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The case of the shrunken comment balloon

And now for a dispatch from the “Well, I’ve never seen this before” Department … Just when I thought I had seen it all, my boss threw me a curve ball, courtesy of his new-found affection for Microsoft Word’s Track Changes feature.

He’s been using Track Changes a lot lately, and it’s turned out to be a pretty handy feature for him, since he’s been doing a lot of contract work. Marked-up documents have been flying back and forth via e-mail, and the Microsoft Word Track Changes feature has made life a lot easier for him.

Until last week, that is. He was getting ready to send out another reviewed document, when he opened it up from his outgoing e-mail and saw something like this:

Yikes! Who could possibly read that? That comment balloon is way too small!

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Guest post @ Lawyerist: Creating and Sharing Custom Microsoft Word Styles

As a follow-up to my Using Microsoft Word Styles post on Lawyerist, I go one step further and teach you how to create new Styles and share them with others in your office. If you’ve ever thought about creating a set of standard forms (pleadings, letters, etc.) for use by everyone in your workgroup or office, this post contains some critical information about how the interaction between Styles and Templates in Microsoft Word.

Click here for the full illustrated post.

Guest post @ Lawyerist: Using Microsoft Word Styles

Lawyerist editor-in-chief Sam Glover shot me an email from his crackberry a few weeks ago making a special request for my next guest post:

A primer on using styles, including how to create style sets and make them default.

How to move Normal.dot to a network drive or put it in your Dropbox so Word will use the same template across computers.

Typed on a small screen with my thumbs. Please excuse my brevity and typos.

So even though I already champion Styles usage for consistent formatting, particularly in long documents like briefs and contracts, I starting boning up, researching some more advanced techniques in my trusty Word 2010 reference.

Whoo, boy — what started out as “a primer on using styles” has morphed into a series. There’s a lot of untapped potential here, people, and I’m doing my darnedest to walk that fine line between delivering as much goodness as I can and keeping it simple enough to actually use.

Click here for the first post in the series. I’ve written post #2, so be on the lookout for even more advanced Styles techniques.

What’s the deal with Word 2007/2010 line spacing?

If you’ve upgraded to one of the ribbon-interface versions of Microsoft Office recently, you may have noticed that every new document you create (as opposed to editing or making new documents from earlier ones) has this weird, more open line spacing.

What’s the story?

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Inserting a table of contents using styles

One of the things I’m on a rant about these days is loooooong documents.  Complicated documents, like 20+ page contracts and appellate briefs and stuff like that.

Why?  Because they always seem to need special stuff inserted in them.  Like custom headers and footers.  And level-1 and level-2 and level-out-the-wazoo headings.  It’s enough to make your head spin.

But if you’ve got mad skills and you plan your document right, a lot of this stuff becomes easier.  Like putting in a simple table of contents, for example.

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