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Best Document Automation Software in 2024

7 popular document automation software packages compared

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Analysis Place
Dox42
Epsillion
HotDocs
Upslide
Windward Studios
Woodpecker

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2023 is a great year for document automation software. Read on to find the best document automation software for you!

Finding the right document automation software for you and your team isn't easy

Document Automation Reviews Team | Last updated: 16 February 2024

Finding the right document automation service can take a lot of time and money.

Unfortunately, you are busier than ever in 2024. You're bouncing from meeting to meeting, reading and responding to dozens of emails, getting to grips with the post-Covid world of work.

To save you time, we've compared 7 popular document automation companies. We've assessed them based on the following criteria:

Criteria to Assess Document Automation Software

  1. Can I Include Whatever I Want in My Documents?
  2. Will My Documents Look How I Want?
  3. How Long Will it Take to Learn the Software?
  4. Will my IT Team Consider the Software Secure?
  5. Is the Software Well-Maintained?
  6. Which Sectors Use the Software?
  7. If I Need Training and Support, Will I Get Help?
  8. Will the Sales Process Focus on Me?
  9. If I Switch Software, Can I Take My Data With Me?

All of our reviews are based on these nine criteria. With these criteria in mind, read below about the 7 document automation software providers that you should consider in 2024.

Analysis Place Document Automation - Fastest to Install Document Automation 2023

Document Automation Reviews Team | Last updated: 5 February 2023

Fastest Document Automation Installation 2023

Executive Summary

Analysis Place Pros

  • Among the fastest to install. Get it via Office Add-ins store within Excel, Word, and Powerpoint
  • Data updates from Excel to Word feel lightning fast
  • Wide range of pricing tiers, including for periodic, low-intensity users and high-intensity users
  • Good security because data uploaded to the server is encrypted, and Analysis Place deletes user uploaded data daily
  • Has an application programming interface (API) for power users

Analysis Place Cons

  • The sample templates Analysis Place provides do not look very good
  • Excel charts are placed in Word and PowerPoint as images, so they can be blurry, especially at larger sizes
  • Navigating the link and update steps in the right-side panels of Excel, Word, and PowerPoint can be cumbersome because it involves a lot of scrolling and flicking between menu options
  • When you update data in PowerPoint, the system seems to create a new PowerPoint file rather than update your current one, which can be confusing
Screenshot of Analysis Place document automation website

Can I Include Whatever I Want in my Analysis Place Documents?

Pros:

  • You can insert tables and charts from Microsoft Excel into your Word or PowerPoint documents with ease
  • The API also accepts JSON and XML as data inputs
  • Can connect to your database or customer relationship management software (CRM)
  • Analysis Place added conditional content in December 2023, which allows you to include or exclude content in your reports based on formulas and logic in Excel
  • Template text can flow freely, as Analysis Place does not require you to firmly stick certain assets in pre-selected locations

Cons:

  • Analysis Place does not offer looping variables
  • Batch mode production is via API only rather than through the application itself

Will My Analysis Place Documents Look How I Want?

Analysis Place generates Word and PowerPoint documents. How good your documents look will depend on your skill with designing in Word and PowerPoint.

In our opinion, the look and feel of Analysis Place documents good benefit from some improvements. Here is a sample:

Look and feel of an Analysis Place document

How Long Will it Take to Learn Analysis Place Software?

Installation of Analysis Place is easy, because you do so through Microsoft Office's Get Add-ins feature. However, you will need to install Analysis Place in three separate applications. First, open Microsoft Word, click Insert, click “Get Add-ins”, type “Excel to Word” in the search bar, then click “Add”. Do this for each of Excel, Word, and PowerPoint.

Look and feel of an Analysis Place document

Analysis Place is made up of Excel, Word, and PowerPoint addins. The Excel addin appears as a pane on the right hand side of the program, which opens via the single button labelled "Automate Content".

Analysis Place Excel addin

Similarly the Word addin appears as a pane within Microsoft Word.

Analysis Place Word addin

And when you follow the same procedure in PowerPoint, you will see this pane on the right of your application.

Analysis Place PowerPoint addin

There is no accompanying desktop application to learn, which simplifies the learning process.

The process of creating documents takes some getting used to, but you can learn within about an hour. It involves making an asset (like a table or chart) in Excel, uploading to the cloud, then clicking link in Word or PowerPoint.

