How to: create cross-references

ClauseBase distinguishes between three different kinds of cross-references:

  • To a clause within the same clause file
  • To another clause within the same document
  • To a document within the same binder
Cross-references to a document within the same binder are also the topic of this article.

Cross-references within the same clause file

1. Alpha
2. Beta
   * element 1
   * element 2
   * element 3

Numbered sub-clause

§number is used to refer to a numbered sub-clause within the same clause file. For example, use §2 to refer to 2. Beta. In the document, it will say Clause 2.

Under the reference styling settings, you can change the word used for “Clause” in the document (e.g. “Article” or “Section”).

Clause as a whole

§this is used to refer to the current numbered subclause. §this-title refers to the title of the entire clause.

In the above example, if you were to insert §this into 2. Beta, the reference in the document would show as this Clause 2. By inserting §this-title into * element 1, ClauseBase will convert the code to this Clause 2 since Clause 2 is the associated clause title.

If the title is currently not visible, an error will appear.


If you created a regular bullet list (using asterisks), referring to the previous bullet is done with the command §*-, the next bullet with §*+ and the current bullet with §*.

More information on how to create enumerations can be found here.

Cross-references within the same document or binder

There are two different methods of cross-referencing:

  • One-time reference to another clause using cross-tags
  • Content-based reference to another clause using concepts

This type of cross-reference will work both when the target clause is located in the same document and when it is located in another document of the same binder.


This allows you to insert a reference to another clause using its cross-tag. In order to insert a cross-tag, first, navigate to the clause the reference should be directed to. The cross-tag-name is assigned under cross-tags and entered by hitting the enter key.

Now, the cross-tag can be inserted in the clause content body by typing §cross-tag-name (e.g. §this-is-the-cross-tag-name).


This command allows you to insert a reference to the first clause in the document that implements a specific concept. Concepts are implemented under the links tab of a clause.

In order to insert the reference, type §#concept (e.g. §#client).

It is highly prefereable to use cross-tags to insert cross-references. Unless there is a good reason to use a concept (e.g. the target clause already implements a certain existing concept), cross-tags should be used. Cross-tags are much faster (in terms of document loading time) and do not require a separate file to be created in the clause library.

Cross-references to another document in the binder

Inserting a cross-reference to another document in the binder is very similar to inserting a cross-reference to a clause. A document can contain cross-tags or implementing links to concepts much like a clause can.

In the binder panel, click the properties button and then click the target document (the document you would like to refer to) in the pop-up menu.

Now you will be able to edit that document’s properties. Insert a cross-tag (or an implementing link to a concept), similar to creating a cross-reference to another clause, and save the document by clicking save in library or update adhoc doc (as relevant).

When to use concepts and when to use cross-tags?

Which of the two approaches you should use, mainly depends on the question whether you are already using that concept as a defined legal term in the document. If that is not the case, then it’s much faster to use a cross-tag reference, as this avoids that you have to create a new concept. It also avoids that you litter your database with single-use concepts.

Furthermore, cross-tags are a lot easier to process for ClauseBase so especially when you are working in long, complex documents, performance will be significantly increased if you primarily rely on cross-tags as opposed to concepts.

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