Last Updated 5/30/14

Document Setup

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In Chronicle, there are three main parts to setting up documents: defining the documents that you regularly use, creating required document sets so Chronicle knows which documents are required for different types of jobs, and setting up document templates—that is, documents that are patterns for the documents that you will add to various jobs, inserting job and customer info as appropriate.

Getting to the Document Setup


Click on the Chronicle icon in the upper left corner of Chronicle and click Main System Setup .

If Main System Setup isn’t in listed under Management Tools; see Adding Main System Setup to Your Tools List.


In the list of tabs on the left, click Departments Tab and select the department you wish to work with. (Show/hide screen)


Across the top of the screen you will see a row of tabs, choose the Documents tab to customize documents for the selected department.

If you need to add new departments, you must do that before you can add the activities for those departments.


Once in the document setup, go to the appropriate tab:

Defined Documents: Define or identify the documents you regularly use and their standard source, including document templates with definable content (like particular job and customer info).

Required Documents Sets: Define which documents are required for different types of jobs.

Defining Standard Documents

The first step in setting documents up in Chronicle is to define the documents that you typically have and where you get them from. For example, nearly all disaster restoration jobs have photos and you virtually always import photos from a digital camera, so you would define Job Photos as a document that comes from an imported image. This way, when you are adding documents to a job, you’ll be able to just pick Job Photos from the list and Chronicle will automatically know to look for image files. Likewise, many jobs will have an initial estimate, a final estimate, a work authorization, and so on. For each of these different documents, you want to define the name of the document (so it will be consistently named the same way) and the source of the document (scanner, imported image, .pdf file, Word file, etc.) At this point in time, you are not adding documents, but rather defining them by giving them a name.


On the Departments tab in the Main System Setup, go to the Documents tab and make sure the Defined Documents tab is selected. (Show/hide screen)


To the left make sure you have selected the department you wish to define documents for.


To add a defined document, click Add.


Type the name of the document and click OK. (Show/hide screen)

Make this name as clear as possible; this is the name that must be picked each time the corresponding document is added to a job. Make sure two documents for a department don’t have similar names so the wrong name doesn’t accidentally get picked. You may use the same name in multiple departments if you wish, for example, you could have Job Photos in several departments. However, if you regularly have multiple departments for a job, you might find it clearer to use unique names like Job Photos-Water and Job Photos-Fire so it’s clear which is which in the list of documents.


Choose the type of document and click OK. (Show/hide screen)

   Scan Image: Use this for a document or form that you will scan in. Use this for any document that must be signed by a customer. You might also use this to scan in documents that are filled out manually at the site.

   Import Photos/ Images: Use this for pictures that are on a computer disk. For example, you'd use this for photos taken with a digital camera.

Create a Template: Use this to associate this document with a template. If you choose this, Chronicle will ask you to pick the template type to use. See Setting Up Template Documents to Include Customer or Job Info below.

Attach an existing file from your hard drive:

  • Acrobat File: Use this for a .pdf file. For example, the Xactimate program can export estimates as .pdf files, so you'd use this file type to import Xactimate estimates in Chronicle.

  • Microsoft Word: Use this to add an existing Word document.

  • Microsoft Excel: Use this to add an existing Excel document.

  • Web Page: Use this for a .htm or .html file.

  • Other file: Use to attach other files not listed above.

Repeat these steps for each document you need to define. You are actually adding a document but rather setting up a "placeholder" for the document. You will add the actual document to either a job file, person file, or organization file. You are also able to edit the name of the defined document.

Setting Up Required Document Sets

Chronicle lets you define as many sets of required documents as you need. For example, your State Farm jobs might require different documents from MetLife jobs, and both might require different documents from non-insured jobs. To deal with this, Chronicle lets you create a different set of requirements for each. When you add each job, you'll indicate which required document set applies, and Chronicle will require the corresponding documents.

Setting up required documents lets you make sure each job has complete documentation. For example, suppose for a particular department in a required document set, you indicate that the job must have an initial estimate, a final estimate, a signed work authorization, and job photos. In the Required Documents entry on job panels and on the Documents screen for the job, Chronicle lets you know which required documents are present and which are missing. If you try to mark a department complete with required documents missing, Chronicle stops you, guaranteeing that each job has complete documentation before you mark it as done.

Before you can set up required document sets, you must first define all of the documents you use. Required document sets indicate which defined documents are needed in which contexts; you can't require any document you haven't defined.


On the Departments tab in the Main System Setup, select a department, go to the Documents tab and click the Required Document Sets tab. (Show/hide screen)


Above the Required Document Set box, click New Set to add each set of documents that you need.

