System - Options

The settings in Options determines the way HowNow operates in your firm. The optional settings can be accessed from File > Options

Firm Details

Name: Enter the name of your organisation – e.g. ABC Partners. This will be the name displayed at the top of the HowNow main screen and embedded in merge documents. Note: Altering the firm name will cause HowNow to deregister itself and you will need to obtain a new licence key from the HowNow Support Team

Short Name: Enter the abbreviated name of your organisation – e.g. ABC.

Address: Enter your organisation’s address.
Message: The text entered here is displayed at the top of the HowNow main screen after the firm name. If nothing is entered here, the phrase "How we do it here" will appear after the firm name.

Partner Title: The text entered here is the name you use to describe the Partner/Director fields in HowNow. The default is Partner.

Email Address: This is the firm's default email address.

Default Greeting: Select or enter the firm's default greeting for merge documents

Default Sign Off: Select or enter the firm's default sign off for merge documents.

System Wide Settings

System Settings

  • Enable Recycle Bin: This option controls the recycle bin. When it is on, any deleted items are held in the recycle bin instead of being immediately deleted. The administrator can empty the recycle bin and permanently delete the items when required.
  • Disable Add-In Manager on Startup: This may be useful in a terminal server environment.
  • Use Windows Explorer for Moving and Copying Files - when permissions aren't moving correctly with files added to HowNow this can fix the issue by using a different way to move/copy the file.
  • Set Default File Operation to Move: When adding a new Record to HowNow the file is copied and left in the users source folder. Choosing Move will remove the file from the users source folder.
  • Search Fetch Count: Allow the user to retrieve documents in batches. Click on the result (>100) on the bottom of the grid to retrieve more.
  • Firm Email Client: Select the type of email client installed. This determines which email client is in use. Options are Microsoft Outlook or Other
  • Logout Behaviour - this determines what occurs when a user closes HowNow - 
    • Automatic logs you out so you will need to login again next time you go to HowNow
    • Manual gives you the option to stay logged in
    • User Select allows each user to choose their own setting

Employee Options

  • Show Last Name, First Names: By default, HowNow displays people’s names in the form First Name Last Name. Select this checkbox if people’s names are to be displayed as Last Name, First Name. Note: this setting is not used when saving records to the Team storage area. In this case, names are always stored as Surname, First Names.
  • Allow Own Profile Edit: Allow users to edit their own profile details.
  • Open at Tab: Select the tab that is opened when HowNow starts. The options are:
    • User Select – Allow each user to select their own tab.
    • Last Opened – Open at the last tab viewed.
    • Tab Name – Opens at the selected tab.

Knowledge & Contacts Tabs

Knowledge Management

  • Force Revision Note on Edit: Check this option to force a note to be entered whenever a document is edited.
  • Enable Default Prompt on Master Style Change: When generating a merge document, if the user selects a different master style template, a message will appear asking the user if they want to set the particular master style template as the default.
  • Enable Topics: This option allows the topic filters system to be switched off if it isn't being used. Note: if this option is switched off, the following option is disabled.
  • Show Topics First in Filter List: This option allows the topic filters to be shown first in the filter list. The default is to show topics as the last entry in the list.
  • Colours: This section specifies the colour of the edition number on both non-currents and current documents shown in the search results.


  • Refresh Every "X" Days: HowNow will automatically refresh its copy of your contact database at the interval you specify here. If contacts are added to or deleted from your contact database on a daily basis, enter 1 so that HowNow updates its copy of your client database each day. If client records in your database do not change very frequently, enter a higher number so that the data is refreshed at appropriate intervals. HowNow refreshes its copy of your client database in the background, when the HowNow Administrator logs into HowNow. To force HowNow to refresh its copy of the contact database, use File > Administration > Force External Data Refresh. Note: To schedule automatic refreshes more frequently than one day, see Data Refresh in the Contacts Ribbon.
  • Show Contacts Tab: Check this box to display the contacts tab.

