Automation 101

Smokeball's automation tool is an easy way to help you fill in documents quickly and accurately. If you have existing templates or forms that you have already created, it is possible to upload them to Smokeball and automate fields.

How to Automate a Template:

  • Upload the Template to the Forms & Templates Library.  Review Template Creation Basics for additional details.
    • (1) Click "browse for an existing document" if uploading an existing document or create a new template from a blank document.
      • Note: You can upload a PDF or Excel document into the form and template library. You'll need to change the view on the bottom right of the screen to have those files visible. You cannot automate PDFs or Excel Documents.
    • (2) Name the document
    • (3) Choose a container type from the Container dropdown menu and change location (if applicable). Containers are a great way to use your letter head or caption header to save time automating documents in the future.
    • (4) Select create.

  • There are different types of automation available in Smokeball
Field Insertion

A Field Insertion is taking any information entered in the Matter Details of a Matter and inserting it into your document. Learn more about Field Insertions.


Asks are pop-up questions that can be set up to fill in text, dates, numbers, true/ false, and multiple choice options. Learn more about Asks.

If/Then/Else Conditional Statements

If/Then/Else are conditional statements built off a Field Insertion or Ask.

If/Then/Else Statements require a more advanced level of automation knowledge and skill, but provide powerful capabilities to your templates. For example, many Smokeball users have simplified multiple templates into one individual document using If/Then.Else Statements. Learn more about If/Then/Else Conditional Statements.


  • Field Insertions and Asks are an easy way to get used to automating documents and most simple documents can be automated using these two features.
    • You'll notice examples of information that can be automated in the document below highlighted in red.
    • We recommend using generic fields like "client/other side" or "initiating party/responding party" over specific fields. Learn more about Field Insertion Best Practices.
    • Note: This particular template can use the default Letterhead Container. More details below in the Did You Know section of this article.

  • To insert a field, (1) highlight the desired field in the document and (2) double click the appropriate field to insert the field.
    • Once you have inserted the field, you will see the field inserted like "<<Client/Full Name(s) (All Parties)>>."

  • To insert an Ask, you will first need to create the Ask. Learn more about how to create Asks.
    • Highlight the place you want to insert your Ask. Then double click to insert the Ask.

  • Select "show values" at any time to test your document in real time and see information inserted.
    • If you want to test your Asks, select "run questions for this form."

  • Once any Field (or Ask) has been inserted, you can change the format by:
    • (1) Select the field (do not highlight or you will not see the option) .
    • (2) Select the format.
    • (3) Apply format.

  • Remember to "save & close" your template to save any changes. The template will be ready to use in the Forms & Templates Library.

Did You Know?

  • This particular template could have been automated faster if we used Document Containers, particularly a letterhead.
    • A Document Container would have inserted the date, address block, salutation, and signature block.
    • You would only have needed to insert one Ask to complete the entire document. The rest of the template could be removed since the Document Container will fill in those details.
    • Learn more about Document Containers.

  • Smokeball will automate publicly available Court and Authority forms. Submit additional forms (in batches of 10) with a website URL to your Account Manager to have the Smokeball team add them to the library.
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