The process is smooth in Microsoft Word. We inserted and updated several tables and charts with ease.

We were able to add charts with ease to PowerPoint, but found it more difficult to add and update tables to our PowerPoint slides.

In one attempt, we followed the instructions by inserting a table into PowerPoint of the same dimensions as the one in Excel, then we clicked the button to link the Excel table to the PowerPoint button. The pop up message indicated the procedure was successful, but no data appeared in the PowerPoint table.

In another attempt, we successfully added and then updated content to our PowerPoint document, but each update created an entirely new PowerPoint document, which was confusing. This did not happen in Word. Overall we found the PowerPoint integration slightly confusing.

Analysis Place's addin in PowerPoint said the data was updated, but it was not

This is very minor, but throughout our tests in Word we noticed our cursor was usually in the spinning state, which made it seem like the application was waiting for something, but it didn't seem to correspond to anything meaningful. It did not prevent us writing in Word or doing Excel-to-Word updates, so this was merely a cosmetic issue.

Finally, this could be a Microsoft Office security issue, but the Analysis Place Add-in kept disappearing from Word and Excel throughout our tests. It was always quick to add back, though.

Will my IT Team Consider the Software Secure?

We love that Analysis Place reassures us that "Your uploaded data is never transferred, backed-up, or viewable by anyone else and is deleted daily" and "All customer data is always transmitted using encryption (SSL/TLS)".

Is Analysis Place Software Well-Maintained?

Analysis Place is regularly updated and actively maintained. You can see the software's update history here: https://analysisplace.com/Resources/Update-History

Which Sectors Use Analysis Place?

Analysis Place is flexible and can work for many sectors. Analysis Place's website indicates that sales and marketing, business reporting, and assessment and evaluation reports are common uses of its software.

If I Need Training and Support, Will Analysis Place Help?

Analysis Place's website has an extensive list of helpful learning resources, including detailed how-to guides on how topics like creating Excel Links, Word Linking, PowerPoint Linking, Tables, and Personal Templates. This is welcome, because learning resources are important during both the getting started process and when you need to learn a more advanced technique.

Analysis Place's addin in PowerPoint said the data was updated, but it was not

Will Analysis Place's Sales Process Focus on Me?

Pros:

  • You can request a demo, trial, or quote here https://analysisplace.com/Contact-Us/Request-Quote-or-Demo

Cons:

  • Analysis Place does not advertise a free proof of concept

If I Switch Software, Can I Take My Data With Me?

Yes, you save your files to your computer and own your own data. Switching to another provider is easy.

See Analysis Place for Yourself

Website: www.AnalysisPlace.com

YouTube: YouTube video that shows someone actually using the product.

Do we recommend Analysis Place?

Yes for use with Excel and Word, which allow you to get started quickly with a free trial and advance to the paid version if you find a price tier that works for you.

However, we found the PowerPoint integration somewhat confusing and would recommend other providers if PowerPoint is a priority for you.

Something to consider...

Consider the tradeoffs you are willing to make between speed and beauty. In our experience, fast updates often come with somewhat plain looking documents. Conversely, the beautiful documents are often slow to update. You will need to choose what is most important to you.

Dox42 Document Automation - Best Sharepoint Document Automation 2023, Best Manufacturing Document Automation 2023

Document Automation Reviews Team | Last updated: 5 February 2023

Best document automation for SharePoint 2023 Best document automation for manufacturers 2023

Executive Summary

Dox42 Pros

  • Dox42 integrates with Sharepoint, which is rare among document automation providers
  • Dox42's Database functionality is exceptionally strong and fully featured

Dox42 Cons

  • Dox42 inserts Excel charts into documents as images (lower quality, less zoom-able) rather than vector format (higher quality, zoom-friendly).
  • The Word and Excel addins are functional but could benefit from better design.
  • You may see some dialog boxes in the Excel addin that haven't been fully translated from German to English.
Screenshot of Dox42 document automation website

Can I Include Whatever I Want in my Dox42 Documents?

