Document template overview and setup

Estimated reading: 21 minutes

Medical notes and correspondence document templates are used for exam notes, consent forms, client handouts, kennel cards, etc. and are managed from the document template list. A variety of templates are provided for you in document categories of Samples and Starter. In this article:

  • Types of documents
  • Editor tools and properties
  • Defaults Template
  • Planning your template
  • Setup and/or edit your template

Before you start


  • Copy/pasting a bookmark breaks its function and can create protected text errors. If a bookmark is not working within a document, delete the bookmark and re-insert.
  • Template descriptions must be unique. Duplicate descriptions, including those with different use of upper and lower case, are not permitted.

Types of templates

Document template types are required when creating a new document template. The template and save type determine how the document will appear in the patient record and on the Daily Planner.

Three types of templates examples:

  • Medical Note: Exams, progress notes, surgery, and anesthesia records.
  • Correspondence: Consent forms, take home instructions, heath condition handouts.
  • Print Only: Cage cards, patient identification label/collar, general information handouts.

Each type of document can be distinguished by its icon that appears next to it in history on the Patient Clipboard.

Template details

Document TypeRecorded in historyDisplay in history and Daily PlannerSource icon in history
Medical note
Includes text only and classic
YesThe document title displays on the Summary, Text, and Medical Notes tab of Patient Clipboard.

Text only and classic notes display inline on Text and Medical Notes tabs. The full document can be viewed from the preview pane.

Documents with the status of draft and tentative display on the Medical Notes tab of Daily Planner.
Correspondence Document
Includes text only
YesThe document title displays on the Summary and Text tabs of Patient Clipboard.
Text only displays inline on Text tab. The full document can be viewed from the preview pane. 

Documents with the status of draft and tentative display on Correspondence tab of Daily Planner.
Correspondence Title Only
Includes text only
YesThe title displays on Summary and Text tabs of Patient Clipboard. Only the title can be viewed.

It does not display in the Daily Planner, as the only status is final
Print onlyNo

Document editor menu

FilePage setup and margins, access to document properties, print
EditCommon word processing functions like cut, copy, paste, undo, redo, etc.
Modify text input fields and pictures
ViewShow/hide rulers and toolbars
InsertAdd bookmarks, text input fields, checkboxes, information prompt links, etc.
FontCommon word processing font functions like bold, underline, italic, etc.
ParagraphCommon word processing paragraph functions like right justify, indent left, indent right, etc.
TableInsert and format table options
Othersearch, replace, spell check

Template elements

A list of elements commonly used in templates with their function, use cases, and instructions on how to setup.

Note: Most images are displaying the element once the document is in use. See the Setup a new document section for an example of a full template once it is setup with the elements.



Text input fields

Check boxes

Information prompt links (Diagnosis, Problem, and Vital Signs)

Picture/picture and description


Invoice items pane

Tab stops


Update any of the properties, as needed, by selecting Edit Properties on the document template.

  1. Title: Enter a brief document name to identify the template.
    • Up to 50 alphanumeric characters will display in the list without truncation
    • Descriptions longer than 50 characters will display in patient history without truncation.
  2. Type:
    • Medical Note: Will display in the medical note tab on the Patient Clipboard.
    • Correspondence: Will display in the summary tab on the Patient Clipboard
    • Print Only: Does not display in history
  3. Save: This option applies to the correspondence type only.
    • Document: The entire document is stored in the patient history and can be previewed/opened.
    • Title Only: Only the title displays in the patient history, document cannot be opened/viewed
  4. Show past and future uses of this template on…: Select if you want past and future correspondence documents created from this template to be shown in history on the Medical Notes tab, Daily Planner, Check-in Report and Patient History Report.
  5. Category options:
    • Category: select a document template category to expedite searching and organizing documents.
    • Inactive: select when document template is no longer to be used.
    • Show in Practice Favorites: select to add to favorite document list for the practice.
  6. Description: Enter a default history (Hx) description that will be included with the template description when the document is used for a patient.
    • The history description can be up to 40 alphanumeric characters.
    • A history description can also be entered or edited at the time of use and be up to 65 characters.
  7. Alert Display
    • Hx alert: Select to have this document title highlighted.
      • The history line displays with white text on a bright red background by default.
      • The alert option can be changed or chosen at the time of use.
    • Color: Select a highlight color when using the Hx alert. Note: This will be against a white background.
    • Text: Select white or black text when using Hx alert and a designated alert color.
    • Autofinalize in _ days: Enter the number of days in which this document becomes finalized. The default can be set in Controls > Defaults > Practice and Workstation > Documents.
  8. Printer: Select a default printer when printing a document created from this template.
  9. Click OK to save your changes and return to the Document Template list or click Save to keep changes and continue working on the template.

