HelpMasterFile ReportingDrafting Minion

Drafting Minion

No matter what you try, weird things begin to happen the moment you paste a selection from a deposition into your brief or other work product. Why? Formatting. It takes at least 6 separate (convoluted) steps to get the extract text to look the way you want. MasterFile's Drafting Minion returns copy/paste to what it should be.

Overview

The Drafting Minion template in User Settings lets you customize how the Drafting Minion formats a text passage and its citation.  Customization takes place via MasterFile's standard placeholders. These represent document profile fields such Author, Date, etc. For example, the placeholder %DocFrom% will output a profile's From/Author field.

Two nested placeholders, %DocMinion% and %DocCitation% represent special Minion fields on document profiles that also let you include standard placeholders to customize how the Drafting Minion formats a text passage and its citation on a document by document basis, so different documents can have different formats.

If the Drafting Minion template is blank, the Drafting Minion will output MasterFile's standard Format.

Standard Placeholders
Placeholder Explanation
%DocFrom%
The first person listed in the 'From/Author' field excluding their organization.
%DocType%
The first document type listed in the 'Document type' field excluding categories.
%DocDate <valid format>%
The document's date. Valid date variables are dd for 2 digit day, mm for 2 digit month, mmm for month abbreviation, yyyy for 4 digit years. For example, dd-mmm-yyyy.
%ExTextAsIs% An extract's text as it appears, including line numbers, page break markers, etc.
%ExTextCleaned%
An extract's text reformatted to create paragraphs, format deposition question and answers, and remove line numbers.
%ExStartPageNo%, %ExStartLineNo%
Both from the extract's starting 'Segment number' field.
%ExEndPageNo%, %ExEndLineNo%
Both from the extract's ending 'Segment number' field.
%ExStartBates%
The Bates number of the page the extract starts on.
%ExSummary%
An extract's summary.
%ExURL%
An extract's Notes URL.
%ExMFDescriptor%
The MasterFile descriptor that normally appears alongside doc-links.
%ExDocLink%
The doc-link to the extract. This will always be included last.
Standard Placeholder Examples

Numbered lines with citation

When the Drafting Minion uses following the Drafting Minion template ...

it creates the following formatted text and citation ...

from this extract ...

Let's examine the Drafting Minion template format used, in detail.

Placeholder or text Explanation
%ExTextAsIs%
Format an extract 'as-is'.
blank line
A blank line, typed text. Whatever you type, if not a %minion variable% or %placeholder%, is formatted and output as typed.
'('
A left parenthesis, typed text. You can intersperse any text you like amongst %minion variables% or %placeholders%.
%DocType%
The extract's document type (deposition, report, etc.).
','
A comma, typed text.
%DocFrom%
The extract's sender or author.
';'
A semi-colon, typed text.
pages:
Typed text.
%ExStartPageNo%:%ExStartLineNo%-%ExEndPageNo%:%ExEndLineNo%;
These placeholders specify the extract's starting page and line, and ending page and line, with typed separators (':','-',', etc.) for formatting.
%DocDate dd.mmm.yyyy%
The extract's date (using one of several date formats available).
')'
A right parenthesis, typed text.

Removing the line numbers

Changing the placeholder %ExTextAsIs% to %ExTextCleaned% tells the Drafting Minion to output a clean format and citation ...

Container Placeholders
Placeholder Explanation
%DocMinion%

The Document Minion template field in document profiles lets you customize a text passage and its citation on a document by document basis, so different documents can have different formats.

  • Use the standard placeholders in Document Minion template field to format the text and citation as you need.
  • Add %DocMinionTemplate% to the Drafting Minion template.

The Drafting Minion will then substitute %DocMinionTemplate% with the content of the Document Minion template field of the profile.

  • If the Drafting Minion template only contains %DocMinionTemplate%, then the contents of the Document Minion template field of a profile is output, but if that is also blank, then nothing is output.

%DocCitation% This placeholder represents the Citation field in the Additional Information section of document profiles.
  • Use the standard placeholders in the Citation field to format the text and citation as you need.
  • Add %DocCitation% to either the Document Minion template field or the Drafting Minion template to output the contents of the Citation field of the profile.

Using the %DocMinionTemplate% placeholder

%DocMinionTemplate% is typically used when you need a custom citation format for a document. In the example below, you can see it at the end of the normal Drafting Minion template, after the dashed line.

If a document profile has placeholders and text in its Document Minion template field, the Drafting Minion will replace %DocMinionTemplate% with that content. The example below is the Document Minion template field from a deposition. It outputs extract text and its citation each in different styles, separated by a dashed line.

For the extract below, from the above deposition, ...

the Drafting Minion outputs the following ...

The three styles are separated by dashed lines.

  1. The normal format in the Drafting Minion template in User Settings - i.e. the format used for all documents.
  2. The format for Justice Dennis from the Document Minion template field with line numbers and a different citation style from #1.
  3. The format for Justice Chandra, also from the Document Minion template field, without line numbers and with a different citation style from #1 and #2.

In this case, since the formatting style for Justice Dennis is what's needed, simply delete everything except #2's text and citation.

It is easy to apply specific Drafting Minion formatting as needed to multiple documents using Global Replace. Note that the entire contents of the selected documents' respective Document Minion template or Minion Variables fields (discussed below) are replaced by the formatting statement you enter or paste into those fields in the Global Replace form.

Advanced uses

Minion Variables are also container placeholders, and an advanced Drafting Minion feature. Use them to set granular content you might need in special situations.

Placeholder Explanation
%MinionVariable <line number>% This placeholder represents line entries in the Minion Variables field in the Additional Information section of document profiles. Each line represents data the Drafting Minion can output.
  • Use the standard placeholders in the Minion Variables field to format the text and citation as you need.
  • Add a %MinionVariable <line number>% to either the Document Minion template or Drafting Minion template to output its contents.

Note you can not leave blank lines between each line in the Minion Variables field. For example, if you have the following three lines in the Minion Variables field of one profile

#1: ABCD
#2: WXYZ
#3: 12345

and in the Minion Variables field of another profile you have

#1: ABCD
#2:
#3: 12345

and you use the placeholder %MinionVariable 2%, the Drafting Minion will output WXYZ and 12345 respectively, as the blank line (#2 in the second profile) is removed when you saved that profile.

Below, we use Minion Variables to format precedents from different international jurisdictions. The 'Citation' field of the precedent's profile contains the citation style as used in the home jurisdiction.

Line 1 of the Minion Variables field below is the city and line 2 is the country, and the three elements (Citation field, city and country) are all brought together in the Document Minion template. If you had precedents from other countries, you would copy the Document Minion template to each precedent and enter the appropriate city and country in the Minion Variables field.

Use Global Replace to add the same Document Minion Template entry to many documents at a go.

When use the Drafting Minion to format this extract for a brief ...

with the Drafting Minion template in User Settings set as follows ...

the Drafting Minion outputs the following when pasted into Word. Notice how the three elements (Citation field, city and country) have been output in the citation below the dashed line.

  • Delete citation formats that aren't applicable and their dividers (in this case, the citation above the dashed line) to leave the one you need.

Minion Variables can be used directly in both the Document Minion template and the Drafting Minion template.