Forte for Legal < Back to Products

Forte, formerly named MacPac 10, is The Sackett Group, Inc.’s (TSG) cutting-edge document automation and assembly program. Engineered from the ground up, Forte draws on the knowledge and effort we have invested in our other products, while benefitting from advances in MS Office. Forte brings power and sophistication to all levels of document automation—from the ad hoc, interactive creation of single documents, such as letters, pleadings, and agreements, to the pre-scheduled, unattended generation of complex multi-document packets for estate planning, real estate, human resources, marketing, and more.

Whatever the level of your document automation needs, technology challenges, or budgets, one of Forte’s six configurations will greatly reduce repetitive word processing tasks and errors and greatly streamline document assembly across your firm or legal department.

User Interface (UI)

Forte utilizes a task pane interface. The task pane allows for "dynamic document editing”, i.e. edits made in the document reflect in the UI and vice versa. Unlike a traditional dialog box interface, the task pane and document remain open simultaneously, showing the document being updated in real time.

Global and content-specific ribbons are available for all Forte documents, and include functions such as letterhead, signature blocks, envelopes and labels, and trailer/doc ID.

Customization

Forte is 100% customizable without code; no programming experience is required. Three tools enable all content design, automation, and management: the Forte Content Manager, the Document Designer (includes the Document Designer Library), and the Forte Administrator. The Content Manager and Document Designer handle the design and presentation of Forte content (letters, pleadings, etc.) within MS Word. The Forte Administrator manages non-content related configuration and maintenance.

Customization and Configuration Deployment

Firm content (formatting, styles, letterhead, boilerplate text, etc.) is published to and stored on a SQL server database. Customizations to firm content are distributed automatically to user workstations via a scheduled synchronization process.

Author Preferences (Default Settings)

Nearly all fields in Forte content can be configured as author preferences (letterhead options, signature blocks, etc.), and made globally available via an automated synchronization process. Authors and their designated proxy/proxies can set author preferences for any type of document. When an author is selected for a document, that author’s preferences are automatically applied to the document.

Reusability

Forte’s “Recreate” feature generates new, first generation documents from variable information (recipients, subject line, party names) previously input via the Forte user interface. “Recreate” automatically applies the most up-to-date letterhead, document formats, styles, and court rules to the new document.

Integrated Document Automation and Assembly

In addition to automating content such as letters and pleadings, Forte’s powerful, innovative technology seamlessly integrates document assembly functions usually restricted to traditional document assembly programs. Forte enables the user to produce agreements, proposals, wills, fill-in forms, as well as complex multi-document packages with question and answer storage.

Forte’s shared interface among template and document assembly functions ensures a consistent look and feel, and eliminates the need to train users on two different applications.

Create & Manage Content: Three Levels of Access

Forte provides different levels of access to document creation and management tools. End users can create and automate their own content, such as clauses or clause libraries, and share them with other users or user groups. Content Designers, who may be subject matter experts rather than IT personnel, have access to all design functionality and tools for practice group content and styles. Forte Administrators have access to all design functionality and tools, including document assembly features for complex conditional formatting.

Document Designer Library for Administrators

The Document Designer Library enables administrators and content designers to easily import variables, blocks of text, and content properties which have already been defined for other content into new or existing content. This feature streamlines editing of existing content, ensures consistency in development, improves efficiency in new content creation, and facilitates creation of document assembly content, such as multi-document packages and Saved Data (variable information or "answer files”).

Content Design and Document Workflow

Forte streamlines document production with a full set of content design and workflow tools. These include:

Clause Libraries. Users can create, store, and retrieve content from clause libraries they have created, and share the content with other users or groups of users.

“Answer Files”. Save Data ("answer files") can be used to save variable information in one document for use in creating another document and/or multi-document packages that share the same values. Documents may be of the same or different type. Saved Data can be shared with users.

Styling Tools. End users can copy styles from one document to another, create and share style sheets, and use them later to refresh any document or to standardize formatting on saved content. IT administrators can apply standards to and streamline development of automated content across the firm.