Pros:

  • You can change text based on Sharepoint and Excel data (dynamic text)
  • You can include or exclude sections of text based on criteria you specify (conditional text)
  • Template text can flow freely. Thankfully, Dox42 does not require everything to always be in the same position. The only real limits to template flexibility are a result of what is possible in Microsoft Word.
  • You can generate multiple documents at the same time using Dox42 (i.e., batch processing)

Cons:

  • No substantial corporate brand compliance features

Will My Dox42 Documents Look How I Want?

Dox42 automates content within Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft Powerpoint. The quality of the outputs are therefore largely up to the user’s capabilities with Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

Screenshot of document automation output by Dox42

Dox42 Can generate PDFs based on content in Microsoft Word:

Screenshot of document automation PDF output by Dox42

How Long Will it Take to Learn Dox42 Software?

Dox42 is easy to use because it is Microsoft Office-based, including Microsoft Word, SharePoint, and Excel. If you are already familiar with Microsoft Word, you should be able to pick up and use Dox42 with ease and speed.

Will my IT Team Consider the Software Secure?

We are currently seeking information from Dox42's about the security steps they have taken and whether all information communicated between your PC and their servers is encrypted.

Is Dox42 Software Well-Maintained?

Dox42 has a Microsoft Word addin:

Screenshot of Dox42 document automation Word addin

Some of the Word addin's dialogue boxes are functional but not always consistently or intuitively designed. For example, some dialog boxes open in tiny size and need to be expanded to be usable:

Another screenshot of Dox42 document automation Word addin

Dox42 has a Microsoft Excel addin:

Screenshot of Dox42 document automation Excel addin

You may occasionally notice some Excel dialog boxes haven't been fully translated from German to English:

Another screenshot of Dox42 document automation Excel addin

Dox42 has a Microsoft PowerPoint addin:

screenshot of Dox42 document automation PowerPoint addin

Sometimes upon first opening dialog boxes the buttons are cut off, although manually expanding the dialog windows fixes the issue:

Another screenshot of Dox42 document automation PowerPoint addin

Dox42's installation procedure may appear cumbersome at first, but stick with it. After unzipping the contents of the Office Addins installer, for example, you'll be presented with four installation folders:

Screenshot of Dox42 document automation installer

Inside each folder are files and more folders, although the setup.exe file was all we needed to use to get the Word addin installed:

Another screenshot of Dox42 document automation installer

Which Sectors Use Dox42?

Dox42 is flexible and can work for many sectors, but it's user base is most concentrated in Manufacturing and Finance.

If I Need Training and Support, Will Dox42 Help?

Dox42 has a Learning Resources page containing a mix of video tutorials, demos, and discussions. The page can feel slightly disorganized, and it's not always easy to find what you need.

Will Dox42's Sales Process Focus on Me?

Pros:

Screenshot of Dox42 free trial form

Cons:

  • Dox42 does not advertise a free proof of concept

If I Switch Software, Can I Take My Data With Me?

Yes. Dox42 makes use of data you already own and control in SharePoint and Excel, so if you want to switch to another document automation provider you can.

See Dox42 for Yourself

Website: www.dox42.com

YouTube: YouTube video that shows someone actually using the product. Here is one that focuses on Excel.

Do we recommend Dox42?

Yes, we do. Especially if you want to automate documents using SharePoint, speak German, and work in the manufacturing or finance sectors.

Something to consider...

What one or two sectors does the document automation company specialize in? No company can focus on every sector. When new features are considered or bugs fixed, you'll be more likely to benefit if you're in a major sector the company focuses on.

Epsillion Document Automation - Best Document Automation Visuals 2023, Best Document Automation for Business Valuation 2023

Document Automation Reviews Team | Last updated: 5 February 2023

Best document automation visuals 2023 Best document automation for business valuation 2023

Executive Summary

Epsillion Pros

  • Epsillion's report and presentation visual quality is significantly higher than most other document automation software
  • In our benchmark tests, Epsillion processing speed appears to us to be twice as fast in 2023 compared to last year.
  • Epsillion is good at Excel to Word automation, Excel to PDF automation, and Excel to HTML automation. Linking to charts, tables, and individual numbers from an Excel model is easy and robust, which makes the software a strong fit for Business Valuation firms.
  • All of your data lives within Microsoft Word and Excel documents you own and control, so you can leave and go to another provider without any hitches
  • Because Epsillion's API is point-and-click and requires no code, it's probably the easiest to use among all document automation APIs
  • The only document automation software provider that offers a 90 day money back guarantee

Epsillion Cons

  • Epsillion is for Windows only. It is Mac incompatible
  • If you want to use an SQL database, you need to pull your SQL data into Excel first using Excel's native database connection features, then insert Excel content into your Epsillion documents. (Alternatively, you can pay the Epsillion programmers to connect your SQL database to your documents.)
  • If you want to use JSON, XML or other less common data formats in your reports, you need to ask the Epsillion programmers to implement that functionality because it isn't accessible in the graphical user interface
Screenshot of Epsillion document automation website

Can I Include Whatever I Want in My Documents?

