Category Archives for "CTA – Brief Formatting"

2 Reader Question: Forcing TOC entries to wrap at a specific point

I received a message from a reader earlier this week that went something like this:

I have a question about table of contents. ... I just want to know if you can wrap table of contents entries in the table of contents so that if they're multi-line entries, [they end up with an] equal amount of text on each line. I know that there's the indenting but I don't know ... if that will work to get an equal amount of text on that, on different entries. So kind of complicated question for me.

It IS kind of a complicated question, because the answer depends on which method he used to create the TOC.

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2 Table of Contents: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know

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 stuf 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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1 Getting pleading paper numbering on all pages

Many of you practice in courts that require you to use a format called pleading paper. Those are you who are familiar with it are probably groaning right now. Those of you who don't probably will once you see this example:

Example of pleading paper format

Yeah. It's line numbers all the way down (like a court reporter's transcript). Plus, regardless of the format has 24, 25, 28 or 32 lines, the lines have to track exactly with the text. Pain. In. The. Rear.

But one student in my Create Your Own Pleading Paper course said her line numbers didn't appear on the second and subsequent pages. Puzzling, but I knew what was probably wrong. (Hint: it has to do with how headers/footers are set up.)

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2 Does your Table of Contents need a do-over?

My friend Karen called me in a panic. "Bryan's got this contract he's editing [read: recycling] for a client. He's added a new numbered paragraph, but it's not showing up in the Table of Contents."

So, since I can't always diagnose Word problems blind (I'm good, but I'm not THAT good), and I go to her desk and see something that looks a bit like this:

I suspect the document he was working with had been recycled over and over. He was just taking a contract that had worked pretty well for another client and customizing it for a new client.

How did I figure that out? One clue was the way his Table of Contents was constructed (look at those codes above). Another was that the paragraph numbering was completely manual - no automatic paragraph numbering at all.

So what had happened here is that, because he didn't know how the Table of Contents was originally constructed, he couldn't automatically add a new paragraph to the TOC.

So rather than reconstruct his entire TOC based on Styles (a newer, more flexible model) and automating his paragraph numbering, I sat down to help Karen get that paragraph added and renumber the following paragraphs (thank goodness, not that many).

And I was immediately flummoxed.

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1 How NOT to count words in your Word document

Does your court require you to not only conform to word number requirements in your filings but to certify the number of words, either within the filing itself or in a separate certificate? Here's how to meet that requirement without tripping over some sneaky Microsoft Word limitations.

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How to recycle your [legal] briefs safely

In my observation, if there’s one thing you lawyers love, it’s repeating yourselves. No, not when you speak (except when you walk around the office repeating the same war story about your latest court appearance to anyone who’ll listen); it’s when you write. Y’all recycle so much old material from briefs and other documents, it puts Ed Begley, Jr. to shame.

Some of the problems with all that cutting and pasting are pretty obvious—another client’s name being left in (oops) or funky formatting that doesn’t match the new document. But others aren’t. What sort of evil stuff lurks in that text you just pasted over from your last magnum opus? And how’s it going to undermine your next court filing?

litigationworld-600

This post won LitigationWorld’s Pick of the Week Award 7/15/2014!
Click the image above for more details.

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21 How to modify a Table of Contents in Microsoft Word

You've built a Table of Contents in Microsoft Word using the Styles feature to mark the TOC entries or by marking them manually. And just when you're about to pat yourself on the back for having an automatic Table of Contents in your document, you notice something's a little ... off. Maybe the font's not quite right. Perhaps the font's okay but the spacing's not. Or the indentation. It could be you want/don't want the dot leaders running up to the page numbers.

Suffice it to say you just want to alter the format of it. But how?

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Taming naughty footnotes, pt. 2 – separators

A reader recently asked me if I had any "solutions or helpful hints for footnotes that simply do not fit on the page due to placement or length of the footnote itself." Well, the placement question (if I understand her correctly) got answered in the post about fixing footnotes that drop down to another page. But I'd never gotten around to addressing the problem of lengthy footnotes.

A footnote of a certain length will split to appear on two different pages, each with its own separator (the line that appears between the end of the main text and the beginning of the footnote). The continued footnote on the following page has its own distinct separator to give you a visual cue that it's a continuation. You can edit both of those separators and the continuation message as follows:

Unless otherwise noted, all instructions and screenshots are from Microsoft Office for Windows.

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10 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.

Keep reading →

52 Using sections to control page numbers, headers and footers

Ever needed to be able to change the page numbers in the middle of a Microsoft Word document (an appellate brief, for example)?  Like, switching from Roman numerals to Arabic numerals or just not having page numbers at all?

Don't tear your hair out, my pretty.  Help is here!

The secret to doing this is found in the Word feature called Sections.  Sections will (among other things) allow you to have distinct headers and footers on different pages of the document.  So, using that appellate brief as an example, you can have no page numbers showing up on your cover page, those little lower-case Roman numerals (you know, i, iv, ix, etc.) on the pages with the table of authorities, etc., and start yet again with regular Arabic numbers (1, 2, 3, etc.) when the main part of the brief starts.

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4 Taming naughty footnotes, pt. 1

If you have a brief, etc., in Word 2007 in which a footnote drops down to a subsequent page (the number mark within the main text is on p. 2, but all or part of the footnote text keeps dropping down to p. 3), here’s how to fix it:

  • Click the Office Button (top left-hand corner)
  • Click Word Options (at bottom of menu)
  • Go to Advanced
  • Scroll all the way down until you see Compatibility Options
  • In the drop-down next to “Lay out this document as if created in:” choose Microsoft Office Word 2007 (like illustration below)
Compatibility Options in Word 2007

Compatibility Options in Word 2007

Your footnote should now appear on the correct page.

(You’re welcome.)