Eliminating Word-Processing Debris

When I review my students’ contract-drafting assignments, I’ll flag instances of what I think of as word-processing debris: superfluous spaces or tabs that follow a given block of text. They look sloppy.

You wouldn’t see them in a printed copy of a document, and you wouldn’t see them if you haven’t selected “Show” in Word’s “Show/Hide” option. (What, you haven’t selected “Show”?) But anyone who has selected “Show” would see them if they elected to read your draft online.

And even if no one else sees it, word-processing debris nevertheless hints at indiscipline, and as such is anathema to the contract drafter’s Bushido.

Then again, maybe I need to ease up a little …

About the author

Ken Adams is the leading authority on how to say clearly whatever you want to say in a contract. He’s author of A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting, and he offers online and in-person training around the world. He’s also chief content officer of LegalSifter, Inc., a company that combines artificial intelligence and expertise to assist with review of contracts.