Default template setup

A default setup document template can be used as a starting point for new document templates and for converting classic notes to an enhanced template. The Header and Footer (w/ fonts) template is provided and is automatically set in Practice and Workstation defaults as the default template for documents for new Cornerstone systems.

  • This template includes a header and footer containing bookmarks for clinic, client, and patient information, date, etc.
  • This information displays on all pages of the document when filled out for a patient and can be further customized as needed.
  • Update the default template or create a new one to include information relevant to your practice, such as a logo and any other in formation that should be included.
  • Change the default template in Controls > Defaults > Practice and Workstation > Documents.

The steps for creating a new Header/footer template, or updating the existing one are the same as they are for other document templates. See the sections below for details on creating a new template or updating a template.

Options for setting up a new document

Start from default template

Copy existing template

Save as

Outside source


Planning your document

Before starting to create a document, use these questions and considerations as a guide to help determine what options are best for the situation.

  • What kind of document do you need?
    • Medical note
    • Correspondence
    • Print Only
  • Where do you want it to display in history?
    • Should it display on the summary and medical notes?
    • Should it only display in summary?
  • Do you only need to see that the document was created or do you need to be able to open and view the document?
  • Would it be more efficient to start from a blank document or use copy or save as?
  • Who will use the document?
  • What data entry methods will be used?
    • Bookmarks, question bookmarks
    • Text input
    • Check boxes
  • The template should follow practice workflow, such as exam. This will also help to determine use of bookmarks, text input, etc.
  • Text input only style documents can be used for a simpler template type without formatting, tables, graphics, and other elements.

Navigating the document list

  1. Lists > Documents > Templates
  2. All documents display alphabetically by title. Search and select an existing template by doing any of the following:
    • Check the search for word checkbox and enter a key word.
    • Enter a document ID.
    • Narrow results by selecting a Category or Favorites.
    • Uncheck or check the template type checkboxes.
    • Select Include inactives.
    • Sort list by any of the columns by clicking the applicable column header.
  3. A preview of the template will display in the pane at bottom of window.

Setup a new document template

  1. Do one of the following from the Document Template List:
    • Click New and then select Document template or Text only template.
    • Search and select an existing template from the list and click Update and then click Save As.
    • Search and select an existing template and click Copy.
  2. In the Cornerstone document editor:
    • Modify the template by adding content and using the Cornerstone Editor tools available based on document or text only selection from previous step.
    • The Cornerstone Editor is similar to a word processing program with typical formatting options for font, text, bulleted and numbered lists, etc. Hovering your mouse over the editor toolbar icons will display their function.
  3. Edit properties, as needed.
  4. Click Ok.

Update a document template

Modify templates, inactivate, and change template properties as needed.

  1. Lists > Documents > Templates
  2. Search and select an existing template from the list and click Update.
  3. In the Cornerstone editor:
  4. Click Edit Properties, if needed to change document category, alert or printer settings, or template status.

Additional information



Cornerstone editor window

Document titles

Document types

Invoice items



Template properties

Text input fields

Text-only template documents

Editor tools document compatibility

Use the chart below to determine which document elements/tools can be used with which document types.

Data entry tools

Share this Page

Document template overview and setup

Or copy link

Jump to: