Finalizing a document and understanding the variance checker

Once you have edited and checked your document, you can generate a final version. Final documents are produced as a read-only PDF in which the variances from the standard AIA template are marked using the Variance Checker. You can also adjust your settings to include a digital signature placeholder on your final document. 

When generating a final document for certain A, B, C and E agreements, an initialing block is placed in the bottom left corner of each page of the final document to provide a place to initial each page of the agreement.

 

Finalizing an offline (Microsoft Word) draft

You can generate a final document by importing a draft document from your computer and finalizing it in the online service.  

 

To finalize an offline draft from the Projects tab::

  1. Go to the Projects tab.
  2. Click Import File.
  3. Click Choose File(s).
  4. Select your AIA document draft(s) from your computer and click Import.
  5. Click Finalize to the right of the imported draft title.
  6. Select your preferred variance markup format and the name of the certification signatory, if applicable.

 

Note: If you do not see the Finalize option, you may be looking at the Recent Activity preview. Click View All Documents to access the document management options. 

 

To finalize an offline draft from the Home tab:

  1. Go to the Home tab.
  2. In the Recent Activity section, click Import File.
  3. Select a project or click Create New Project and click Import.
  4. Click Choose File(s).
  5. Select your AIA document draft(s) from your computer and click Import.
  6. Click Finalize to the right of the imported draft title.
  7. Select your preferred variance markup format and the name of the certification signatory, if applicable.

 

 

Finalizing an online draft

You can you can generate a final version of an online draft from within the Online Editor or from the Projects tab.

 

To finalize a document from within the Online Editor:

  1. Click Generate Final from the Online Editor sidebar. 
  2. Select your preferred variance markup format and the name of the certification signatory, if applicable.
  3. Click OK.

 

To finalize a document from the Projects tab:

  1. Go to the Projects tab.
  2. Click Finalize to the right of the online draft title.
  3. Select your preferred variance markup format and the name of the certification signatory, if applicable.
  4. Click OK.

 

Note: If you do not see the Finalize option, you may be looking at the Recent Activity preview. Click View All Documents to access the document management options. 

 

Designating the signing authority

When finalizing an agreement, the Signing Authority dialog will prompt you for the name of the certification signatory. Confirm the default name or provide another name. The D401 Certification of Document’s Authenticity should be signed by the person responsible for the content of the edits made to the document (typically, a project manager or principal). The person who implemented the edits should not be the signatory to the D401 unless that person is also responsible for the document content.

 

 

Executing a final document with a digital signature

You can allow for digital signature placeholders in your final documents in your document settings. If you selected the digital signature placeholder option, a new digital signature placeholder page is inserted in your final document immediately after the written signature block and the notation “see attached digital signatures page” is inserted in the written signature block. Refer to the digital signatures page for more information. 

 

Understanding the Variance Checker

For draft agreements, the Variance Markup Format dialog box opens. Draft forms are not variance checked. When you generate a final document, your document is compared to the AIA original and differences are noted (i.e., variance checked).

 

Variance markup formats

You can select to have variances marked in one of two ways in your document:

Clean – All the additions to and deletions from the document are indicated in the margin, parallel to where the changes occur. The details of the changes are appended to the document in an Additions and Deletions Report (with page references).

Comparative – All changes are noted in-line in the document, marking additions with underlining and deletions with strike-throughs.

 

Using the Variance Checker without finalizing a document

If you would like to view the variances in a document without generating a final, you can generate a variance checked draft in PDF or Microsoft Word format.

  1. Go to the Projects tab.
  2. Click View all documents.
  3. Click “” under the Actions column to the right of the draft title. 
  4. Click Check Variances.
  5. Select the variance markup format.
  6. Select the desired output file format.

PDF – The checked draft is generated as a locked (read-only) PDF file.

Word – The document is generated in Word in DOCX format and is a working draft that you can continue to edit. This mode provides you with a number of benefits:

All edits to original the AIA text are noted (even if Track Changes was turned off, and regardless of whether the changes were made in a custom template), added to the document by project and document-specific dialogs, or made by collaborators.

After collaborating with other users on a working draft document using Track Changes, you can variance check the document to merge the edits and review one set of combined edits and, if necessary, continue editing the document offline in Word.

  1. Click OK.

 

Note: When using the Online Editor, you can also use the Variance Checker by clicking Check Variances on the Online Editor sidebar.

 

A progress message is displayed throughout the variance check process. For Word and PDF formats, you will be asked if you want to open or save the document. The document will be listed as a checked draft in your project documents. Because AIA Contract Documents applies different graphic formats to working drafts, checked drafts, and final documents, the pagination of the text in the final document may vary from the pagination in a downloaded draft that was imported and used as the basis of the final document.

Variance checking rules

The Variance Checker does not work like Track Changes, which shows all additions and deletions in real time as you make them. Instead, the Variance Checker focuses on the net changes from the AIA master document.

When you check variances or when you generate a final document, the Variance Checker follows a specific set of rules for how it notes the differences from the original AIA master document.

