(Un)locked documents in a binder

Please read this page carefully prior to unlocking a document in a binder as doing so may have serious consequences.

When working in a binder, you may notice that some (or all) of the documents making up the binder contain a lock symbol.

The lock symbol is also visible when inserting a clause hierarchy into a document (even outside a binder). Check out the clause hierarchy article for more information.

Locked documents

The lock symbol means the document is currently locked, i.e. that its structure cannot be changed. While the document is locked, the following actions are disabled:

  • adding or removing clauses
  • using the buttons, i.e. changing the order of the clauses in the document or changing the level of indentation of a clause
  • cutting or pasting a clause in the locked document using the buttons
  • showing/hiding a clause’s title or numbering
  • editing ad-hoc clauses (this is because they are tied to the document they are in)
  • make clauses repeat or edit any of the other options available in the advanced pane (including mapping)


Documents can be unlocked by clicking the lock symbol itself. However, unlocking a document must not be done lightly!

A binder is a collection of documents. Those documents can both be existing documents and documents created specifically for the binder.

Documents created specifically for the binder are (i) the default document that is included when you create a new binder or (ii) any document that is added to the binder by using the button. Think of these documents as similar to ad-hoc clauses, which are also tied to the document in which they are located.

Existing documents exist separately and can be updated. An existing document that has been included in a binder (without unlocking and changing it) will follow any changes made to the ‘original’ document. This is, of course, the preferred situation as any changes to the original template are also made to any binders where this template has been included.

Unlocking a document in a binder and then changing the structure (i.e. taking any of the actions listed above) removes that link. That means that as soon as the document included in a binder is changed, that document will no longer be linked to the original document and any changes brought to it will not be reflected in the document included in the binder.

For technical details on how the unlocking internally works, see the discussion forum.

What can still be changed in a locked document?

A document being locked does not mean it becomes entirely unusable. On the contrary. All of the following (and more) is still possible:

  • changing datafields
  • changing terms & definitions
  • exporting to pdf/docx/e-mail
  • changing the document title
  • changing styling (on the level of the binder)
  • change the locked document’s properties, such as:
    • custom styling
    • enabled? conditions
    • links
    • cross-tags
  • editing the content & properties of library clauses used in the document
  • etc.

Please note that changing a document’s properties within the binder will also change that document’s properties elsewhere, even if it was unlocked & its structure changed.

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