Elements are dynamic placeholders created in a template, which hold space to fill in deal-specific information in each new contract you create.
Party elements are a specific type of element that hold space for information about the people or entities (companies, organizations) entering a deal. Party elements are created in the template editor, and look like this when embedded in template text:
In a newly-generated contract, elements are converted to dynamic placeholder blanks which, when clicked on, can be filled in with the relevant information:
Create a New Party Element
In the template editor, find the element icons on the toolbar, and click the "Party" icon:
The first box (Party ID) is how this element will appear in the template. The second field, Display Name, is how this element will show up in a newly-generated contract.
Because the Party ID is a specially-formatted text string, it will look a little different (words are automatically separated by hyphens, for example). But remember, this is only what you see in the template; what you enter in the second box for Display Name is what will be visible in contracts.
HINT: You can toggle back and forth between template view and contract view by clicking the "Preview" button to see the difference between how Party elements show up in a template and contract:
Embed a Party Element
Once you fill in a Party ID and Display Name and press "save," you have created a new Party element. Immediately, an instance (copy) of the new element is embedded wherever your cursor was placed at the time you created it.
The new element is also automatically added to the Elements List at the top of the screen:
To embed another instance (copy) of this element elsewhere in the template, click on it in the Elements List and the copy will appear wherever your cursor is placed. All instances of an element are linked, so that when a contract is being filled out, filling in one instance auto-fills the others.
Create "Hidden" Party Element
It is also possible to create a new Party element without embedding a copy of it in template text. These are called "hidden" elements.
Why might you want to do this? If information for your side of a deal does not change from one contract to the next, you may not need to set this text up as "dynamic"--but in order to eSign deals on Outlaw, a template must contain a Party element for each signing Party. In this case, you can use a "hidden" Party element to enable eSigning for this Party.
To create a hidden Party element, open the Elements Panel (upper left of template editor) and enter the name of the Party you want to add. This Party is now available for inclusion in signature fields, but isn't visible anywhere in template text:
Format Party Elements
As shown above, clicking on a Party element in a contract reveals six fields for collecting commonly-used pieces of Party information, including the name and title of the authorized signer:
Each piece of information collected in these fields is called a "property." Bundling multiple properties under one element saves time and reduces errors when creating templates and completing contracts. But when multiple properties are filled in, which one actually shows up in the contract text?
The answer is that each copy of a Party element can be formatted to display a different property. Remember that multiple copies of a Party element can be embedded in different places throughout a template. Wherever a copy is placed, it can be formatted to display a different property. Formatting a copy of an element in the template means that when properties are filled out in the contract, information will be pulled from the correct field to display here.
For example, one copy of the "Client" Party element may be formatted to display a company's name, and another copy may be formatted to display its business address. Here's what this formatting looks like applied in the template:
To display the address, authorized signer name, or any other property you want to display, apply the appropriate formatting to a copy of an element. To do this, click on the copy of the element you want to format, and select an option from the drop down menu:
Once you choose this option and press "update," information filled in for this property will now show up here in the contract.
Note that the default property will be displayed if no special formatting is applied. The default property is a shortened version of the "Name of Company" field (formal identifiers such as "LLC" or "Inc." are removed). So, if someone entered "Outlaw Inc." in the "Name of Company" field, the default display would read simply "Outlaw." To display the full legal name of a company somewhere, choose Legal Name from the formatting drop down menu.