Checking for Drafting Errors

Contract Tools checks for the following kinds of drafting errors:

  • Not defined: Capitalized words and phrases that are not uses of a defined term.

  • Duplicate defined terms: Defined terms that are defined more than once.

  • Miscapitalized defined terms: Uses of defined terms with inconsistent letter case.

  • Formatting inconsistencies: Inconsistently formatted provision titles, defined terms, cross-references, and ancillaries (available in Word 2010 and later).

  • List order: Problems with the order of provision numbers, inline list markers (such as (a) (b) (c) and (i) (ii) (iii)), and defined terms in definitions lists.

  • Unmatched punctuation: Unmatched parentheses, brackets ([ ]), braces ({ }), curly double quotation marks (“ ”), and guillemets (« », ‹ ›).

  • Broken Ref fields: Ref fields whose Bookmark property is unknown. For example, if you convert a cross-reference to a field, and then delete the item to which the cross-reference refers, the field is flagged as a drafting error. To learn about Ref fields, search for “ref field” in Word Help.

To learn about Go to
Provisions Working with Provisions
Defined terms Working with Defined Terms
Cross-references Working with Cross-References
Ancillaries Working with Ancillaries
Inline lists Working with Inline Lists and Proviso Lists

Contract Tools ignores some errors by default. To choose the kinds of errors that Contract Tools ignores, show the Contract Tools pane, click the Analysis Settings button, and then use the Drafting Errors controls.

Here are errors that Contract Tools ignores by default:

  • Adjacent uses of defined terms: When Contract Tools checks for capitalized words and phrases that are not uses of a defined term, it ignores adjacent uses of defined terms.

  • Duplicate defined terms: When Contract Tools checks for duplicate defined terms, it ignores different forms of the same defined term (for example, “Company”, “Companies”, and “the Company”) that appear in the same paragraph.

  • Miscapitalized defined terms: When Contract Tools checks for miscapitalized defined terms, it ignores all-uppercase and all-lowercase text. For example, if Material Contract is a defined term, Contract Tools finds material Contract, but not material contract.

  • Capitalized words and phrases: Contract Tools ignores many kinds of capitalized words and phrases when it checks for those that are not uses of a defined term. To select the kinds of capitalized words and phrases that Contract Tools ignores, click Exclude below Drafting Errors in the Analysis Settings view, and then select the kinds of capitalized words and phrases you want Contract Tools to ignore.

    Select this To make the Proofreader ignore these kinds of capitalized words and phrases

    Accounting and finance terms

    Goldman, Sachs & Co.



    New York Stock Exchange

    The Wall Street Journal

    Arbitration forums

    American Arbitration Association

    Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services


    Business entities

    Paper Software LLC

    Paper Software, Inc.

    OOO Paper Software

    Paper Software, SA/NV

    Paper Software s.à r.l.

    Business entity terms

    Board of Directors

    Audit Committee

    Chief Executive Officer

    Assistant Secretaries

    Articles of Formation

    Class A

    Series B

    Canadian government bodies

    Bank of Canada

    Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

    Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade

    Canadian statutes

    Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act

    Food and Drugs Act

    Winding-up and Restructuring Act

    Contact information




    Dates and times




    Eastern Standard Time

    Government bodies

    Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

    Department of Justice

    Ministry of Defence

    Incentive plans

    Approved Share Option Scheme

    Long Term Incentive Plan

    Restricted Stock Plan

    Intergovernmental organizations

    European Union

    United Nations

    World Trade Organization


    Amended and Restated Plan of Merger



    Form of Notice

    Stock Purchase Agreement

    Risk Factors

    Law firms

    Adams and Reese

    Krieg DeVault

    Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs

    Medical and scientific terms


    Good Clinical Practices

    New Drug Application

    Names and honorifics

    James Smith, Esq.

    Dr. Mary Johnson


    Central America

    United States of America

    British Columbia

    New York City

    Bailiwick of Guernsey

    Regulations and forms

    International Traffic in Arms Regulations

    Form W‑8BEN

    Regulation S‑X

    Rule 144A

    Schedule 14D‑9

    Self-regulatory organizations

    Accounting Principles Board

    Financial Industry Regulatory Authority

    Public Company Accounting Oversight Board

    Statute titles

    Bankruptcy Code

    Companies Act

    Treaty of Amsterdam

    Technology terms



    MIT License

    UK government bodies

    Bank of England

    Financial Services Trade and Investment Board

    Her Majesty’s Treasury

    UK public general acts

    Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act

    Financial Services (Banking Reform) Act

    Income and Corporation Taxes Act

    Uniform laws

    National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws


    Uniform Gifts to Minors Act

    US federal courts

    Supreme Court of the United States

    United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

    United States Court of Federal Claims

    Southern District of New York

    US federal government bodies

    Federal Reserve System

    Patent and Trademark Office

    Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval System

    Flood Insurance Rate Map

    US federal statutes


    Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act

    Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act

    US state business entity regulators

    Delaware Secretary of State

    Secretary of State of New York

    Virginia State Corporation Commission

    US state business entity statutes

    General Corporation Law of the State of Delaware

    New York Partnership Law

    Beverly-Killea Limited Liability Company Act

    US state courts

    Delaware Court of Chancery

    New York Supreme Court

    California Court of Appeal for the First District

Contract Tools always ignores the following kinds of capitalized words and phrases when it checks for those that are not uses of a defined term:

  • All caps: Contract Tools ignores paragraphs set in all uppercase letters (all caps).

  • Alphanumeric codes: Contract Tools ignores alphanumeric codes (such as B26354).

  • Capitalized words at the beginning of sentences: Contract Tools ignores capitalized words that appear only at the beginning of sentences. In addition, Contract Tools ignores words commonly used to begin sentences (such as The, Each, and Notwithstanding) when they appear at the beginning of sentences, even if they also appear elsewhere.

  • Currencies: Contract Tools ignores currencies (such as US Dollars, USD, Euros, and EUR). To learn about the currencies Contract Tools detects, see Finding Amounts of Money.

  • Numbers: Contract Tools ignores numbers (such as One, One Hundred Million, and First).

  • Provision titles: Contract Tools ignores provision titles when they appear at the start of a provision and when they appear within parentheses or brackets ([ ]).

  • Quotation marks: Contract Tools ignores capitalized words and phrases enclosed in double quotation marks (“ ”, " ") or guillemets (« », ‹ ›).

  • Singular and plural forms of defined terms: You may use singular defined terms in their plural forms, and plural defined terms in their singular forms (for example, you may define Subsidiary but use Subsidiaries). Contract Tools ignores singular and plural forms of defined terms. To learn about defined terms, see Working with Defined Terms.

Note: Contract Tools does not check for drafting errors in comments, footnotes, and endnotes (search for “comments”, “footnotes”, and “endnotes” in Word Help to learn more).

To learn about ways to review drafting errors, see Reviewing Drafting Errors. To learn how to manage drafting errors, including how to ignore drafting errors, see Managing Drafting Errors.