CHAPTER 1. PROGRAM BRIEF
An electronic manual is superior to a printed manual because it can be easily updated when new versions of the software are shipped to you. An electronic manual like the one you are reading eliminates the need for you to replace physical notebook pages. An electronic manual also allows you to search each chapter for words or phrases. You may, however, wish to have a hard copy of certain chapters.
Printing your own manual is easily accomplished. Simply load the chapter you wish to print. Click the print button at the top of the screen, and that manual chapter will be printed. You will need to do this for each desired manual chapter.
II. Before You Begin.
Welcome to FormPAK™!! You are about to experience software that is the first of its kind. To our knowledge, no other software available in the world allows information to interact between forms like FormPAK™. The software actually "learns" from itself. But merging information between forms is not enough. You want to use this information in other ways as well. You must also have the power to manipulate the information so that it can be used again, and the power to make changes to the "boilerplate" so that you can use your work with other clients. Finally, you must have the word processing power to make your forms "look good" for your clients, opposing counsel, and the court.
We value and need your suggestions and comments. PLEASE CALL OR WRITE. Your suggestions will shape the future of this product. YOU are the reason this product exists, and we need your continued support to make it do what you want and need.
B. Copy Protection, Extra Copies, and Networks
FormPAK™ is an add-on component of FamilySoft™. We have copy protected this program. There are tremendous development costs involved in bringing this product to market. ALL legitimate users of the product must equally share programming costs. We have special discounts for multiple users. Please call us if you need additional copies. We have a NETWORK version of the product that is necessary for satisfactory utilization on a network system. See Chapter 7 for more information about NETWORK systems.
C. Quick Internet Updates
Updates are occasionally available through the Quick Internet Update feature of FamilySoft™. We strongly recommend that you check for updates frequently. To check for free updates, do the following:
1. 1. You must have internet access operating on the computer. (Either broadband [highly recommended] or dial-up browser active, then minimized.)
2. 2. Click on the HELP key (on the toolbar, top of the FamilySoft™ screen.)
3. 3. Click on the Quick Internet Update option.
4. 4. Click on "Begin Internet Update" button.
5. 5. FamilySoft™ will check the LegalPlus server for all updates for which you are eligible. (You must be current with the most recent paid update to be eligible. Updates will not be available when a paid update has been skipped.) If you are current, the server will tell you so. If an update is available, continue to follow the on-screen instructions.
6. 6. When the update has downloaded (if you are using a dial-up, be patient!!), you will receive a message saying it is done.
7. 7. Exit FamilySoft.™ You will see the files unzipping themselves and overriding the appropriate files.
8. 8. Reload FamilySoft™ from the icon on your desktop. (It is NOT necessary to reboot your computer). You will be using the newest program!!
PROGRAM BRIEF II. How FormPAK™ Works
III. How FormPAK™ Works.
FormPAK™ makes your job easier as you work with the Mandatory Domestic Relations Forms, as issued by the Washington State Pattern Forms Committee of the Supreme Court. The software automatically completes many standard sections in the mandatory forms. You (or your client, through SWIFT) enter such information only ONCE. FormPAK™ automatically creates relationships between information--a form of artificial intelligence. You are not bogged down by busy work. This frees your time to concentrate on the more conceptual aspects of your case.
The State's forms have been carefully formatted, saving you time and trouble. In addition, you have complete control and flexibility over the output, using the powerful word processing capabilities built right into the software program. You also have the ability to send the output to another word processor on your computer.
How FormPAK™ Is DIFFERENT From a Word Processing Program.
With FormPAK™, you automatically merge the current CLIENT INFORMATION FILE with a TEMPLATE on your computer screen to create a temporary MERGED FORM. Then, while scrolling through this MERGED FORM you will see highlighted areas on the screen that indicate places where you need to add or edit CLIENT INFORMATION. When you complete these areas with your client's information, this data is saved as a separate file, the CLIENT INFORMATION FILE. (NOTE: CLIENT INFORMATION is MORE than the information entered in the MASTER INFORMATION LIST.) Every time you check a box, enter data in a field or text box, that data is also building your CLIENT INFORMATION FILE.
The CLIENT INFORMATION FILE you create can be used to generate new forms for your client in the future, saving you the time and effort to remember and enter this information again. The database on your client automatically grows as you fill in the forms. Highlighted areas make it easy for you to identify the places where you need to "fill in the blanks" so you don't inadvertently overlook an entry needing your attention.
You also can edit the TEMPLATE's boilerplate language and spacing to meet your current needs, then save the changed TEMPLATE as a CLIENT TEMPLATE, or add it to your list of customized MODIFIED TEMPLATES for use in the future with other clients.
How FormPAK™ Is SIMILAR To a Word Processing Program.
What you see on the screen is what your printer will print. You make changes by typing your changes ANYWHERE on the form. The controls are similar to the word processing system you currently use. You can scroll through your form, edit text, and make sure it says exactly what you want it to say. Save and print your form. It's that easy!