You need a document set for each distinctive set of documents. For example, if State Farm jobs require one set of documents and other insurance companies require another and non-insured jobs require still another, then you might need three sets. If you require the same documents for all jobs, then you might need only one set. If two insurance companies have different work authorization forms, this doesn't necessarily mean that you need two sets; one required document called Work Authorization can serve both even  if you are scanning different forms. If this is the case for all of the documents needed, a single required document set can serve multiple companies.

Give each a name that clearly distinguishes it from the other document sets.


In the Required Document Set box, select the appropriate document set and click Add Doc to Set.  


In the popup, select all that apply to the required document set you are creating.

Chronicle only shows those documents that are not already in the set.

In the cell to the right, indicate how many days one has to add the document to the job from the time the department becomes active (or from the time the required document set is associated with the job if you associate it after adding the department).

For example, the sample screen shows that the Final Estimate must be added within 3 days of when the Water department becomes active.

Documents aren't required unless the corresponding department is part of the job. For example, this document set requires the Final Estimate for the Water department. If you associate this Required Document Set with a job, this document is required if the Water department is part of the job; it isn't required if the job doesn't have the Water department.


Repeat this process for each appropriate department and for each document set.



For each department, indicate whether users must choose a doc set if that department is on a job.

Check the box that indicates whether a doc set is required. Users must then choose some set of required documents when a new job is added for this department; leave this unchecked if a required document set isn't required. Typically this is checked for departments like Fire, Water, and Mold where documents are required for every job.


Setting Up Document Templates to Include Customer or Job Information

Document templates are documents that are used as a pattern for other documents. This could be a document that you have designed to include information about a customer or job, it could be a stock Word or Excel file that you want to attach to jobs and then manually customize, or it could even be a stock .pdf file (like a price sheet or written guarantee) that you want to associate with jobs.

This is how you set up a document template:


In the Main System Setup, from the department tab, select the department to add a document template for.


On the Documents setup tab, go to Defined Documents, and click the add button and select a template.  (Show/hide screen)


Enter a title for the template: Make the name as clear as possible so people are clear on which template they are using. Make sure two document templates for a department don’t have similar names so the wrong template doesn’t accidentally get picked.


Choose the type of template to add and press OK.

  • Microsoft Word: Choose this if you have a particular Word file that you want to attach to many jobs.

  • Microsoft Excel: Choose this if you have a particular Excel file that you want to attach to many jobs.

  • PDF (Acrobat): This lets you attach a .pdf file. Since most people can’t edit a .pdf file, this is generally only relevant if you want to attach a non-editable item like a price sheet or something like that.

  • Chronicle Text: This is generally not used. There are some other older merge codes here not yet available in Word/Excel. You can print out a single invoice created from the departmental invoices added to Chronicle from QuickBooks.


Chronicle will open Word or Excel so that you can create the content of the template: You can either start with a blank document or pick a an already saved file to use as the template. (Find the appropriate file and click OK). In Word/Excel there will be a Chronicle tab where you can select merge codes to add to the document to auto-insert job information. You can also use the formatting in Word/Excel to make the document look the way you want it to look.

If you are creating a Chronicle Text template: Enter the content of the document; we give more detail on this below.


Click the  in the upper right corner of the window to close the document. Do not use Word or Excel's save feature. This does not save the template in Chronicle.


Click Yes when asked if you want to save the document in Chronicle.


Additional Help for Creating Chronicle Text Templates

Chronicle Text is a simple word processor you can use to create documents. This is an older part of the program and many of the merge codes have been moved to Word/Excel. However, there are a few codes that have not been moved. For example, merge codes concerning invoices. In QuickBooks you create an invoice for each department on a job. You might want to send a single invoice to the customer for that job. Chronicle Text allows you to merge those invoices into one invoice.

To include specific information for a person or job: If the merge field bar isn’t showing click View> Toolbars> and check merge fields.

In the merge field bar, click Category and choose the type of information you want, click Insert Field to choose what to include, and then click Insert Field.

For example, to include the customer’s name, choose Person Concerning for the Category, choose Concerning Name for the value to insert, and then click Insert. This adds:

#[Concerning Name]

When you associate the document with a particular job or person, Chronicle replaces this code with the name of the customer. For a complete list of information that you can insert, see Job and Customer Info that can be Added to Documents.

For entries that will collect additional information when the document is associated with a person or job, Chronicle asks for a Field Name; this is the question that comes up so the user knows what information to enter.

Whenever you add a document for a person or job that’s based on the template, the appropriate job or customer information is automatically filled in.

Once you've set up the template, then whenever you add a document for a person or job that's based on the template, the appropriate job or customer information is automatically filled in.