Add an Ask to an automated document

Available on Smokeball Grow and Prosper+

An Ask feature is used to create a pop up question to insert text, dates, numbers, true/false, and multiple choice options.

Use Asks to quickly insert information to any document where the information changes. If you have a large amount of information to manually every time, it may be better to note that on your template.

Ideally, you do not want to have too many Asks (pop ups) to create your document. Talk to your Account Manager for the best practice for any particular template you are creating.

Create an Ask

  1. From Asks on the Automation Toolbar, select Add
  2. Enter the details of the Ask
    • Complete the Field Name (quick title for the ask), Question (what question will pop up), and Answer Type
  3. Review multiple options for how the answer will be formatted under Default answer. (discussed below)
  4. Select Create.

Types of Asks


Text can be used when a quick phrase or information that changes needs to be added to the document. If you find you yourself entering a paragraph of information, the best practice is to enter that information free form versus using an Ask.


The text Answer Type is used most commonly for times. If you have a specific format for how you want text to be entered, the best practice is to include some instructions in your question.


Number is used for any numeric value. This is most often used when entering the length of time (years to hold documents) or dollar amounts (money owed). When using the number, make sure to enter just the number without extra formatting.


The Date Answer Type will allow you to select a date from a calendar.


True/False is used often when creating an If/Then/Else Conditional statement. You can use this option as a "yes/no" option.


The Choice Answer Type is used when there is a variety of options to choose from. What ever is entered as the choice option and selected will be inserted into the document.

Party Selection

Party Selection is a type of Ask used when the document needs to be addressed to a specific contact, but there are multiple parties on the document (multiple plaintiffs/defendants, etc.). Learn more about Party Selection.

Once you've created the Ask, highlight the place you want to insert it. Double-click to insert the Ask.

To change the format of any ask:

  1. Select the field (do not highlight or you will not see the option) .
  2. Select the format.
  3. Apply format.

Test your inserted Ask by selecting Show values and Run questions for this form.

Every time you create a document with the template, your Ask will pop up before completing automation.

You can enable Microsoft Word’s field shading feature to view what words in your template are automated by following the directions below:

    1. From File, select Options and Advanced
    2. Scroll down to Show document content and select Always under field shading.
    3. Select OK.
    4. The document will show any inserted fields from automation.

Additional Resources

We have also prepared a webinar that you can view for additional training on Asks outside of our work hours. 

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