Pros:

  • You can change text, charts, and tables based on content you put into your Excel file
  • You can include or exclude sections of text based on criteria you specify (conditional text)
  • Template text can flow freely. Thankfully, Epsillion does not require everything to always be in the same position.
  • You can generate multiple documents at once from the desktop software's front end (batch mode processing)
  • While still early, ChatGPT integration could offer innovative content possibilities in the future

Cons:

  • Epsillion does not offer looping variables in its batch mode

Will My Documents Look How I Want?

Epsillion generates PDFs and HTML content that look professionally designed. These formats allow for total control over fonts, margins, colors, and graphics in a way that Microsoft Word and PowerPoint can't match. The visual quality of Epsillion's outputs is therefore higher than that of other document automation providers.

If brand compliance is important to you, Epsillion is one of your stronger choices.

Here is an example of a real estate research report:

Screenshot of Epsillion report PDF output

Here is an example of presentation PDF:

Screenshot of Epsillion presentation or PowerPoint output

Here is an example of a dashboard/infographic:

Screenshot of Epsillion dashboard

How Long Will it Take to Learn the Software?

Epsillion is relatively easy to use because it is Microsoft Word- and Microsoft Excel-based. However, the variety of features mean that it can take several hours of practice and training to become an expert user.

Will my IT Team Consider the Software Secure?

Yes. Epsillion's installers are professionally signed and all traffic between your computer and Epsillion's servers is encrypted.

Is Espillion's Software Well-Maintained?

Yes. Epsillion's user interface melds with the latest versions of Microsoft Office and feels up-to-date.

Epsillion's Word addin is modern and fit in with Microsoft Word's user interface.

Screenshot of Epsillion Word addin for document automation

Epsillion's Excel addin is similarly up-to-date and makes use of both the ribbon and the sidebar to the right.

Screenshot of Epsillion Excel addin for document automation

Epsillion supports high definition screens.

Which Sectors Use Epsillion?

Epsillion is flexible and can be used in many sectors. We believe the two sectors that comprise the greatest number of their users are:

  • Business Valuation
  • Real Estate Research

If I Need Training and Support, Will Epsillion Help?

Epsillion has a helpful library of how-to YouTube videos.

Screenshot of Epsillion video tutorial library

Will Epsillion's Sales Process Focus on Me?

Pros:

  • Epsillion advertises a free proof of concept
  • Epsillion advertises unlimited, free, live, screenshare training sessions
  • Epsillion will give you a free, live demo
  • Epsillion offers a 90 day money back guarantee, the most generous among document automation providers

Cons:

  • Epsillion will only let you install a trial version of the software after showing you a proof of concept, but not before

If I Switch Software, Can I Take My Data With Me?

Yes. You store data in Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel on your own computers, so if you want to switch to another document automation provider you aren't locked in.

See Epsillion for Yourself

Website: www.epsillion.com

YouTube: YouTube video that shows someone actually using the product

Do we recommend Epsillion?

Yes, we do. Particularly if you want professional looking reports and presentations, and you work with complex Excel models (e.g., business valuation professionals).

Something to consider...

What quality of visual output do you need? For some purposes, Microsoft Word outputs will suit your needs. For companies that require strict brand compliance, PDF and HTML outputs tend to allow for the greatest control and most professional results.

HotDocs Document Automation - Best for Document Automation Based on Client Questionnaires 2023, Best Document Automation for Government 2023

Document Automation Reviews Team | Last updated: 5 February 2023

Best document automation for client questionnaires 2023 Best document automation for government 2023

Executive Summary

HotDocs Pros

  • The ability to create questionnaires/interviews/forms for clients, send them to clients, have clients fill them in, and that information becoming available to you for your documents is very smart and helpful
  • The HotDocs website shows testimonials from customers in a wide range of sectors, which should give you a good understanding of whether it will work for you in your sector
  • HotDocs is a veteran of the document automation space, getting their start in 1993.