Context-Sensitive, Web-Based Help

Forte’s targeted, comprehensive help system enables users to:

  • Customize existing HTML files to display firm-specific functionality
  • Create additional help files for customized content created in-house
  • Link help files to an intranet or to any website with e-learning modules, videos, or court information on court rules or filing procedures

Off-Line Functionality

Forte functions normally when disconnected from the network.

Numbering Tool: Paragraph Numbering and Tables of Content (TOC)

The Numbering Tool is one of our most popular Forte À La Carte products. It provides a simpler, more intuitive interface than MS Word's paragraph numbering interface, and avoids native Word's numbering issues and limitations.

The Numbering Tool comes with a set of public numbering schemes (styles), which are accessible via a ribbon or shortcuts. Users can insert and edit public schemes in a document, save private schemes, and share schemes with other users.

Users can create and regenerate a table of contents (TOC) without manually marking text. Attributes can be applied automatically to run-in headings, and multiple numbering schemes can be applied in the same document. All scheme levels can be changed with one click; a dialog box and dynamic preview screen enable users to make more extensive changes and/or edit particular scheme levels.

Administrators can create, edit, delete, and manage public numbering schemes in-house.

Contact Integration

Forte provides seamless integration with email and/or contact relationship managers (CRM) and author lists.

Trailer/Document ID

Forte automates the insertion of a document number or filename into a MS Word document. The Trailer/Doc ID integrates with most document managers and MS Windows.

There are six different configurations of Forte, which are sold as separate products: Forte Enterprise, Forte Assembly, Forte Server, Forte Local, Forte À La Carte, and Forte Tools. All use Forte’s powerful engine, but have been designed to meet different document automation needs, IT challenges, and budgets. See the Forte Product Line Comparison for a summary of the differences.

Forte Enterprise

Our most comprehensive document automation system is configured to meet the expanding needs of midsize to large global enterprises, with support for multi-language content. Forte Enterprise utilizes a SQL database and IIS server backend to store and deliver firm content, customizations, and application data. Features include traditional macro-like functionality, extensive and fully customizable template/content management, and powerful document assembly—all presented in one consistent user interface.

Forte Assembly

This product expedites the assembly of complex documents or document packages, such as agreements, proposals, contracts, leases, wills, and fill-in forms. Forte Assembly can be configured for use across practice groups or entire enterprises, and for a network server or local database engine.

Forte Server

This configuration is Forte’s high-volume document production system designed for organizations that consistently generate large numbers of complex documents and document packages. Document production requests are processed by the server without user interaction, and the server can be configured to check documents into the document management system (DMS) and send notification upon completion. Documents are populated from data retrieved from any number of external sources, such as case management and human resource systems. Forte Server can be paired with a desktop installation of Forte to enable users to initiate document creation requests. Users may input variable information manually and/or utilize variable data from external data sources.

Forte Local

Designed for smaller organizations, Forte Local offers virtually the same functionality as Forte enterprise without requiring a SQL server or IIS. All data is stored locally in a Microsoft Jet database that can be updated on the workstation using simple file copying procedures.

Forte À La Carte

This configuration gives smaller organizations the opportunity to purchase templates and macro-like functions as stand-alone products, rather than invest in a more comprehensive Forte configuration.

The most popular Forte À La Carte components include:

  • The Numbering Tool (automatic paragraph numbering and tables of contents)
  • Letter (includes electronic letterhead, letter signature blocks, and other macro-like functions)
  • Pleading (includes pleading paper, tables of authorities, discovery questions and responses, pleading signature blocks, etc. for over 65 U.S courts in 18 states plus the UK)
  • Agreement (includes title page, exhibits/schedules, signature blocks, etc.)

Correspondence/Business or Litigation collections are also available à la carte.

Forte Tools

This configuration is for firms that may already have document templates but wish to purchase the most popular Forte automation tools. These tools function in any type of document to simplify and reduce the multiple steps typically required by MS Word’s more complicated functions, such as Table of Authorities (TOA), Table of Contents (TOC), paragraph numbering, page numbering, and section breaks. Forte Tools also provides one-click access to features not readily available in Word, such as pleading paper, automatic insertion of a document ID or filename into a Word document, or discovery question and response headings.