Records Tab

  • Setup Mode: Check this option to disable all record storage operations while the Records module is being configured. Once Records has been configured, uncheck this option to resume normal record storage.
  • Single Character Index Folder: This option, which is only available in HN5.2, specifies that a single character index folder is automatically created when a contact record is stored. The folder name is the first character of the contact identifier. For example …\A\Adams, John or …\B\Bellows Pty Ltd. This field is ignored if the record being saved is any type other than a contact.
  • Force Partner Selection: If checked, this option forces users to select a partner from the partner drop-down lists when creating records. If this option is not checked, users are not forced to select a partner. Regardless of this setting, if the contact database has a PartnerName, PartnerInitials, ManagerName or ManagerInitials field, HowNow will retrieve the Partner and Manager names from the contact details instead of from the Partner and Manager drop-down lists.
  • Enable Folder Monitoring: This option enables HowNow Folder Monitoring. This feature automatically monitors a selected user's folder (watch folder) for new documents and prompts to add them to HowNow. Each user in HowNow has to be enabled before this feature can be used. See Employee Details.
  • Allow Record Duplication: Switch this option off if the firm's policy is not to allow record duplication. The default is on.
  • Only Email/Copy Final Records: This option prevents records being emailed/copied unless their status is final.
  • Save To Parent Contact: This option specifies that records created by MailScan are to be saved to the parent contact and not the actual contact. The contact's GroupName field specified the client code of its parent.
  • Default Date Range: Use this option to set the default date range on the Records Tab. The options are:
    • User Select - Allows users to set their own default.
    • A Fixed Time Period - For example, 7 Days.
    • The default date range is limited to showing the last 6 months to increase the speed of loading the records grid - users can choose to search over longer date periods in the records tab if needed.
  • Linking Options
    • Enable Linking: This option enables the linking of related records via a link code. If a linked record is clicked in the search results screen, a list of related records will be displayed in a panel at the bottom of the screen. A link code can be up to 12 alphanumeric characters long and is usually the job code associated with the record.
    • Filter Linked Records: Forces HowNow to apply all filters to linked records. The default (off) is to not filter linked records except for the contact filter.
    • Link Name: Use this field to change the name of the link field displayed in HowNow. The default is 'Link'.
    • Linked Grid Behaviour: Use this option to determine how linked records show on the grid. The options are:
      • User Select - Allows users to set their own default
      • Automatic - Will automatically show a linked records pane at the bottom of the records search grid when a linked record is highlighted 
      • Disabled - Will never show a linked records pane at the bottom of the records search grid when a link record is highlighted
  • Version Control - this option allows a new version of a record to be created each time it is edited. In HowNow X this is automatically turned on and set to a maximum of 3 versions.
    • Select Enable Versioning to activate this option
    • Optionally select the Maximum Number of Versions to be created - leave blank if no limit is required.
  • Smart Link Prefix - adds a contact identifier to the beginning of the smart link to enable easier identification of a document - options are:
    • None
    • Entity Name
    • Client Code
  • FTP Website Details: Used to record the default FTP website details for use when exporting documents or records.
    • Default Website Address: The FTP address to be shown as the default.
    • Username and Password: The user name and password for the above address.
  • Accepted File Types - Add file types, that are excluded by default for security reasons, to allow users to add files with these extensions to HowNow. Excluded file types include 
    ('.exe', '.lnk', '.bat', '.cmd', '.ps1', '.zip', '.rar', '.7z')
Workflow Tab (where the additional Workflow module is installed)

  • Name for Job: The text entered here will be used instead of the word 'Job' wherever it appears in HowNow.
  • Enable Job Numbering: Check this box to allow the use of job numbers. Job numbers can be up to 12 alphanumeric characters in length.
  • Next Job Number: Only available if Job Numbering is enabled.
  • If automatic numbering is required, enter the word AUTO.  In this case HowNow will automatically assign a unique number to each job. The format of the number will be 6 digits, left padded with zeros. To change this format, enter # characters after 'AUTO' to specify the number of characters to output. Alphanumeric characters are allowed as well. For example, AUTOJ#### would result in the first number being J0001. To manually control the job number sequence, enter the starting job number in the sequence. Alphanumeric characters are allowed. For each new job created, HowNow will increment this value from right to left as in J100A8, J100A9, J100B0, J100B1, etc.
  • Minutes per time unit: The value entered here is used to convert activity time into time units. If no conversion is required, enter 1.
  • Job Title Includes Contact: Check this option to automatically include the contact's name in the job title. The default is checked.
  • Automatically Start Task when Activated: If this option is checked, tasks are automatically started when they are activated.
  • Workflow Search Results Colours: This section specifies the colour of the status in the job and task search results lists. 
  • Default Button: Click this button to reset the colours to their default values.

HowNow Portal

If you have HowNow Portal connected to HowNow, a Portal administrator's details needs to be entered here so the two products can communicate with each other.

If you would like the record ID to be appended to the filename of portal uploads, check this box, if unselected the default is to not show the record ID on the portal.


Business Fitness Login Details

  • Website Username: Enter the username that has been provided during the implementation of HowNow.
  • Web Site Password: Enter the password that has been provided during the implementation of HowNow.
  • Repeat Password: To confirm the password entered above is correct, re-enter the password again. Note: the password is case-sensitive.

Automatically Check For Updates: Select this checkbox to have HowNow check for Content and Software Updates once each day the first time the Content Updater or Software Updater(s) log into HowNow.

Load Content As Approved: Select this checkbox if your organisation wants documents issued in Content Updates to automatically come in as "Approved" content. Check with your HowNow Leader before changing this setting, as it is a management policy decision.

Allow All Users as Software Updaters - This option only applies to HowNow X - Select this checkbox if you wish to allow all users to update their own software.

Server Settings and Add-in Defaults


Email or Print SMTP Server: Enter the name of your email SMTP server. This setting is used by the Email or Print function to send email.

Public Holidays (only applies where the additional Workflow module is installed)

This area is used in Workflow Management to set-up a list of public holidays and other dates that is used to calculate task start dates via business days. Weekends are automatically skipped and don't need to be added to the list.

  • To add a date to the list, enter it into the first field or select if from the drop-down calendar.
  • To add all of the Easter dates for a given year, enter the year in the Year field and click Easter.
  • To delete a date, select the entry and click Delete

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