PROGRAM BRIEF III. Four Steps to Producing Your Form
IV. Four Steps to Producing Your FORM.
A. First, complete the MASTER INFORMATION LIST for your client (as much as possible), as prompted on the screen. (You have the option of having your client do this work via SWIFT, either over the internet or via diskette.) When you begin a new case you are requested to enter such information as the name, address, names of children, etc. for a client. You are also asked to set up relationships between your entries (such as which party is the Petitioner, or which parent is the obligor). By indicating these relationships, FormPAK™ can automatically fill in a large amount of information in the forms, i.e. the addresses of the children are automatically completed once the residential parent is known. As you complete the MASTER INFORMATION LIST, you begin to build your CLIENT INFORMATION FILE.
B. Select the TEMPLATE you wish to merge with your CLIENT INFORMATION FILE. When a TEMPLATE is selected, a MERGED FORM -- the combination of the active CLIENT's INFORMATION FILE and a TEMPLATE, will appear on your screen. A MERGED FORM is interactive; any client data changed or added to the screen that is requested on other forms will automatically transfer to those other forms. You can also edit the boilerplate language of the TEMPLATE, and save these customized TEMPLATES separately. By CONDENSING, you can instantly eliminate all the unwanted text in the check box areas of the form that are unchecked, and thereby, eliminate sections of text not applying to your case.
Since you have so much editing capability while working with the MERGED FORM, you may be ready to immediately print the MERGED FORM as your final output. There is, however, one additional stage for putting your final touches on the form – FINAL EDITING.
C. CONVERTING TEMPLATE TO DOCUMENT. Under the Tools tab, select Make Document to convert your TEMPLATE to DOCUMENT. Like taking a snapshot, the MERGED FORM on your screen is reproduced into a single set of words and characters when it has been converted into a DOCUMENT. You can edit this text DOCUMENT using the same word processing capabilities as available when viewing a MERGED FORM. When everything in your DOCUMENT is exactly the way you like it, you SAVE it as a DOCUMENT, which will then appear on your client's Merge Template menu.
D. When you PRINT your MERGED FORM or polished court-ready DOCUMENT, all formatting considerations are done for you--like proper margins and putting the State required footers and headers in their place. You still retain complete control over line numbering, your firm's footer information, a right vertical line, an informational footer, spacing, and other formatting options.
Your final form is produced quickly and easily, and it looks just the way you like it!!
PROGRAM BRIEF IV. Terms You Need to Know
V. Terms You Need to Know.
A. Client Information File:
A file in your client's subdirectory containing information about your client. Information can be entered via SWIFT, or typed either in the MASTER INFORMATION LIST or in the highlighted areas in a TEMPLATE.
B. Template (Client or Modified):
A file containing "boilerplate" language from either the Washington State Pattern Forms Committee, or is one created/modified by you, that is punctuated by spaces needing Client Information for completion.
C. Merged Form:
The active CLIENT INFORMATION FILE and selected TEMPLATE are combined together to make a MERGED FORM. A MERGED FORM appears only on the screen, and is the combination of the client's information file and a template file. This MERGED FORM can be edited and printed by you. When you edit the data in the CLIENT INFORMATION checkboxes, fields or text boxes, the edits may be linked to other forms, thereby adding newly edited data to these other forms. You can CONDENSE your MERGED FORM's template to eliminate unwanted checkboxes. When saved as a CLIENT TEMPLATE, your MERGED FORM will appear on your client's Merged Template Menu, under the name you have give.
A reproduction of the words and characters contained in a MERGED FORM. The reproduction of the words and characters contained in a MERGED FORM are saved as a single, separate, file. Edits made in a DOCUMENT are NOT interactive, meaning they do not affect the CLIENT INFORMATION FILE and/or any TEMPLATE files. The Condensing feature is NOT active in a DOCUMENT. This is simply a text file that can be edited with the text editing capabilities built into FormPAK™, or exported to another word processor. When a MERGED FORM is saved as a DOCUMENT, it will appear on your client's Merge Template MENU.
A generic term for the combination of a CLIENT INFORMATION FILE and a TEMPLATE either as a MERGED FORM or as a DOCUMENT.
Using FormPAK™ to Keep TEMPLATES and CLIENT INFORMATION Separated.
FormPAK™ is structured so that you save CLIENT INFORMATION and TEMPLATES separately. The two are merged only temporarily in the computer screen as a MERGED FORM for editing, printing, or creating a DOCUMENT. After editing and/or printing, you again save them separately. This allows complete flexibility in how you manage your files.
Let's say you have worked very hard modifying the TEMPLATE language in Smith's petition. You would like to use this boilerplate language again, with another client, Jones. YOU CAN DO THIS EASILY, because the TEMPLATE has remained a separate file from Smith's information. All you have to do is to save the MERGED FORM as a MODIFIED TEMPLATE. It can now be used as a TEMPLATE in Jones's case, merged with Jones's CLIENT INFORMATION FILE instead of Smith's!
VI. Using Your Keyboard
Special Keystrokes FamilySoft™ uses the conventional GUI Windows™ interface. We have, however, designated special keys for certain functions.
Function Key Command Description
F10 Moves the cursor to the next client information area.