View Forte Product Line Comparison (PDF)

Forte Product Line

  • Included
  • Optional
Forte
Enterprise
Forte
Assembly
Forte
Server
Forte
Local
Forte
À La Carte
Forte
Tools

Task pane user interface (UI)

MS Word document utilities with just one click, such as Page Numbering, Section Breaks, Insert Doc ID, etc.

For legal, one-click document formats, such as Pleading Paper, Discovery Questions and Responses, Table of Authorities

Starter Pack included

Numbering Tool: Automatic paragraph numbering and tables of contents

Contact integration with email and/or contact relationship manager (CRM)

Integration with document management systems (DMS).

Local data storage (MS Jet database)

SQL and IIS network servers

Document assembly

Unattended document creation and document assembly

Integration with external data sources to pre-fill documents with variable information

The following content and automated functions are included in the Forte for Legal Starter Pack. Before installation, TSG works with you to customize Starter Pack documents to your specifications. Forte Enterprise and Forte Local include the Starter Pack; it may be added to Forte Assembly and Forte Server.

Correspondence

Letter, Memo, Fax, and a collection of macro-like functions such as Envelopes, Labels, Letterhead, Letter Signature Blocks

Agreement

Agreement and a collection of macro-like functions, such as Page Numbering, Title Page, Exhibits/Schedules, Notary, and Signature Blocks

Legal Documents

Pleading, Proof/Certificate of Service, Litigation Back, Verification, Notary, Bates Labels, Deposition Summary, and a collection of macro-like functions, such as Pleading Signature Blocks, Counsel/Co-Counsel, Caption/Cross-Action, Discovery Questions and Responses, Table of Authorities (Mark/Generate), Pleading Paper, and Pleading Paper Alignment

Numbering Tool: Paragraph Numbering and Tables of Contents (TOC)

The Numbering Tool offers a simpler, more intuitive paragraph numbering and TOC interface than MS Word's interface, and avoids native Word's numbering issues and limitations. Read more

Contact Integration

Forte seamlessly integrates with email and/or contact relationship managers (CRM) and author lists.

Trailer/Document ID

Forte automates the insertion of a document number or filename into a MS Word document. The Trailer/Doc ID integrates with most document managers and MS Windows.

MacPac and Forte Comparison

The chart below summarizes the differences between MacPac and Forte. As shown, the products are similar in template and macro functionality. However, the architecture, user interface, content management features, document assembly tools, and administrative and design functions are quite different.

Choosing the best TSG product for your organization is like choosing between models of a new car: you need to take a test drive. We encourage you to experience the differences between MacPac and Forte in a comparison demo. If you want to take the wheel yourself, we are happy to send you evaluation copies of both products.

View MacPac and Forte Comparison (PDF)
MacPac Forte

MS Office platform

Microsoft Office Professional (32-bit):  2016, 2013, Office 365 ProPlus, 2010, 2007

Microsoft Office Professional (32-bit):  2016, 2013, Office 365 ProPlus, 2010

Microsoft operating system (OS)

Microsoft Windows (32-bit and 64-bit): Windows 10, 8, 7

Microsoft Windows (32-bit and 64-bit): Windows 10, 8, 7

User interface (UI)

Traditional, dialog-based interface.

Global and template-specific functions, such as letterhead, signature blocks, envelopes and labels, and trailer/doc ID, are available from a ribbon.

Task pane-based interface.

Global and content-specific ribbons are available for all Forte documents, and include functions such as letterhead, signatures blocks, envelopes and labels, and trailer/doc ID.

Enables "dynamic documents" —edits made in the document reflect in the UI and vice versa.

Context-sensitive and web-based help for all task pane fields.

Application language

Visual Basic (VB)

.NET/C#

Architecture

No required network components. Author database can be maintained on the network for automated workstation updates of authors. A MacPac executable synchronizes the local database with the network copy.

