Basic Clause Author Tutorial

Part 6: Fine-tuning the document

To see what your template would like in MS Word, you can click on the  button in the toolbar. Your browser will then download a .DOCX file, allowing you to open that file in MS Word.

Several fields with missing information are highlighted in yellow, but we will leave them untouched, because they are assumed to get filled in for concrete contracts. However, let’s fix a few other issues.

Removing numbering

The introductory paragraph (1.) and the three final paragraphs relating to the signature should not contain any numbering in the template we are envisaging. As emphasized before, this is not an error in these clauses, because these very same clauses may end up in other documents where numbering could have been relevant.

Removing the numbering is actually very easy: for each of the clauses, click on it first to select it, and then click on the  toggle in the document toolbar. This will remove the numbering from all the headings in the selected clause (but will leave the numbering of any numbered body paragraphs intact).

Removing the title of a clause

The clause that contains the date and location should have its title removed. To do so, click on that clause to select it, and click on the  toggle in the toolbar.

Inserting a traditional divider

Many traditionally formatted contracts show a set of asterisks as a kind of divider between the very last clause and the signatures of the parties. For example:

Preferably, we would create such divider as a separate clause, and put it in a relevant subfolder of the clause library. That said, we will instead take a different approach for educational reasons.

The clauses you have created so far were specifically created for your clause library so that you can reuse them at a later date for a different contract. These are called library clauses. If you want to create a clause for one specific contract without the desire to include it in your clause library, you can also create contract-specific clauses called ad hoc clauses. 

There are a few differences between library clauses and ad hoc clauses:

Library clausesAd hoc clauses
Reusable across documentsNot reusable (limited to one document)
Can be looked up via the search paneCannot be looked up via the search pane
Exist independently from any specific document in the clause libraryDepend on and exist only in the document where it was created
Saved as a separate fileEmbedded into the document

For the sake of the tutorial, let’s assume that the asterisks divider we would like to insert, is so unique that it does not make sense to store it as a regular library clause. Instead, we will now insert it as an ad hoc clause:

  • Click on article 3 (salary) to select it.
  • Click on the  button in the toolbar, and choose Ad hoc clause from the dropdown menu.
  • Change the Content body of the new clause from the default to ~@asterisks(3)~ in both languages. The @asterisks actually makes use of a special functiona list of almost 200 functions that insert a variety of contents into your clauses, for those situations where hard-coded text and regular conditions simply are not enough. As implied by its name, the @asterisks function actually inserts three neatly formatted centered asterisks next to each other — try changing it to @asterisks(8) and see what happens!
  • Click on .

The tilde ~ makes sure that the asterisk are printed in bold.

Ad hoc clauses are only saved when the document itself is saved: they are effectively embedded into the document — i.e., do not live an independent life. For this reason, you will also get an error message when you try to save a document while some adhoc clauses have not yet been updated.

Conversely, saving a library clause and saving a document in which a library clause is used, are completely separate processes, because library clauses have an independent existence, separate from the document(s) they are used in. If you save a library clause but do not save the document, the library clause will still be modified.

Centering a paragraph

Let’s assume that you would like to center the Done at… paragraph at the bottom of the document. To do so:

  • Double click on that clause to open it in the editor at the right side.
  • Click on the Custom styling option in the menu on the right-hand side of the screen.
  • Click on   while still within the Body subsection.
  • In the alignment section that appears, activate the slider at the left, and choose Centered from the dropdown menu at the right.
  • As a finishing touch, we also want more spacing above and below this clause. To do so, activate the sliders next to Above and Below in the Spacing of each paragraph section, and assign 10mm of spacing above and below.
  • Click the button to save the clause.

What we just did, is to add some special formatting to a particular clause. As previously noted, you should generally try to minimize the amount of styling you want to assign to (library) clauses, because styling should be mostly left to the user of your clauses. As you can see here, a user can override styling if he or she really wants to do so.

Moving the employee signature to the right

If you want to have another look at your final document, please click on the  button in the toolbar.

While styling tastes differ from person to person, you will probably agree that the employee signature should be positioned to the right (instead of below) the employer signature. Let’s correct this:

  • Click on the employer signature clause to select it.
  • Navigate to the Advanced tab of the operations panel and check the Show as left column of the next clause option.

To avoid crammed clauses in your browser, the two clauses will actually not be shown next to each other. Instead, you will see a dotted red line. When you export the file to .DOCX or PDF, you will however see both clauses next to each other.

Editing an existing library clause

Let’s assume that, on second thought, you are no longer happy with the wording you used in article 3.2. Instead of saying The salary is paid each month by deposit into the Employee’s bank account …, you realize that it would sound much better to say The salary is paid each month on the Employee’s bank account ….

There are three ways to edit a clause.

  1. Go back to the Browse files menu and open the clause there.
  2. Double-click the clause in the document at the left side in the Assemble document menu, which will make it pop up on the right-hand side.
  3. Select a clause in the Assemble document menu, click on in your document toolbar, and choose Edit clause contents.

Naturally, option 2 and 3 are much more efficient if you already have the clause in front of you in the Assemble document menu.

Whether you edit a library clause through Browse files or directly inside Assemble document, you should realise that you are updating a library clause, and that any change you make will cause all documents that incorporate that clause, to be automatically updated as well.

If such behaviour is not what you want, you can actually convert a library clause into an ad hoc clause, by clicking on   in your document toolbar, and choosing the option Convert clause to independent ad hoc clause. ClauseBase will then replace the clause you selected with an ad hoc clause with identical content. You will not see any visible difference on screen, but under the hood the differences are there — for example, any changes you will then make to the original library clause, will no longer “ripple through” the ad hoc clause you just created.

Changing the document title

The final change that we will make to this document, is changing its title:

  • Click on the Document tab of the operations panel.
  • Change the Document title to Employment Agreement

Save your work by clicking on , and export again to .docx by clicking on the  button in the toolbar.

Checking the French version

By the end of this page, you may have forgotten that we also created a French version of each clause. Turning the English employment agreement into a French version, is now trivial: just change the language in the language dropdown button near the top of your browser window  to French.

Export the French version to Word by clicking on the  button. You will notice that the only change you still have to make, is the document title. Please change it to Contrat De Travail by clicking on the document tab of the operations panel, and changing the title box.

Save your work one last time by clicking on .

That’s all, folks! 

Congratulations on completing this tutorial!

You now have ample knowledge to start drafting clauses and contracts in ClauseBase.

Good luck and happy drafting!