HotDocs Cons

  • It can be hard to find the information you need in HotDocs' Help pages
  • HotDocs's Word addin is starting to look out-of-date
Screenshot of HotDocs document automation website

Can I Include Whatever I Want in my HotDocs Documents?

Pros:

  • You can change text based on content you put into the HotDocs database (dynamic text)
  • You can include or exclude sections of text based on criteria you specify (conditional text)
  • Template text can flow freely. Thankfully, HotDocs does not require everything to always be in the same position. The only real limits to template flexibility are a result of what is possible in Microsoft Word.

Cons:

  • Limited corporate brand compliance features
  • You can't update tables and charts in your document based based on your Excel data
  • Generating multiple documents at the same time (i.e., batch processing) is only available in HotDocs' advanced API

Will my HotDocs Documents Look How I Want?

HotDocs generates Microsoft Word documents. The quality of the outputs are therefore largely up to the user’s capabilities with Microsoft Word.

Screenshot of HotDocs document automation Word output

How Long Will it Take to Learn HotDocs Software?

HotDocs is easy to use because it is Microsoft Word-based. An interview process walks you through the steps of creating your first document (software asks you a question about your document; you answer). If you are already familiar with Microsoft Word, you should be able to pick up and use HotDocs with ease and speed.

Will my IT Team Consider the Software Secure?

HotDocs says that, "All communication between the various components of HotDocs Document Services is encrypted using SSL/TLS. This includes communication from the browser to the web server, fromHotDocs Developer 10.2to the web application, and among all the various parts and pieces of theDocument Services stack."

Is HotDocs' Software Well-Maintained?

HotDocs' Microsoft Word addin looks a bit dated and could use a refresh.

Screenshot of HotDocs Word addin

HotDocs doesn't have a Microsoft Excel addin.

Some users have reported that HotDocs doesn't support their high definition screens. As high definition screens become more common, we would like to see HotDocs support them.

Which Sectors Use HotDocs?

HotDocs is flexible and can be used in many sectors. We believe the two sectors that comprise the greatest number of their users are:

  • Legal sector
  • Government sector

We will reach out to HotDocs for confirmation, and will update this section when they provide it.

If I Need Training and Support, Will HotDocs Help?

Somewhat confusingly, if you click on the Knowledge Base link on HotDocs' website, you'll be taken to AbacusNext's support website (AbacusNext is HotDocs' parent company):

Screenshot of HotDocs document automation knowledge base

There is a link to the HotDocs specific information, but following some of those links simply takes you back to HotDocs website:

Another screenshot of HotDocs document automation knowledge base

We think HotDocs' support documentation could be better organized.

Will HotDocs' Sales Process Focus on Me?

Pros:

  • HotDocs will give you a free, live demo

Cons:

  • HotDocs does not advertise a free trial
  • HotDocs does not advertise a free proof of concept
  • HotDocs charges for live, screenshare, training sessions

If I Switch Software, Can I Take My Data With Me?

The data you enter into the HotDocs database cannot be downloaded to a CSV file that you can then use with other software. That means your data is locked into the HotDocs system.

See HotDocs for Yourself

Website: www.hotdocs.com

YouTube: YouTube video that shows someone actually using the product

Do we recommend HotDocs?

Yes, we do. Especially if you want to populate your documents using questionnaires, and want the assurance of a company that has been in the automation sector for decades.

Something to consider...

Does the company offer training videos and screensharing training sessions on demand? Those can be important for gaining the trust and confidence of your colleagues as the whole team learns the new system.

