Create Legal Contracts from Excel data

There are many occasions when identical versions of a legal document need to be created but with slightly different data. This can be for payment notes, settlement notes, legal letters, confirmation letters, shareholder agreements, and many more. The problem is identical, there is a Word file that contains the legal document, and there is structured data, e.g. an Excel file, that should be inserted into the Word file to create multiple versions of it. This is often called Automatic Document Creation or Automatic Document Processing.

MergeGuru to create multiple versions of legal contracts

MergeGuru is the easiest way to create multiple versions of a Word file from Excel data. The MergeGuru application takes two inputs: (1) a Word file that contains the contract template, and (2) the Excel file that contains the contract data. The output produced will create multiple versions of the legal contract in Word and/or PDF format. MergeGuru does this by replacing all text in the Word file containing angle brackets “<>”, e.g. “<counterparty>” with data from the Excel file. It will find the matching column by searching for the column named “counterparty” and then pick the data from there. Also, the filenames of the output files can be fetched from an optional column named “filedata”. This is will make it possible the create all output files with one single click in no time!

Alternative solutions for legal firms

1. Have a legal clerk or Junior staff create multiple versions of the legal document manually

This is time-consuming and error-prone, and thus very expensive.

2. Use other automatic document creation tools like Abborrta, Sysero or Contract Express

This can indeed work, but these tools are not user-friendly to use and they often require creating a version of the contract in the Contract Management System and then adding all the fields to the document manually. Adding the fields is time-consuming and creates a “virtual contract file” that is not a clean Word file which can be annoying for several reasons. In addition, getting the data from an Excel file to merge into this document is not always possible, and a lawyer must often manually fill in the data one entry at a time.

3. Use Mail Merge to merge the Word file with Excel data

This can also work, but Mail Merge is not built to work with documents for this purpose. Instead, Mail Merge primary focus is to mail multiple versions of a file to different recipients. Mail Merge comes with three major downsides (a) Cannot produce PDF files, (b) Cannot automatically name the produced files, and (c) will format numbers like you did not intend unless you are a formatting guru who can write complex formulas like a programmer.

MergeGuru is like Mail Merge but for files

The most simple way to explain what MergeGuru does is to describe it as Mail Merge for files. Mail Merge is Microsoft’s built-in tool to email multiple versions of a document to different recipients. As explained above, MergeGuru does not come with the same limitations as Mail Merge, especially when it comes to producing files.

Requirement of a stand-alone application for legal firms

Since legal firms process highly sensitive information, using a cloud-based solution is often not preferred unless heavy third-party validation of the service is done in terms of e.g. IT-security. Instead, a standard desktop application is the easiest way to ensure secure data processing as no data is sent over the internet. MergeGuru fulfills this requirement as it is a classic Desktop application that can be run on Windows.

MergeGuru creates multiple PDF and Word files from a Word template and Excel data