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Using Playbook Formats to Red Line Contracts

A contract playbook is essential for outlining your organization’s guidelines for contract negotiations. However, redlining contracts using playbooks can be onerous because of the amount of copying and pasting that needs to occur. Exactly how your contract redline looks can vary, depending on the playbook format you use as formatting styles, including font, can vary dramatically. This post will discuss the pros and cons of each of the top five contract playbook formats.

Using Playbook Formats to Red Line Contracts
Written by
Insights Team

Microsoft Word

Word is a popular choice for contracts, thanks to features like “track changes” and the relatively easy ability to copy and paste. However, it’s not without its challenges, especially when it comes to formatting.

Word Pros:

Word is easy to copy and paste from, and you can easily adjust the default paste options by following Word’s helpful formatting guidelines.

Word Cons:

As you copy and paste, you will need to deal with different formatting marks before preparing a blackline copy. Therefore, before submitting your final contract, you will need to thoroughly review it to make sure your formatting is aligned throughout the document.

Microsoft Excel

If you prefer to take a data-oriented approach to redlining, then Excel might be a better choice. However, it still lacks redlining capabilities, which can make it more time-consuming to use.

Excel Pros:

In Excel, formatting can be automatically adapted, which can streamline the redlining process.

Excel Cons:

The process of clicking around from cell to cell can become tedious. You’ll need to pay close attention, so you don’t lose your place. You’ll also need to deal with formatting marks that may not transfer.


While convenient for jotting down personal notes and ideas, OneNote doesn’t always work well for playbooks.

OneNote Pros:

With options to create templates, snippets, bulleted lists, and more, OneNote has many features lacking in other formats. It is also relatively easy to use for collaboration.

OneNote Cons:

OneNote is not as popular or prevalent as Word, so not everyone who needs your playbook may be trained on it. It can also be complicated due to the page layouts and formatting. However, you will still need to transfer it to Word to review formatting before saving it as a PDF to share because you cannot red line contracts in OneNote.


Many organizations use SharePoint as a collaborative space to share information, documents, and images. It can also be used to create web pages for your company.

SharePoint Pros:

Because it’s designed for collaboration, team members can easily find and access playbooks from one secure location.

SharePoint Cons:

Everyone can access your playbook as a PDF or an embedded file, but there is no great way to integrate your playbook into the review process without clicking around and doing a lot of copying and pasting. Alternatively, you could use SharePoint as an Excel file when pasting in positions, but you’ll run into similar problems.

Legal Pad

Some people prefer the traditional approach of using pen and paper to create playbooks. If that’s your go-to method, consider that there might be better ways to use your time than manually copying information from your legal pad to a contract.

Legal Pad Pros:

Because you are creating a new digital document, you don’t need to worry about formatting issues. You’ll end up with perfect formatting every time.

Legal Pad Cons:

Without a copy/paste option, you’ll spend a lot of extra time manually typing information from your playbook to your document.

Find A Better Way to Red Line Contracts

With all of these playbook formats, there are different methods of redlining. Choosing one to use for your contract reviews can be a big question. That’s where DocJuris comes in. With DocJuris, you can automatically adjust the formatting of a redline from a playbook and eliminate manual typing.

DocJuris integrates with your playbook, eliminating the need to copy and paste entirely. Learn more about how DocJuris works and see what it can do for your team by scheduling a demo today!

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