Upslide Document Automation - Best PowerPoint Automation Addin 2023

Document Automation Reviews Team | Last updated: 5 February 2023

Best document automation PowerPoint addin 2023

Executive Summary

Upslide Pros

  • Upslide is one of the few document automation companies to focus mostly on PowerPoint
  • Updating your PowerPoint with the latest numbers, charts, and tables from Excel is easy and robust
  • You can enforce brand compliance with Upslide's Slide Check feature, which flags and helps you fix misaligned shapes, double spaces, and highlighted text
  • Finance professionals will benefit from features designed with them in mind, like tombstone credentials, waterfall charts, marimekko charts, and quick CAGR formulas.)
  • Innovative inputs: UpSlide allows you to link to Power BI charts

Upslide Cons

  • Upslide's Microsoft Word functionality is limited compared to other document automation providers
  • Upslide is for Windows only. It is Mac incompatible.
  • Upslide's Microsoft Office Addins automatically take the far left position in the ribbons. That may be justified for the feature-packed PowerPoint addin, but the Word and Excel addins do not have so many features that you are likely to use them more often than the standard Word and Excel ribbon buttons.
Screenshot of Upslide document automation website

Can I Include Whatever I Want in my Upslide Documents?

You can include all the normal things you would use in a PowerPoint document, plus dynamic content like numbers, charts, and tables originating in Microsoft Excel and PowerBI.

Upslide is for creating one PowerPoint deck at a time. The software doesn't allow you to generate multiple documents at once (batch mode).

Will my Upslide Documents Look How I Want?

Upslide generates Microsoft PowerPoint documents.

Screenshot of output from Upslide document automation software

You can use Upslide's Library feature to access pre-saved brand-compliant slides and graphics

Screenshot of Upslide's Library feature

The software's Slide Check feature helps to ensure that shapes on slides are aligned, and flags potential errors like double spaces and highlighted text.

Screenshot of Upslide's Slide Check feature

How Long Will it Take to Learn Upslide's Software?

Upslide is easy to use because it is Microsoft PowerPoint- and Excel-based. If you are already familiar with Microsoft Office, you should be able to pick up and use Upslide with ease and speed.

Will my IT Team Consider the Software Secure?

There is no substantial cloud component to Upslide, and therefore security should not be a concern with this software.

Is Upslide Software Well-Maintained?

Upslide has a fully featured Microsoft PowerPoint addin, including functionality in the Ribbon and right hand sidebar.

Screenshot of PowerPoint addin for Upslide document automation software

Upslide has a Microsoft Excel addin that can help you create charts and speed up common tasks (like writing CAGR formulas and copying formulas to the right), but its main feature is to indicate that you want a table or chart to link to PowerPoint or Word.

Screenshot of Excel addin for Upslide document automation software

Finally, Upslide has a Microsoft Word addin. Upslide's Word addin can help you choose brand compliant templates and update charts and tables linked to Excel. However, Microsoft Word is not Upslide's focus and the feature set is therefore not as strong as it is in Upslide's PowerPoint addin.

Screenshot of Word addin for Upslide document automation software

We aren't crazy about how Upslide's Microsoft Office addins force themselves into the 'second from File' position in the Ribbon. You could argue that the unique and feature-packed PowerPoint addin deserves to do so, but it's harder to make the case for Upslide's Microsoft Word and Excel addins. Many users will need the native Microsoft Office features more often than the Upslide Word and Excel addin features.

Which Sectors Use Upslide?

Upslide specialises in the financial services sector. Many features and the terms used for them (like 'Tombstone' credentials and 'CAGR') will be familiar to people who work in the financial services sector.

If I Need Training and Support, Will Upslide Help?

Upslide's website has a very helpful User Guide section. The company has a small YouTube presence, but the short, to-the-point video clips on Upslide's website make up for it.

Will Upslide's Sales Process Focus on Me?

Pros:

Cons:

  • Upslide does not advertise a free proof of concept

If I Switch Software, Can I Take My Data With Me?

Yes. You own your Microsoft Office documents, including PowerPoint, Excel, Word, and PowerBI files. If you decide to stop using Upslide at some point in the future, you will still have access to all of your data.

See Upslide for Yourself

Website: www.upslide.net

YouTube: YouTube video that shows someone actually using the product

Do we recommend Upslide?

Yes, we do. Especially if you're finance professional who uses PowerPoint a lot and brand compliance matters to your firm.

Windward Studios Document Automation - Best Programming Language Choices 2023, Best Data Input Options 2023

Document Automation Reviews Team | Last updated: 5 February 2023

Best document automation programming language choices 2023 Best document automation data input options 2023

Executive Summary

Windward Studios Pros

  • Windward studios supports a fantastic range of programming languages, including C#, Java, JavaScript, PHP, Python, and VB.Net
  • Windward Studios accepts numerous data sources, including SQL, JSON, Salesforce, XML, and SharePoint
  • Power users have access to a well thought out API
  • You can choose from a wide variety of output formats, like PDF, Excel, HTML, PowerPoint, Word, PostScript, and Bitmap
  • Windward studios is a veteran of document automation, with the company getting its start generating documents in 2003.

