Creating and editing a draft document
You can create and edit draft documents by either editing offline in Microsoft Word or editing online in the Online Editor. While some forms require editing through the Online Editor, we otherwise recommend editing offline with your draft documents. When editing offline, you can download a template as a Microsoft Word document to edit. You can then import your edited draft to your project in the online service, where it can be finalized.
To create a draft agreement for a project:
- Go to the Projects tab.
- Click on the desired project in the projects list and click Create Document.
- Navigate to the desired template (on the Standard, Custom, or Favorites sub-tab) and click the template name. You can sort the template list by ID, name, series, or family by clicking and dragging the column headers to the top.
- You may be prompted to select additional information about your document. Answer the questions and click OK.
Note: You can click and drag the headers to group the templates in the list. You can also click more options ( ) to the right of the column header to sort and filter further. You can also use these sorting and filtering methods to filter lists of contacts in your project team or distribution list.
Editing offline or online?
By default, your draft agreements will open as an offline draft in Microsoft Word, and your draft forms will open as online drafts in the Online Editor. To open your draft agreements in the Online Editor, adjust your default editor in your settings.
Editing an offline draft with Microsoft Word
When editing offline, the templates you select (with exception to some forms) will download as a Microsoft Word documents on your computer. You can make your edits directly in the Microsoft Word document and save the draft to your computer before importing it to your project and finalizing the draft in the online service.
In the offline draft, fields that require input are shaded gray and are indicated by a pair of chevron characters (« and »). Do not delete these chevrons, as they are important for formatting in the final document and are removed automatically when a document is finalized. Document text outside the gray fields may also be edited.
Note: The Share For Review feature and the ability to insert clauses from the Clause Library are not available when editing offline.
Editing a document in the Online Editor
You can enable the Online Editor in your settings by setting your default editor (found in your document settings) to “Always Online.” When you create a draft, you can make edits directly in the Online Editor, using the top toolbar to make additional edits and utilize the Online Editor tools.
Fields that require input are shaded gray and are indicated by a pair of chevron characters (« and »), which are removed automatically when a document is finalized. With exception to certain forms, document text outside the gray fields may also be edited.
Online Editor sidebar
The Online Editor sidebar contains document navigation and management functions, as illustrated below.
Online Editor tools
Below are the editing tools that are available for you to use within the online editor. The Home tab will provide quick access to most of these toolbars. You will find other toolbars in their respective tab as noted.
Adding project information to your draft
In the Online Editor, you can add data to your working draft through the contextual data dialog (CDD), or by typing it directly into the document.
- To type data into a working draft, click between the chevrons in a gray area and type the required information.
- To enter data through a CDD, click the left chevron. The CDD is displayed in a popup window. As you type the data into the appropriate fields it appears simultaneously in your document. Click OK when finished to close the CDD and add the data to your document.
- For CDDs that require entry of project team information, clicking the button lets you select a project team member from your contacts
- To jump to the previous or next fillpoint, use the Tab key or click directly on the desired fillpoint.
By default, working drafts are generated with the Track Changes feature turned on. You can turn tracking of changes on or off from the top toolbar.
Synchronizing your document and project
In the Online Editor, if you make a change to the contents of any of the project data fields while editing a draft document, either directly in the document or through a Contextual Data Dialog (CDD), there will be a discrepancy between the project data in the document and the corresponding project data.
To sync the document and the project:
- Do one of the following:
- Select Tools > Sync Project Data from the menu bar.
- Click the button in the toolbar.
- Click Project Sync in the sidebar.
- Synchronize the document and project data by either:
- Selecting one or more of the check boxes for either the document or the project and clicking the buttons to synchronize the selected items.
- Clicking Copy all to Project or Copy all to Document to sync all items.
- Click OK when finished to finish synchronizing the data.
Note: If you make changes to the master project data, any corresponding updates you want to make to existing documents must be done on a document-by-document basis.
Certain forms require editing in the Online Editor, where you can only complete certain information fields (fill points). Form drafts differ from agreement drafts in that, with few exceptions, the original text and format of the template cannot be edited. Form drafts are not variance checked against the original template because the standard text is not editable. Form drafts have the following characteristics:
- Fill points are shaded in grey.
- The standard templates for forms cannot be customized.
- Spell-check is not available.
Limitations of online editing
We recommend editing your agreements offline, given the various limitations of editing online. The limitations of the Online Editor include:
- As a lite web browser-based editor it does not provide all Microsoft® Office Word features
- Print Preview is only available in PDF format
- Creating or modifying tables (adding rows and columns) is not as robust or user-friendly as with Microsoft® Office Word
- For security reasons, editing sessions time out after 20 minutes if no activity is detected in the browser
- Copy and paste with complex tags from another Microsoft® Office Word document can result in errors due to compatibility and conversion
- It can be cumbersome if you are performing complex edits with a slow internet connection