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How to keep Track Changes from broadcasting your confidential data

Child looking through a magnifying glass

If you frequently edit documents in “group” mode (exchanging drafts of a release with opposing counsel, for example), you’ve probably used Word’s Track Changes feature to stay on top of the edits.

Track Changes, however, has its problems. Sometimes it’s tricky to even tell if Track Changes is turned on. That becomes particularly important when you’re exchanging documents with people outside the office (and critical when it’s opposing counsel you’re dealing with). After all, if you don’t know that your own edits are being tracked and recorded, you may be inadvertently revealing confidential information.

Fortunately, you can tweak certain settings in Microsoft Word to ensure that you don’t get tripped up by hidden tracked changes. Here are my suggestions for features you should turn on so Track Changes is always open and obvious and under your complete control. [click to continue…]

Guest Post @ Lawyerist: Don’t let Track Changes trip you up

If you’ve tried to use Microsoft Word’s Track Changes feature without someone to show you the ins and outs, you probably had a pretty frustrating experience. But what you might not know is that Track Changes can even be a bit dangerous in the wrong hands.

To keep from tripping over Track Change’s stumbling blocks, head over to Lawyerist (after 11 am CT) and check out Don’t Let Track Changes Trip You Up, where I show you what settings you need to be aware of to keep your document safe.

Click here for the full illustrated article.

Guest Post @ Lawyerist: Using Microsoft Word to Edit by Committee

Ever experienced “death by redlining”? You know what I mean. It’s that headache-inducing series of emails in which you and your colleagues send seemingly endless drafts of the document  du jour back-and-forth, ad infinitum.

While I can’t do anything about those unreasonable people who don’t like the way you phrased something or other, I can help you make up for their lack of skill with Microsoft Word. Click here to read the full article before your next “editing by committee” session, and you’ll be prepared to deal with other people’s bad formatting without tearing your own hair out.

Weekly Roundup: Tips for redlining documents, tweaking Word Options, saving emails as pdfs, and fixing line spacing

For this week’s Roundup: several reasons you might not want to employ Microsoft Word’s Track Changes feature the next time you redline a document, getting under the hood with Word Options (even if you’re not a techie), another way to save Outlook email as a pdf (in case you want to take it with you on your iPad or other mobile device), and one possible reason your line spacing changes won’t stick in Word (a problem several of you have reported to me). Let’s get it started:

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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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