6. Assembling the contract
We are now ready to draft the contract by assembling the clauses in a document.
So far we have been working in the file browser, where we navigated to a sub-folder, and created a concept file or clause file. We will now switch to another top menu: .
Creating a new document
Create a new document by clicking on the at the right side of your browser-screen. You will now see a screen similar to the following:
- 1 — document toolbar, to apply various changes to clauses
- 2 — document preview, including the currently included clauses and the document title
- 3 — operations panel, which is used to insert clauses and make general changes to the document
Searching for clauses
Clauses can be inserted into the document in different ways:
- by performing a search in the operations panel
- by browsing through your library
- by copying & pasting clauses from another document
- by replacing existing clauses with new clauses
Let’s use the search facilities first and then we'll have a look at browsing.
Clauses can be searched on using the search tab of the operations panel. By default, it allows you to search using words that should be present in the clauses you are searching for.
For example, you may recall that our introduction to the parties clause contains snippets “#employer, with registered office … hereinafter referred to as …”.
If you would simply enter the word registered in the box next to content, and hit the Enter key (or click on the blue part of the button), you may get many results. You can narrow down your search by entering registered office and hit Enter or again.
A few things to note here:
- Searching on text is highly language-specific, so don’t forget to choose the right language (dropdown list at the right) before you search.
- Concepts are searched on using their various concept labels. For example, we entered both company and employer as concept labels for concept #employer, so both words can be used in searches.
- Those parts of a clause that may ultimately get hidden because the condition they are subjected to may not be met, will also be searched on. In other words, clauses are searched on in the most extensive manner.
To narrow down the search results, you can limit the clauses to clauses that are stored in a certain part of the library. Typically, you will want to use this filter to only search within certain legal areas, e.g. only in the clauses managed by the corporate law department.
You can do so by clicking on , clicking on the button that appears, and choosing the folder hierarchy you want to search in.
Our sample clauses are currently all stored in the same location, so it makes little sense to use this search filter, but it’s good to know it’s there.
Inserting the first clause
Let’s search for our introduction to the parties clause using a simple text search.
- Make sure that the search language is set to English, and that none of the other filters (location, attributes or link) are active.
- Enter introduction parties in the box next to content.
- Click on , click on the button.
- In the window that appears, navigate to your personal library, and click on the . This makes sure that only clauses that are stored somewhere in your personal library, will be found.
- Click on the button of the panel.
Only one clause should be found that is effectively stored in your personal library folder, and contains the two words introduction and parties in its English content. You should therefore see a search result that is similar to the following:
Click on the next to introduction to the parties. Because your document is currently empty, either of the two options in the menu that appears (insert as first clause of document / insert as last clause of document) will have the same result, so feel free to choose whatever you want.
The document at the left side of your screen will be updated, and should now show:
These yellow boxes indicate that relevant data-fields have not been filled in yet. Let’s not worry about that at this moment, and continue inserting the other clauses in the document first.
Browsing & inserting the other clauses
Searching on the basis of a clause’s textual content can be very effective, but assumes that you actually know at least some of the words that are used in the clause you are looking for. Moreover, you should try to use keywords that are sufficiently unique, to avoid getting lots of noise in your results. If for some reason it is difficult to further narrow down search results (e.g., by adding attributes or specific search locations), you may not find what you are looking for.
Browsing for a clause can then be a better alternative. Assuming the clause authors did a good job in organizing their content, you can find relevant clauses by drilling down from a general folder to subfolders with narrower topics.
In our tutorial, we have put all clauses in the same subfolder. That works well if you have just a few clauses, but breaks down as soon as you have many clauses and/or many variations of the same clause. Keep this in mind for when you start creating more advanced contracts.
Adding the employee function clause
Click on the browse tab at the top part of the operations panel (next to the search tab). You will recognize a subpanel that is very similar to the browse files panel. The difference is that any time you click on a clause, you will get a live preview at the bottom of the panel:
We call this a live preview because the clause will use the styling and concept labels of the contract it will be dropped in. If you would, for example, click in this clause inside a contract where the concept label for #employee was set to “Jeanne Dubois”, then the preview would say “Jeanne Dubois is engaged in service by the Employer …”. Similarly, if you would change the language of the contract to French (using the dropdown list next to the main toolbar), then the clause would be previewed in French instead of English.
To insert the second clause:
- Navigate to your library » employment agreements » clauses.
- Click on the file function of the employee.
- In this case, we want to insert the entire clause, including the title, so please click on the to the left of the title (Function). If you press the green icon, only the content body gets added.
- Click on the option . You will see that the document preview at the left side gets updated.
Adding the duration clause
While you are still in the browse tab, please click on the file fixed duration of contract. Click on the next to the title (Duration of the employment agreement), and once again choose as last clause of document. You will see that the document content at the left side gets updated.
Suppose that you are not happy with your decision of a fixed duration. If you would realise your mistake early, you could choose to click one or more times on the undo-button (top right corner of your browser), to go back in time.
Alternatively, you can replace the existing clause with a better clause. Let’s do so now:
- Click on the duration-clause (which should be number 3.) in the document on the left part of your browser. You will see that the entire clause gets selected, because it will have a light-blue background.
- In the browse tab, click on the file called undefined duration.
- In the file preview that appears on right bottom part of your screen, click on the next to the title.
- In the dropdown-menu that appears, choose replace selected clause.
Notice that several other insertion options also became available because some clause was selected before you clicked on : insert above selected clause, below selected clause and as sub-clause.
Adding all the other clauses
Now that you know the procedure, please also insert the four remaining clauses.
Saving the document
Before you can save the document, you should give it a file name:
- Click on the file tab in the operations panel.
- Navigate to my documents
- Give your document some name, such as “tutorial labour agreement“
To actually save the document, you can click on the button inside the file tab. Alternatively, when the contents of the file tab is not visible, you can click on the button at the top right part in your browser window. In both cases, you should get a confirmation of successful save at the bottom of your browser window.