Windward Studios Cons

  • Microsoft Excel is not one of the data sources Windword Studios can draw from
  • Limited brand compliance features
Screenshot of Windward Studios document automation website

Can I Include Whatever I Want in my Windward Studios Documents?

Pros:

  • You can change text based on database content (dynamic text)
  • You can include or exclude sections of text based on criteria you specify (conditional text)
  • Some Windward Studios templates allow text to flow freely, others are inflexible and fixed
  • You can generate multiple documents at the same time using Windword Studios' API (i.e., batch processing)

Cons:

  • Limited corporate brand compliance features
  • You can't update tables and charts in your Word document based based on your Excel data source

Will my Windward Studios Documents Look How I Want?

Windward Studios generates Microsoft Word documents. The quality of the outputs are therefore largely up to the user’s capabilities with Microsoft Word.

Here is an example of Windward Studios creating a letter:

Screenshot of Windward Studios document automation results in Word

Here is an example of Windward Studios updating an investment performance newsletter:

Another screenshot of Windward Studios document automation results in Word

Here is an example of Windward Studios creating an insurance form:

Final screenshot of Windward Studios document automation results in Word

You can see more examples of Windward Studios output in their helpful template library

How Long Will it Take to Learn Windward Studios' Software?

Windward Studios is easy to use because it is Microsoft Word-based. If you are already familiar with Microsoft Word, you should be able to pick up and use Windward Studios with ease and speed.

Will my IT Team Consider the Software Secure?

We are currently seeking information from Windward Studios about the security steps they have taken and whether all information communicated between your PC and their servers is encrypted.

The Windward Studios team discusses security on their blog, so that shows a good level of security conscientiousness.

Is Windward Studios Software Well-Maintained?

The Windword Studios Word addin looks modern and fits in well with the latest versions of Microsoft Office.

Screenshot of Word addin for Windward Studios document automation software

Windward Studios has a Microsoft Excel addin, although the company doesn't have enough information, videos, or screenshots of the addin on its website for us to assess it meaningfully.

Screenshot of Excel addin for Windward Studios document automation software

Which Sectors Use Windward Studios?

We are seeking more information from Windward Studios and will update this section when we have an answer.

If I Need Training and Support, Will Windward Studios Help?

Windward Stuidios has helpful written documentation with a search feature:

Screenshot of Windward Studios knowledgebase

There is also a small video training library:

Screenshot of Windward Studios video training library

Will Windward Studios's Sales Process Focus on Me?

Pros:

Cons:

  • Windward Studios does not advertise a free proof of concept

If I Switch Software, Can I Take My Data With Me?

Yes. Windword Studios works with SQL databases and other data sources that you own and control. If you want to move to another provider, you are free to do so.

See Windward Studios for Yourself

Website: www.windwardstudios.com

YouTube: YouTube video that shows someone actually using the product

Do we recommend Windward Studios?

Yes, we do. Especially for people who want to use their favorite programming language and create a wide range of output formats

Something to consider...

Ask document automation vendors about their security practices. The most secure software sits on your PC and doesn't communicate with external servers. The best cloud-based vendors use encryption during data transit and storage, and they delete as much user data as they can, on a regular schedule.

Woodpecker Document Automation - Best for Legal sector 2023, Best Learning Resources 2023

Document Automation Reviews Team | Last updated: 5 February 2023

Best document automation for the legal sector 2023 Best document automation online learning resources 2023

Executive Summary

Woodpecker Pros

  • Outstanding selection and organization of learning resources and training options
  • Specialized for legal sector document automation needs
  • Woodpecker's large library of legal templates is great for getting started quickly
  • Specifically targeted to solo and small firms, which is a nice change from software that tries to be everything to everybody

Woodpecker Cons

  • No substantial corporate brand compliance features
  • Could be used in other sectors than legal, but the feature set won't be geared towards you
Screenshot of Woodpecker document automation website

Can I Include Whatever I Want in my Woodpecker Documents?