 

Font effects, punctuation, and case

Because underline and strike-through effects are reserved for the Variance Checker to show additions and deletions from AIA text within the document, you cannot apply the underline and strike-through formatting effects to the text in your AIA Contract Document.

 

Strike-through or double strike-through – If the Variance Checker detects any text in your document that you have manually formatted as strike-through or double-strike-through, then a dialog will offer you the option to (a) delete any characters formatted as strike-through and double-strike-through, or (b) cancel the Variance Check.

Underlined text – If the Variance Checker detects any text that you have manually formatted as underlined our double underlined, a dialog will offer you the option to (a) remove the underline formatting; (b) reformat the underline formatting to bold formatting, or (c) cancel the Variance Check.

Combination of underline and strike-through formatting – If the Variance Checker detects that you have alternatively used underline and strike-through or double-strike-through formatting within a document, the dialog will offer you the option of deleting any text formatted as strike-through or double-strike-through, removing all underline formatting, reformatting the underlined text to boldface, or cancelling the variance check. If the Variance Checker detects text you have formatted with both underline and strike-through, or underline and double-strike-through, it will delete those characters.

Other font and effect changes – The Variance Checker will ignore font changes, such as from Times New Roman to Arial; font style changes, such as from regular to bold; and font size changes, such as from 10 point to 12 point, and will not mark them as variances. It will also ignore other font effects, such as superscript, shadow and outline, and will not mark them as variances.

Punctuation – The Variance Checker considers any edit to adjacent punctuation as a change to the entire word. For example, “items!” is interpreted as a different word from “items.” If punctuation next to a word is changed, the Variance Checker will strike through the word and add the word with the changed punctuation.

Changed case – The Variance Checker considers case changes in a word as a variance. For example, “hello” is interpreted as different from “Hello.” If you change the case for a specific word, the Variance Checker will strike through the original word and add the edited word.

 

Inserted spaces, graphics, and fillpoints

 

Inserted spaces – The Variance Checker ignores added horizontal spaces made using the space bar or the Tab key.

Images and graphics – The Variance Checker ignores inserted images and graphics and does not mark them as variances.

Fillpoints – The Variance Checker ignores fillpoints that have not been filled in. However, it marks fillpoints completed in a dialog or directly in the working draft as added text.

 

Edits to text in paragraphs

 

The Variance Checker treats as a paragraph any contiguous text not separated by more than one paragraph marker.

 

Adding and deleting text in a paragraph – The Variance Checker will underline all added text and mark with a strike-through all deleted standard AIA text. When a paragraph has a mixture of added and deleted text, the Variance Checker will cluster the deletions first, followed by the additions.

Bridging text – When your edits result in three or fewer word fragments of unedited original text remaining between deleted original text and inserted user text, the Variance Checker will “bridge” that text by deleting the original text fragment and reinserting it to enhance its readability.

 

The net effect is a single deletion followed by an insertion, making it easier to identify what has been deleted, and what has been added

 

Deleting the majority of words in a paragraph – If you modify the majority of words in a paragraph (i.e., the modified paragraph shares very few words with the original paragraph), the Variance Checker marks the entire paragraph as deleted and then inserts the edited paragraph. While this may not be technically accurate, it greatly enhances the readability of the document.

Deleting an entire paragraph – If a paragraph is deleted entirely, the Variance Checker will insert the notation “(Paragraph(s) deleted)” in its place in the clean checked draft or final documents. The Additions and Deletions Report details all the text in the deleted paragraph(s).

 

By contrast, in a comparative checked draft or final document, the Variance Checker will strike-through all the text in that paragraph.

 

Edits to tables

 

Adding or deleting text in a table cell – The Variance Checker analyzes the table cell-by-cell. Changes made in a particular cell are marked without affecting neighboring cells, provided that you have not changed the structure of the table. The structure of a table is changed when you add or delete rows or columns, or when you split or merge cells in offline drafts (split and merge features are disabled in online documents to preserve document continuity).

Adding or deleting rows in a table – Adding or deleting rows structurally alters the table and results in the original table being marked as deleted. The edited table is inserted, followed by the deleted table.

Adding or deleting columns in a table – Adding or deleting columns structurally alters the table and results in the original table being marked as deleted. The edited table is inserted, followed by the deleted table.

Merging or splitting cells across columns – Merging or splitting cells across columns structurally alters the table and results in the original column affected by the merged cells or the split columns being marked as deleted. The newly structured column (incorporating the merging and splitting) are then inserted.

Merging or splitting cells across rows – Merging or splitting cells across rows structurally alters the table and results in the original rows affected by the merged rows or the split rows being marked as deleted. The newly structured rows (incorporating the merging and splitting) are then inserted.

 

If you need to delete columns or split/merge cells in an existing table, you should delete the table and create a new one to suit your needs

 

Deleting tables – If a table is deleted, a clean checked draft or final document will insert the notation “(Table deleted)” in its place. The Additions and Deletions Report will detail which table was deleted.

 

By contrast, in a comparative checked draft or final document, the Variance Checker will strike-through all of the rows in the table and all of the text within the rows.

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