No need to manually maintain author information within MacPac: optional component synchronizes author information with external sources.

SQL and IIS servers facilitate automated deployment of customizations and data updates, including author information.

No need to manually maintain author information within Forte: optional component synchronizes author information with external sources.

Customization

85% codeless customization by administrators using MacPac database and MS Word boilerplate editing. Visual Basic (VB) code can be used by in-house developers to customize MacPac or create a special macro/template package for your organization.

100% codeless customization. Built-in components enable all content design, automation, and management.

Document assembly and clause libraries

Basic document assembly-like functionality for some templates. Boilerplate text can be inserted automatically or manually into documents, and the user can be prompted to insert variable information.

Administrators can create document assembly routines for single documents of any complexity, as well as multi-document packages with question and answer storage.

End users can create variable clauses and clause libraries; save variable information from one document to create other documents that share the same values; create and save multi-document packages; and share all content with other users or groups.

Styles and styling tools

Prior to installation, TSG works with you to style and format all "Starter Pack" content to your organization's specifications.

Prior to installation, TSG works with you to style and format all "Starter Pack" content to your organization's specifications.

Includes tools to manage, copy, and apply styles. Style sheets enable users and administrators to save and apply individual or groups of styles to their documents.

Starter Pack for business

Collection of document templates and automated functions, including Correspondence, Electronic Letterhead, Agreement, Signature Blocks, Page Numbering, Title Page, Exhibits/Schedules, Notary, etc.

Collection of document templates and automated functions, including Correspondence, Electronic Letterhead, Agreement, Signature Blocks, Page Numbering, Title Page, Exhibits/Schedules, Notary, etc.

Starter Pack content for legal

Collection of document templates and automated functions, including Correspondence with electronic Letterhead, Signature Blocks, Pleading, Proof/Certificate of Service, Notary, etc. for 60 U.S. courts in over 17 states plus the UK.

Collection of document templates and automated functions, including Correspondence with electronic Letterhead, Signature Blocks, Pleading, Proof/Certificate of Service, Notary, etc. for over 64 U.S. courts in 18 states plus the UK.

Paragraph Numbering and Table of Contents

Automated paragraph numbering and tables of contents. The Numbering Tool provides a simpler, more intuitive interface than MS Word's paragraph numbering interface, and avoids native Word's numbering issues and limitations.

Automated paragraph numbering and tables of contents. The Numbering Tool provides a simpler, more intuitive interface than MS Word's paragraph numbering interface, and avoids native Word's numbering issues and limitations.

Email and contact relationship manager (CRM) integration

Microsoft Outlook, GroupWise, InterAction, ContactEase, CRM4Legal, ACT!, IBM Notes (Lotus Notes), ProLaw, any proprietary internal or third party database

Microsoft Outlook, GroupWise, InterAction, ContactEase, CRM4Legal, ACT!, IBM Notes (Lotus Notes), ProLaw, any proprietary internal or third party database

Document management systems (DMS) integration

iManage (FileSite, DeskSite), OpenText (eDOCS DM, DOCS Open), NetDocuments, Worldox

iManage (FileSite, DeskSite), OpenText (eDOCS DM, DOCS Open), NetDocuments

Contact Integration

  • Microsoft Outlook
  • GroupWise
  • InterAction
  • ContactEase
  • CRM4Legal
  • ACT!
  • IBM Notes (Lotus Notes)
  • ProLaw
  • Any proprietary internal or third party database

Document Management Systems (DMS)

  • iManage (FileSite, DeskSite)
  • OpenText (eDOCS DM, DOCS Open)
  • NetDocuments
  • Microsoft Office Professional (32-bit):  2016, 2013, Office 365 ProPlus, 2010
  • Microsoft Windows (32-bit and 64-bit):  Windows 10, 8, 7
  • 2.5+ GHz processor
  • 8 GB RAM for Office 2016, 2013, Office 365 ProPlus; 4 GB RAM for Office 2010
  • 1024 x 768 or higher screen resolution