Pros:

  • You can change text based on content you put into the Woodpecker database and online forms and questionnaires (dynamic text)
  • You can include or exclude sections of text based on criteria you specify (conditional text)
  • Template text can flow freely. Thankfully, Woodpecker does not require everything to always be in the same position. The only real limits to template flexibility are a result of what is possible in Microsoft Word.
  • You can generate multiple documents at the same time using Woodpecker's "multi-populate" feature (batch processing)

Cons:

  • No substantial corporate brand compliance features
  • You can't update tables and charts based based on your Excel data

Will my Woodpecker Documents Look How I Want?

Woodpecker generates Microsoft Word documents. The quality of the outputs are therefore largely up to the user’s capabilities with Microsoft Word.

Screenshot of Woodpecker document automation Word output

How Long Will it Take to Learn Woodpecker Software?

Woodpecker is easy to use because it is Microsoft Word-based. If you are already familiar with Microsoft Word, you should be able to pick up and use Woodpecker with ease and speed.

We liked how the software showed us how many instances of a particular variable existed in the report

Screenshot of Woodpecker Word addin

However, we found that the counter wasn't always accurate, particularly after deleting one or more instances of the variable. The counter seems to be able to count up, but not down.

In the future, to improve documet-creation speed, we would like to see the cursor automatically positioned after a newly inserted variable, which would facilitate further typing or the insertion of additional variables in rapid succession. As it is, for some reason the cursor is placed to the left of newly inserted variables, so you need to manually click to the right to continue creating your document.

Woodpecker's large library of document templates, which you can adapt to suit your purposes, will help cut the time it takes to learn the software. Ready made templates that you can download, adapt, and use include:

  1. Attorney Retainer template
  2. Legal Pleading template
  3. Expert Witness Retainer template
  4. Independent Contractor Agreement template
  5. Non Disclosure Agreement template
  6. Employee Offer Letter template
  7. Advisory Board Letter template
  8. Confidentiality Agreement template
  9. Website Privacy Policy template
  10. Software Referral Agreement template
  11. Accounts Receivable Past Due Letter template
  12. Legal Client Non-Engagement Letter template
  13. Durable Power of Attorney template
  14. Living Will template
  15. Health Care Proxy template
  16. Legal Client Engagement Letter template
  17. Certificate of Incorporation template
  18. 10-Day Demand Letter template
  19. Discovery Requests template
  20. Answer to Complaint template

Will my IT Team Consider the Software Secure?

Woodpecker's website doesn't mention security precautions, so we don't know enough to comment.

Is Woodpecker's Software Well-Maintained?

Woodpecker has an up-to-date looking sidebar Word addin.

Screenshot of Woodpecker document automation word addin

Woodpecker doesn't have a Microsoft Excel addin.

Which Sectors Use Woodpecker?

Woodpecker was programmed specifically to serve the legal sector.

If I Need Training and Support, Will Woodpecker Help?

Woodpecker's training options are among the best and most extensive in the document automation industry. Woodpecker has an extensive self-service learning centre with helpful videos. The company offers easy to schedule live training sessions, and you can choose whether they are one-on-one or as part of a group. Woodpecker also has community discussion forums, where you can ask questions and share tips and tricks.

Will Woodpecker's Sales Process Focus on Me?

Pros:

Cons:

If I Switch Software, Can I Take My Data With Me?

The data you enter into the Woodpecker database can be downloaded to a CSV file that you can then use with other software. That means your data is not locked into the Woodpecker system.

See Woodpecker for Yourself

Website: www.woodpeckerweb.com

YouTube: YouTube video that shows someone actually using the product

Do we recommend Woodpecker?

Yes, we do. Particularly if you're in the legal sector and an extensive online learning library is important for you.

Something to consider...

If you decide to change document automation companies, will you be able to take your data with you when you go? Or is your data locked in a database? If you need to upload data to their database, ask for an example of a CSV extract from that database; that will show what you can expect to take with you if you leave.



Potential future reviews

We are currently considering the following for potential, future reviews:

Something to consider...

When choosing a document automation provider, ask for examples of all the output formats their software can generate. Some vendors can only supply one or two document types, others may be able to provide PDFs, HTML, Word documents, presentations, Kindle format, and others.