Introducing HowNow 5

Quick Start Guide

This guide will get you up to speed on all the new enhancements in HowNow 5.

HowNow 5 is here and HowNow has been given a facelift – the first thing you will notice is we have introduced the HowNow Brown Cow mascot. We hope you like her, but if you don’t she can be turned off for your firm from the system options.

The interface has been modernised and we have introduced some great new features.

Watch the video below on HowNow 5 changes or keep reading below. 


You will now have the ability to preview your documents in Knowledge and Records. Showing the Preview on Knowledge and Records can now be set at a user level as well as a Firm level. Firm level options will override user options.

Learn more about this feature from the following links: 

Previewing Records 

Previewing Knowledge 

System Settings

Saving & Recalling Filters

Users can now save their current/favourite filters to be recalled at a later time. Stored filters are available even after restarting HowNow. This feature is available in Knowledge, Records, Jobs and Tasks.

The records search bar consists of a free text search area and five buttons. From left to right these buttons are:

  • Store current filters (also available on the ribbon)
  • Recall current filters (also available on the ribbon)
  • Clear current filters (also available on the ribbon) - this resets the filters back to your default settings
  • Clear the search text only

Learn more about this feature from the following link: 

Navigating Records with the Ribbon

New Shortcuts

New shortcuts added to 'Email as' and 'Copy to Clipboard' menus – Click here for a full list of shortcut keys  

Email As:
File attachment - Ctrl+E+F
Zip file attachment - Ctrl+E+Z
PDF file attachment - Ctrl+E+P
Smartlink - Ctrl+E+H

Copy to Clipboard:
File attachment - Ctrl+C+F
Zip file attachment - Ctrl+C+Z
PDF file attachment - Ctrl+C+P
Smartlink - Ctrl+C+H

Paste from Clipboard for Knowledge or Records

You are now able to right click and choose paste or Ctrl-V to add a clipboard item when on the Knowledge or Records screen. This feature will bring up to the filing wizard to save the document you have copied in the clipboard. This feature is not available with an attachement that is copied from an email message.

Display Preferences

User display preferences like width and visibility for Record and Knowledge Preview, Record Locations, Knowledge Filters and Organisation Positions are maintained between restarts of HowNow on a per computer basis. User display preferences can be reset by going to File > My Personal Details > Other Settings > Reset Display Settings to Default.

Showing open documents when closing HowNow

A new 'Open Document' screen has been added when closing HowNow to allow users to force close on open documents.

If you attempt to close HowNow while documents are still open, HowNow will prompt to save and close the documents.

Once a document has been closed, you can refresh the list to ensure all documents are closed and then proceed to close HowNow.

If you are sure the document has been closed, you can use the Force Close button to remove the document locking – be aware that if the document was still open and you use the force close feature you will lose any unsaved work.

This step avoids a user's information remaining in the "In Use" field in HowNow.

Floating File Notes

File notes can be minimised to enable use of other areas of HowNow, or to create an additional file note while still working on the original file note. These can then be maximised, finalised and saved. If a file note is still open when closing HowNow, you will be prompted to save the File Note.

Bookmarking in combined PDFs

New PDF functionality has been added to HowNow, which incorporates bookmarking of combined PDFs. If this option is selected it will place bookmarks inside the combined PDF, based on the titles of the files which are being combined, to aid with navigation when the combined file is opened.

See more on the PDF functionality available in HowNow

Emails with Attachments

Emails with attachments now have a different icon to those with no attachments - this applies to all new emails added from date of this update. The file icon may also show when the only files attached were image files (e.g. Outlook Signatures).

Change Record Status Dialog Box

The change Record status dialog box now shows a list of statuses rather than a dropdown – this reduces a click when changing a record’s status.

Email Manager – Pending Emails

Where HowNow has closed prior to an email being saved, when you next open HowNow you will be prompted to save pending emails.

Workflow - Tasks

Tasks can now be filtered on by Completion Date.

Administration Functions

All the HowNow Administrator functions have been moved to a new backstage layout available from the file menu.

To see more on these file menu items click on the following links:

Info -
Reports -
Administration > Organisation -
Administration > Knowledge -
Administration > Records -
Administration > Workflow -
System Tools > General –
System Tools – Advanced –
Options -

Did you find it helpful? Yes No

Send feedback
Sorry we couldn't be helpful. Help us improve this article with your feedback.