Meaning of active version

In a recent call, I expressed a concern about a clause that I am still working on being deployed as soon as I save it. This seemed less than optimal to me.

Reading the help entry on versioning, this appears to be the answer: that a version is not made “active” until " "set as the active version” is selected.

Is this indeed the answer to my concern?

Hi Kenneth,

I’m afraid not — the “active version” setting mainly means that this clause will be the standard one to be found through the search function. As explained somewhere in the help entry you mentioned, versioned clauses will behave mostly like normal (non-versioned) clauses.

What you are facing, is a direct consequence of the central editing approach taken by ClauseBase. Most of the time this will be of great help to you: unlike most other (template-based) solutions, you can make changes in one single place. But the downside is, obviously, that every change you make will be directly made available to everyone, everywhere.

Somewhat of a solution to your concern is the “disable” functionality in the Q&A options. This allows you to temporarily disable a Q&A when you are actively working on it, so that your users do not inadvertently use it during your editing work.

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I want to make sure I am understanding.

When I save as a new version, you are saying that this version is pushed out to all existing documents right away. The only consequence of setting as “active” is how it shows up in the library.


That is indeed correct.

And to add to that: the “active” or “inactive” state of a clause is only relevant to users who use Assemble Documents. End-users who merely use the Q&A, will never be confronted with the question of whether a clause is the old or the new version — they simply see a clause show up, irrespective of how old or new a certain clause is.

Could I ask what you are particularly worried about? The versioning system is actually quite powerful when combined with the platform’s other functions — e.g., (through conditions and external snippets) you can even automatically switch from the old to the new version at a particular point in time, or for particular customers or types of documents.

When making drastic changes to a clause, I would advise the following workflow:

  • disable the Q&A(s) in which the clauses are being used (you can check a clause’s usage in particular documents or Q&As through the “brows files” functionality)
  • save a copy of the targeted clause, labeling it as the old version (this is the old version you can still use for reference purposes)
  • make whatever changes you want and save the new version (and set it as the new version)
  • re-enable the Q&As that you disabled in the first step


There is also a possibility to archive an entire Q&A (and its underlying document, and all of its clauses) to a local file you can save on your hard drive. You can then optionally re-upload that local file onto ClauseBase, which creates an entirely separate copy from this entire structure.

This way, if you are really making intensive changes (not just a few clauses), you can leave the old version up as long as you want, create duplicates of everything, and then remove the old versions when you are done.

This is a fairly specialised situation (I would not recommend to use it often), but it is possible. By the way, by default, it is not activated in standard accounts.