How To Manage A Contract On Microsoft Word

How To Manage A Contract On Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word is a widely used tool for drafting contracts and legal documents. It offers a user-friendly interface, powerful formatting and editing capabilities, and flexibility for the legal department. But is it enough to take care of your contracting needs? Keep reading to find out.


Who wouldn’t want to accelerate their contracting process? Especially now with so many robust and diverse contract management solutions on the market. But, it can be challenging to get your workforce to adopt brand-new software. It demands a lot, including adapting existing processes and training staff members. Businesses can overcome all these challenges by opting for a solution they’re familiar with. Dock 365 offers just that by integrating their contract management software within your pre-existing Microsoft Office 365 environment. 

It enables you to manage contracts from applications part of your regular business operations, including Teams, Azura, SharePoint, and more. It means a common platform for teams across the organization to collaborate on the contract lifecycle. It also makes the process much simpler. Imagine creating a contract entirely within Word without any complicated features or steps. Here is everything you need to know about Microsoft Word's benefits and drawbacks when it comes to managing contracts.

Automated Contract Management System

What is the best way to manage contracts in Microsoft Word?

Microsoft Word is the go-to tool for creating documents across all industries. Word is the most popular choice for lawyers because almost everyone can use and understand it. Word has many benefits for the legal team, from drafting legal documents to working with outside parties. While Word can be a versatile tool for creating and storing contracts, it does have its limitations. Businesses can use Word to manage the contract lifecycle and gain additional advantages by integrating it with contract management software.

Drafting contracts in Word

Microsoft Word is a widely used word-processing tool. It allows users to create, edit, and format contracts using a familiar interface. Organizations can draft and modify contractual agreements easily within Word while leveraging advanced editing and formatting capabilities.

Businesses can choose a template that matches your needs, or you can start with a blank document. They can adjust the document formatting to meet their specific contract requirements. It includes font styles, sizes, line spacing, and margins. Legal departments can create a custom contract template with their organization's branding and legal requirements.

Negotiating contracts in Word

Microsoft Word can be a valuable tool for contract negotiation, allowing parties involved in the negotiation process to collaborate, propose changes, and reach agreement on the terms and conditions of a contract. It allows each party involved in the negotiation to make edits, revisions, and comments on the document. 

Contract redlining is a widely used feature for negotiating and editing contracts collaboratively. It allows multiple parties to make changes, suggestions, and comments within a document while keeping a record of those modifications. Only the document owner or reviewer can accept or reject changes made by others.

Reviewing contracts in Word

Microsoft Word can be a useful tool for contract review. Using Word's "Compare" feature, businesses can examine and contrast various document versions, including the original and the modified version. It is useful for seeing how the document has evolved during the review process.

Multiple reviewers can leave comments, suggest edits, or make changes without altering the original text.  It keeps a clear record of who made what changes and allows for an organized review and approval process. Users can easily search for specific terms or phrases within the contract using the Find feature. It helps in quickly locating relevant sections or clauses.

Is Microsoft Word enough for contract management?

Although Word is a popular tool for document creation, effective contract management calls for more. Word lacks advanced contract management features, such as workflows, reports, and analytics capabilities to streamline the contract lifecycle. Ensuring contract compliance with regulatory and organizational requirements can be more challenging when relying solely on Word, as there may be limited tools for enforcing compliance.

Moreover, storing contracts as standalone Word documents may lead to data loss or lack of backup if documents are not regularly saved, backed up, or versioned correctly. Extracting contract data for reporting purposes can be time-consuming. Organizations can overcome these challenges by integrating Microsoft Word with Dock 365 contract management software. It offers several benefits for organizations that need to manage contracts efficiently and streamline their processes. Here are some of the key advantages:

1. Seamless Document Creation and Editing

Businesses can create and manage a variety of contract templates using Dock 365, including non-disclosure agreements and employment letters. Through integration, users can open pre-written contract templates within Word. The template contains placeholders for essential information, such as names, dates, terms, and conditions. When you need to draft a new contract, open the template and fill in the specific details for that contract, such as names of parties, contract duration, and payment terms. As a result, businesses can quickly and easily create contractual agreements in Word by customizing pre-approved templates. 

Dock 365 integration also offers access to a clause library within Word to add a clause to a contract document. Standardizing contract language is critical for consistency and risk mitigation. Organizations can maintain a set of pre-approved terms and clauses that adhere to legal, compliance, and business requirements. Dock contract management software with a clause library allows users to tailor contracts by selecting, modifying, or combining clauses as necessary within Word.

2. Centralized Contract Repository

Contract management software provides a centralized repository for storing all contracts and related documents. Integrating Word ensures that contracts created and edited in Word are automatically saved and organized within the contract management system. This centralized repository enhances document control, version management, and access to contract history.

3. Automated Workflow

Contract management software often includes workflow automation capabilities. Integration with Word allows for the creation of custom workflows for contract approval, review, and signing.  Users can initiate contract workflows directly from Word, streamlining the contract lifecycle.

4. Executing Contracts 

Dock 365 contract management software integration with Word allows businesses to add e-signatures to legal documents. It makes it easy to prepare contracts for e-signing, send them to signatories, and manage the signing process efficiently. Dock provides legally binding e-signature services like DocuSign, Adobe Sign, and Sertifi. 

In Microsoft Word, businesses can use e-signature integration to designate where signatures, initials, dates, and other fields should be within the document. They can simply drag and drop signature fields into the contract. Businesses can specify who needs to sign the document by adding recipients' email addresses or contact information. Consequently, they can send the Word document to the designated recipients. 

5. Compliance and Risk Management

Contract management software helps enforce compliance by storing contracts in a structured manner, applying predefined templates and clauses, and tracking key dates and milestones. It helps to ensure that contracts adhere to approved templates and legal standards. Integration enables users to maintain version control even while editing contracts in Word. Businesses can access previous versions and track the history of changes made to a contract. Contract management software can generate reports and analytics to provide insights into contract performance, obligations, and risks. It allows users to extract contract data from Word documents and incorporate it into these reports.

6. Real-time Notifications

Contract management software offers automated alerts for important dates and events, such as contract renewals, expiration dates, payment deadlines, and performance milestones. It also offers custom dashboards where you can see upcoming milestones and their statuses at a glance. This can help contract managers stay on top of important dates.

Contract Lifecycle Management on Office 365


Microsoft Word is not a dedicated contract management software but rather a word processing tool. While it can be used for certain aspects of contract management, it lacks many of the advanced features and capabilities that specialized contract management software provides.  Dock 365 built on your Microsoft Office environment combines the document creation and editing capabilities of Word with our advanced contract management features. This integration streamlines contract-related processes, improves collaboration, enhances compliance, and boosts overall efficiency in managing contracts within an organization. 

Disclaimer: The information provided on this website is not intended to be legal advice; rather, all information, content, and resources accessible through this site are for purely educational purposes. This page's content might not be up to date with legal or other information.
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Written by Deepti Gopimohan

As a creative content writer, Deepti has spent years assisting brands to share their unique voice with audiences, complying with the latest marketing trends and strategies. Her educational background in Literature & Journalism has helped her research and publish content for diverse industries & mediums.
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Reviewed by Naveen K P

Naveen, a seasoned content reviewer with 9+ years in software technical writing, excels in evaluating content for accuracy and clarity. With expertise in SaaS, cybersecurity, AI, and cloud computing, he ensures adherence to brand standards while simplifying complex concepts.

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