Category Archives for "Featured – Basic Word Skills"

50 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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1 Copying formats using Format Painter

If you've ever been working in a document (particularly one that's been constructed with a lot of "cut and paste" from other documents) and wanted to make this paragraph (or this line or this heading) look just like that other one, here's a simple trick.

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25 Using and formatting columns in Microsoft Word

I'll admit it — I'm not a big fan of adding columns in Microsoft Word.  Not that there's anything wrong with columns, per se.  Columns work fine (until they don't).  But in a legal office environment, I usually format blocks of information with tables because they're a bit easier to control.

That said, I have seen lots of legal professionals insert multiple columns in Microsoft Word to format things like service lists in Certificates of Service.  Hey, to each her [his] own.

So if you want to format text with columns in Microsoft Word documents, here's what you need to know:

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5 Using Styles & Formatting

Got a long brief or other document that has lots of headings, subheadings, etc.?  You need Styles, baby.

No, not style -- Styles.

The Styles function in Word is a handy tool for, among other things, setting up headings for different sections of a document.  These styles serve a dual purpose: not only do they help keep document formatting consistent (i.e., all paragraph and subparagraph headings at a particular level, for example, will be consistent through the document), they can help later when you create a Table of Contents, since Word can use these styles to create the levels of your Table of Contents.

There are a couple of different ways to use Styles & Formatting (as the feature is formally known) in your document.

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Basic headers and footers

Lots of documents need headers and/or footers. You put the recipient's name, the date and the page number on the top of page 2 of your outgoing letters. You put the page number and maybe the document name and a place for initials on the bottom of every page of your agreements. Learning how to insert, format and control headers and footers is essential to creating documents that both look good and work well.

Let's get started.

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12 So, you miss Reveal Codes in WordPerfect?

The most common complaint I hear from legal professionals who've started using Word is, "I miss Reveal Codes!"

Yes, that ALT-F3 command was genius. No doubt about it.

But what most users don't know is there's something similar in Word. In some ways, it's better. (Intrigued?)

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1 Block protect – why two types & what’s the diff?

Unless otherwise noted, all instructions and screenshots are from Microsoft Office for Windows version 2016.

In WordPerfect, block protect is block protect -- you highlight a block of text and protect so it all shows up on the same page.

Is Word that simple?  Oh, no.  Microsoft had to come up with TWO different versions of block protect: Keep Lines Together and Keep With Next (accessible from the Paragraph dialog box):

Click this launcher arrow to get to the Paragraph dialog box ...

... then choose one or both of these options.

So, what's the diff?  And how do you know when to use one or the other?

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17 Why your pages break in weird places

Unless otherwise noted, all instructions and screenshots are from Microsoft Office for Windows version 2016.

We have this recurring problem where I work.  I bet you have it, too.

Sometimes, our Word documents (particularly when they've been generated by our time & billing software) leave huge gaps of white space between a heading and the text that's supposed to go right under it by mysteriously breaking the page right after the heading.

Except, there's no page break!  No one's inserted a hard page break anywhere -- the document's just stubbornly refusing to put text that will clearly fit on page 1 on page 2.

What's going on?

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Beyond Bold, Italic & Underline: Special Formatting in Microsoft Word

While boldface, italic and underline will get you through most character formatting challenges, Microsoft Word has more in its arsenal for formatting text (as opposed to inserting special characters or formatting with styles) via the Format Font dialog box (accessible via the Home tab on the Ribbon by clicking on the small launcher arrow in the lower right-hand corner of the Font command group OR using CTRL-D):

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