Why do I see a purple error message?

If you see a purple error message instead of your concept-label or verb/adjective/pronoun, then the software could not determine the conjugation.

Usually, the software will provide you a hint on what went wrong. You can see this hint by hovering your mouse over the purple error message.

If this does not help, then check the following steps:

  • For concept-labels:
    • Check whether you inserted the required grammatical word into the concept-label. For example, if you requested the word to be shown in plural (e.g., through @plural), then you must ensure that the plural version of that concept label effectively exists.
      • For languages with grammatical cases, you must ensure that a concept-label exists for that grammatical case.
      • Be aware that concept-labels cannot only be defined at the level of the concept (i.e., stored within the concept’s file), but can also be adhoc “overruled” (e.g., when you chose another concept-label in the popup-window of the Terms menu of Assemble Document). Even when you properly stored all required grammatical words for the concept-label in the concept’s file, you may not have done so when overrruling that concept-label from within the Terms menu.

        If such is the case, then you can either complete the adhoc-defined conceptlabel through the popup-window of the Terms menu. Alternatively, you can remove that adhoc-defined conceptlabel by clicking on the red “Revert to default” button in the popup-window.
  • For conjugated verbs/adjectives/pronouns:
    • Check whether you properly associated the conjugated word with a concept. For example, in simple clauses with only one concept, it can be sufficient to simply put <angular brackets> around a verb or adjective. However, when multiple concepts exist, as well as in some edge-cases, the software may not be able to reliably figure out which concept to associate with. In such case, you should explicitly refer to the concept within the angular brackets, e.g. <adjective: #concept>.
    • It may be the case that the word (or the required grammatical combination — e.g., third person plural in nominative case) was not found in the software’s internal dictionary. In such case, you can resolve the error by adding the relevant entry to the mini-dictionary.

Why is my clause displayed in red even though it has a translation?

When you switch the language of a document, what really happens is that all the clauses of the document are switched to the language version you have chosen for the document. 

If a clause does not have a translation for this particular language, it will be shown in brown/red. 

If any concept labels contained therein also lack a translation, they will be receive a pink error notification. For example: 

If you notice that your clause does have a translation but it is still being displayed as if it does not, this usually means that the title under which it is grouped does not have a translation. Fixing the content title of a clause is usually the right answer for this.

Do I need to create two different versions of a Concept for the singular and plural?

In many contracts, the same term happens to be used in both the singular and plural form. The typical example is term “Party”, which is also used as “Parties”. 

The question arises whether, in ClauseBase, you should create two different Concepts in such situation. 

  • For grammatical purposes, it is not necessary to create two different Concepts for the same term. After all, assuming you have specified both the singular and the plural form in the concept label of the Concept, the special functions @singular and @plural allow you to easily different between the two grammatical forms.
  • From a legal perspective, it may be the case that you want to either assign a different meaning to the singular and plural form, or at least explicitly clarify how the singular and plural form should be interpreted. (E.g., in contracts with more than two parties, it may be ambiguous whether “the Parties” refers to “at least two parties (but not necessarily all of them)” or instead to “all of the parties”.)

    In such case, many legal experts will insert two different entries in the definition list, one for the singular form and one for the plural form.

    If you happen to find yourself in this situation, you will indeed have to create two different Concepts. The reason is that if you create only one Concept, and force its singular or plural form through @singular and @plural, then ClauseBase will only insert one entry into the definition list. You will probably want to ensure that the default concept label for the singular Concept is the singular form of the term, while the default concept label for the plural Concept is the plural form of the term

What is the difference between a concept’s hashtag, its file name and the concept label?

File name and hashtag

When creating a concept, you have to give the concept (which is a file) a name. The file name serves multiple purposes: it can be used to retrieve the concept when searching, but more importantly the file name is also used to refer to the concept in the ClauseBase grammar. Referring to a concept is done by typing a hashtag #  followed by the concept’s file name.

For example, if you have a concept with file name purchase-price, you would refer to it in the ClauseBase grammar as #purchase-price. Therefore, the concept’s “hashtag” and its file name are the same.

There are cases where a concept’s file name and its hashtag can be different. Check out our article on referring to concepts using shortcuts.

Concept label

The concept label is the term that will be displayed when referring to a concept in a clause text. For example:

What is written in the clauseWhat is shown in the text
1. #Purchaser shall pay #purchase-price to #seller.The Purchaser shall pay the Purchase Price to the Seller.

Multiple concept labels can be assigned to a single concept, between which a user can freely choose when assembling a document (as well as create new ones).

Thanks to the use of concept labels, the text of your clause/document can be automatically adapted to changes in singular/plural, to the gender of a concept label, to the use of defined/undefined or no articles, etc. 

For more information, check out our article on concept labels.

What are concept labels?

Concept labels are the terms which are used for a certain concept when it is shown in a document preview (such as Assemble Document mode). For example:

What is written in the clauseWhat is shown in the text
1. #Distributor shall supply #product inside #territory. 11.2 The Distributor shall supply the Product inside the Territory. 

Clauses created in ClauseBase are to a large extent reusable thanks to the concept labels assigned to concepts. If we take the previous example again, this is what the preview could also show to allow for reuse of that clause in an entirely different context:

What is written in the clauseWhat is shown in the text
1. #Distributor shall supply #product inside #territory.11.2 The Supplier shall supply the Services inside the European Economic Area.

Concept labels can be freely defined by the user who assembles a document, but in general it is a good idea to provide a small collection of predefined terms for each concept (e.g.: for the concept “contract”, we could provide concept labels of “contract”, “agreement”, “master services agreement”, “non-disclosure agreement”, “share purchase agreement”, etc.). For more information on this difference and how to create concept labels, click here.