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Auto or manual?
Auto check procedure is to get trans to temp (176F), run trans through all gears including reverse, put it in P or N with car on level surface, engine still running, check dipstick and make sure it's showing top of hot area on dipstick, adjust

Cold check is to just make sure you have enough to even drive the car safely without blowing the trans

Checking it with the engine off will give an artificially high reading as the trans oil pump won't be running, if you have a dry dipstick showing with the engine off then definitely do not drive the car or even start it until you top up!
 
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