Simple Document Automation

Simple Document Automation

When we first started, we were told that in the world of professional services you never give anything valuable away for free. Matt Farrington shares an automated information sharing agreement on an open source basis.

When we first started, we were told that in the world of professional services you never give anything valuable away for free. We decided to ignore that advice.

If we can share ways of making life easier for in-house lawyers that makes us happy. In that spirit, Matt Farrington has automated a simple information sharing agreement on an open source basis.

In-house legal teams may use a template like this to speed up document generation, or even “de-lawyer” their NDA process by allowing business users to complete the form directly themselves. 

This template is automated using Microsoft Word macros (VBA). You don’t need any special software, websites or log-ons to run this automated template, just Microsoft Word.

To use this automated template:

Click here and save file to some place you can easily find it.

The file you have copied should have a file name ending in “dotm” (alternatively, Windows File Explorer will list the type as “Microsoft Word Macro-Enabled Template”). This indicates it is a macro-enabled template document.

To create a new document based on the template, just double click. This will not edit the template, instead create a new document based on the template.

You will likely receive one or more security warnings about macros. If you want to use the automated parts of the template, you will need to click on the “enable” (sometimes “enable content”) option.

A form will appear with details for you to complete and options to select. Complete as appropriate and click OK. 

You will have a completed information sharing agreement, ready for signing or review by the counterparty.

Save the document. The default option should be to save the new document as a “docx” file. This will automatically remove all the macros. This is the recommended option, as it will prevent any future recipients being warned about macros. However, once saved, any changes will need to be made manually. If you want to re-run the automated script, open another copy of the template.

A note on macros: Some macro codes are malicious. Both your email system and Microsoft Word may warn you about allowing macros to run. If your IT security policy restricts the use of macros, you will not be able to use the automated parts of the template. You should always be careful about allowing macros to run if you are not sure about the origin of an attachment. Consult your IT department if in any doubt.

All copyright in the text and code of the template have been waived pursuant to CC0 (Creative Commons Zero / Public Domain Dedication). You may freely adapt and use this work however you see fit, without attribution or restriction. In addition to the terms of CC0, you acknowledge that this work is provided as a template. We have not had regard to your legal position and this work is not legal advice. You must determine for yourself whether this work is suitable for you and/or your legal position. If you are not able to do so, you should seek legal advice. This licence is embedded as hidden text in the document. If you see this on your screen, you can either delete or turn hidden text to off - either way it won't print.

Is this automated template useful to you? Are there other documents you would like to see automated? Please let us know any feedback, and we will consider this for future editions of our newsletter.