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Guest Post @ Lawyerist: 5 Microsoft Office Hacks to Finish Tasks Faster

Want to move things from your inbox to your outbox a lot faster? It’s time you upgrade your skills in Microsoft Office to find faster ways of doing common tasks, like:

  • Speed-formatting your text with Styles (it’s a one-click operation!)
  • Using shortcut keys for speed typing
  • Employing templates to speed document creation for common forms
  • Accessing boilerplate text instantly with Quick Parts and AutoText
  • Getting one-click access to commonly used commands with the Quick Access Toolbar

Click here to get your learning on over at Lawyerist.

Guest Post @ Lawyerist: Sharing AutoText and Quick Parts with Others

If you’ve started building a library of boilerplate text in Microsoft Word using either AutoText or Quick Parts, you may have wondered to yourself whether you can distribute those to your assistant/paralegal or other attorneys in your practice area at your firm.

In response to a request from a Lawyerist reader, I’ve not only unlocked the secrets behind where these entries are stored, I’ve also detailed a method for storing and distributing these entries for others to use.

Click here to read this illustrated article over at Lawyerist.

Guest Post @ Lawyerist – Recycle text with Quick Parts and AutoText

Got a lot of texts you use over, and over, and over? Then you’ll be interested in my guest post over at Lawyerist entitled “Recycle Text with Quick Parts and AutoText.” In it, I show you exactly which feature is a better choice (answer: depends on what kind of typist you are, among other things), how to set these features up, and how to gradually build up a library of document building blocks you can use to instantly access those recycleable texts you love.

Click here to read the full article.

(Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stevendepolo/5644838033/)

Instantly access boilerplate text with Quick Parts

Admit it: you repeat yourself.  A lot.

Oh, you don’t think you do.  But if you work in a law office, you’re probably constantly going back to old documents, picking up bits and pieces of text to drop into your latest magnum opus.

Stop doing that!

For one thing, it’s just so inefficient.  Even worse, you’re constantly in danger of forgetting to edit something client-specific when you do all that cutting-and-pasting.  (Do you really want to repeat that time you forgot to change “he” to “she” in the Notary Acknowledgement and your client had to correct you before she signed her name?)

Here’s a better solution: Quick Parts. [click to continue…]

The Spike: It’s more than plain cut-and-paste

No, I’m not talking about a medieval torture instrument (sorry to those of you who are disappointed) — I’m talking about a cool “undocumented” feature in Microsoft Word.

The Spike allows you to gather up several different pieces of text into a holding area and paste them as a block into a document.

This could come in handy if you have, say, discovery requests you want to pick-and-choose from prior cases.  Just start going through your various old files, save each block of text into the Spike with CNTRL-F3, and assemble away!  Or use it to ease the editing of a document when the attorney is moving large blocks of text around.

So what’s the difference between this and the Clipboard?  The Spike allows you to work with multiple pieces of copied text at once, while the Clipboard only allows you to paste in the last piece of text you copied.

A caution, though: the Spike cuts text from your originating document instead of copying it and leaving the original text intact.  As long as you don’t save the altered original document, though, no harm done, right?

According to Lori Kaufman of HelpDeskGeek.com, “The Spike is a useful feature if you need to quickly and easily rearrange and move non-contiguous text or create a new document from pieces of another document.”

Use the Spike or just open up a new document window to assemble text?  It’s up to you.  But do head over to HelpDeskGeek.com and check out their tutorial before you decide.

(Hat tip to HelpDeskGeek.com via the ever-popular LifeHacker blog for the heads-up on this feature.)