HotDocs 2009-10 Answer Files Not Working with Earlier Versions of HotDocs

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Problem

After creating an answer file in HotDocs 2009 (or later), the answer file no longer works with previous versions of HotDocs. Some users are led to believe their answer files have become corrupted or completely unusable.

Solution

With the release of HotDocs 2009, the XML answer file format was changed, which keeps earlier versions of HotDocs from reading them.

If you are using HotDocs 2009 or later to create answer files for use with earlier versions of HotDocs, you must save the answer file in a backwards-compatible format. Specifically, if you need to use the answer file with HotDocs 2005 through HotDocs 2008, you must save the file as a HotDocs 2005-2008 answer file. You can select this format at the New Answer File dialog box or the Save Answer File As dialog box. You can also select it at the Properties dialog box for the answer file.

Additionally, you should understand that HotDocs 6 through HotDocs 2008 all support two types of answer files—binary answer files (.ANS) and XML answer files (.ANX). In order to support the use of Unicode characters, however, HotDocs 2009 saves all answer files in XML format. If you open a binary answer file (an .ANS file) in HotDocs 2009, change one or more answers, and then save, the answer file will be saved as XML. The file name extension will not be changed, but will continue to be .ANS even though the file is in XML format.