You can now use the Backspace or Delete key from your keyboard to delete clauses, fields, smart clauses, smart fields and read-only fields from an agreement document. Clauses or fields deleted from the document are recorded in the reconciliation screen as deleted. This feature improves the usability experience of X-Author Contracts.

Earlier smart elements like smart fields or smart clauses could be deleted only by marking them for deletion from the control panel and then reconciling them. This feature removes that limitation. Also, if you are not an Apttus user and do not have X-Author installed, you would still be able to delete smart elements from the agreement document. Additionally, earlier it was difficult to remove static text if it was in between two smart elements. That problem is solved with this feature.


  • To delete a smart element you must ensure that the value of the Comply System Property, UnlockSmartElements is set to True in Contract Management. Only then the smart elements become available for deletion.
    For more information on how to configure the comply system property, refer to Contract Management on Salesforce Administrator Guide.

To delete a smart field, smart clause or repeat section

  1. Select the smart element in the document. Highlight the text value of the field, clause, section or table with your mouse.
  2. Press Delete or Backspace. This only deletes the field value but the content border remains.
  3. Press Delete or Backspace again to completely delete the smart element. Now, the content border is also deleted.


  1. Identify the smart element in the document.
  2. Click the vertical ellipsis icon  on the content control border of the element.
  3. Press Delete or Backspace.

The content control border of the fields, as well as the field value, will be deleted.

To delete a repeat-table

  1. Identify the smart table in the document.
  2. Click the vertical ellipsis icon  on the content control border of the table.
  3. Press Delete or Backspace.

The cell values are deleted but the table remains with blank cells. When you delete a cell value within a table, the changes are shown as strikethrough in the reconcile smart fields in table screen. The new value column remains blank and the previous value is shown as strikethrough. However, this practice is not recommended because if you delete a cell in a repeat a table, you may see some issues during reconciliation.

To delete a read-only field

  1. Select the read-only field in the document (Protection Mode= Full Access).
  2. Press Delete or Backspace.


  1. Select the read-only field in the document (Protection Mode= Insert Comments and Track Changes).
  2. Press Delete or Backspace.
  3. You will see a Microsoft Word's warning message, click Yes to continue with the delete operation.
  4. Go to Microsoft Word ribbon and click Review tab.
  5. Click Accept, to accept the delete changes. The content control of the read only field is deleted but the text value remains.
  6. Select the text value and again press Delete or Backspace.
  7. Repeat steps 3 and 4. You have to Accept the delete changes twice.

Now the complete read only field is deleted.

Best Practices and X-Author Contracts Behavior When Deleting Smart Elements or Read Only Fields

Smart elements can be deleted using the Del or Backspace key but, while doing it you must adhere to the following recommended best practices to avoid errors.

  • Existing documents would not support delete using Delete or Backspace key unless they are regenerated from Contract Management or checked out in X-Author Contracts.
  • Apttus recommends not to delete fields or smart elements in the following scenarios:
    • If the fields are part of sections, X-Author Tables, Headers, or Footers.
    • If the smart elements are part of a section with a third level X-Author table.

When Document Protection is set to Full Access

  • If you delete a field by selecting the field value text and pressing Delete or Backspace, hit Backspace or delete twice to remove the text and the content control border of the field. If you fail to do so, you'll see a validation error on reconciliation or while validating the fields using Validate Fields.

When Document Protection is set to Insert Comments and Track Changes

  • In Insert Comments and Track Changes protection mode, it is mandatory for you to first Accept or Reject the changes in the document from the Review tab of Microsoft Word before you perform any action from X-Author Contracts. Failing to do so will give you validation errors or unexpected behavior in X-Author Contracts. X-Author Contracts actions include performing Update from Salesforce, Checking in the document, reconciling the document, Preview Reconcile, and Validate Fields.
  • You must remove the document protection by manually entering the password before you can delete smart elements as well as read-only fields from your document.
  • If you select a content control and partially delete the text, the partial text would remain as static text.
  • When you delete a smart field in the document and then open the control field, the Current Value column of the Control Panel will show blank values for the deleted fields.
  • When you delete a smart field that has multiple occurrences in the document, the smart field's occurrence index is not updated in the Control Panel unless you check-in the document. The index number helps identify which occurrence of the field you have deleted.