: Send To -> Desktop (create shortcut)”
2.  Right-click on the Shortcut and Choose Properties
3.  Under Target, insert the following “before” the path and name of the library file
For FIRM created Templates (Windows XP or Vista/Windows7):
“C:Program FilesHotDocs 6HotDocs6.exe” /lf="path and file name”
“C:Program Files (x86)HotDocs 6HotDocs6.exe” /lf="path and file name”

For AUTOMATED Templates (Windows XP or Vista/Windows7):
“C:Program FilesHotDocs 6PlayerHotDocs6.exe” /lf="path and file name”
“C:Program Files (x86)HotDocs 6PlayerHotDocs6.exe” /lf="path and file name”