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What are elements? How do they work?
What are elements? How do they work?
Understanding the dynamic placeholder fields that make Outlaw tick!
Julie avatar
Written by Julie
Updated over a week ago

Elements are placeholders embedded in the text of a template, where deal-specific information can be supplied each time a new contract is created. But unlike the blanks or brackets you might see in a Microsoft Word document, elements are dynamic. In a contract, elements appear as click-able fields that can be filled in with appropriate responses, as seen in this example:

Elements fields are dynamic, so you can update them any time by clicking on them and filling in new info.

Why add elements to a template?

Outlaw's platform knows whether an element still needs to be filled in, so it doesn't let you accidentally send or sign an agreement before it's actually complete.

Elements also hold space for specially-formatted fields such as drop down menus:

Elements also let you set "default" responses, which auto-fill as soon as you create a contract, saving you time.

Powerful Data-Driven Insights

Elements capture data from your contract process. Each element you fill in for a contract is stored for purposes of filtering and reporting on your contracts.

Data capture and reporting drives improves all kinds of legal and business operations by helping you track important deal milestones such as expiration and renewal, monitor revenue from current deals, and so much more.

The sky is the limit when it comes to data collection and reporting on Outlaw, so think about the data that matters to your team and capture it with elements!


Outlaw integrates with 3rd party applications such as SalesForce via Zapier.

Integration saves your team time and reduces errors by passing information between Outlaw and other apps--and the way this information gets passed back and forth is through elements!

After adding elements to your template(s), these elements can be mapped to fields in SalesForce (or any other app available on Zapier) so that when a new contract is created it auto-populates with values from your CRM/ other 3rd party app.

What information should I create elements for?

Create elements to hold space for the names of the Parties on a deal (for example, "Client" and "Vendor"), as well as any other pieces of information that change from one deal to the next:

Elements also serve as placeholders for visual components such as pictures and tables:

If you are setting up an integration make sure to add elements for each piece of information that you want to map to your CRM or other third party app.

And don't forget: elements are how you capture data for purposes of filtering and reporting on your contracts, so be sure to create elements for information that is meaningful to your business and legal ops!

Next Step:  Create your own elements!

Elements are the key to creating repeatable, bullet-proof contracts and deriving data-driven insight from your contract repository; so now that you know what elements are, click here to learn how to create an element in a template!

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