I received a message from a reader earlier this week that went something like this: It IS kind of a complicated question, because the answer depends on which method he used to create the TOC.
A reader came to me recently with a dilemma: He needed to create a document that had lettered exhibits sprinkled throughout, in a format that looked like this:
If you’ve been working with legal briefs lately, you’ve probably typed “id.” more times than you can count. Here, I show you a trick that one of your fellow readers told me about: having AutoCorrect turn “id.” into its underlined form automagically. Click the link below or the title above to see the full illustrated tutorial.
If your law firm does litigation work, you’ve probably prepared lots of discovery. And you may have wondered if there’s any way you can avoid typing the phrase “Interrogatory No. X” in Microsoft Word over and over again and get that X to be an automatically incrementing number. If so, the answer is, yes, you can!
Click through for a complete tutorial on how to use field codes in Microsoft Word to automatically number interrogatories, requests for production, requests for admission, or other legal discovery.
Ever wanted one-click access to double-indent a paragraph (like for a lengthy quote)? One reader did, and here are the three methods I recommended.
Have a bunch of dates to type into Excel but hate having to use “/” or “-” to separate month, day and year? Here’s a simple formula for converting an eight-digit data entry into a properly-formatted date.
A reader contacted me recently with a real puzzler: What to do when a citation in a footnote doesn’t get picked up in the Table of Authorities. If you’re having this problem, there’s a solution. Click through for the details.
If you’ve ever had to type “#. Defendant denies the allegations of Paragraph # of Plaintiff’s Complaint” over and over again, you’ll appreciate this reader’s dilemma. Watch me demonstrate how an intelligent use of a little-known field in Microsoft Word can let you embed the current paragraph number within the actual paragraph text so you’re not stuck going back and fixing them as you add/delete paragraphs during the editing process. Click the link below to view the video.
Reader Benjamin e-mailed me recently from my Ask the Guru page with this request:
“I’ve got text (imported badly – I don’t have access to the original source) which is spaced badly in Microsoft Word 2010 — meaning I have to manually cursor + delete then space-bar to put it back together without the green wiggles. It’s time consuming and I would like to know if there is an automated alternative. I’m sure I’m one of millions who are suffering with this. Can you help us?”
Click through to read how we worked this problem out together.
If you completed the first unit in this course, you know that there are two basic formats of Pleading Paper: Armed with this knowledge (and your familiarity with your court’s particular requirements), you’ve chosen which template to start with. But it needs adjusting, doesn’t it? So here in Part 2, I’m going to show you…
I’ve gotten a fair number of questions from readers about how to format pleadings with line numbers down the left, commonly known as Pleading Paper. Typically, they sound something like this:
“My text never quite lines up exactly with the numbers on the pleading paper. What’s the trick??”
“PLEASE work on the pleadings template! I’m sure I and many others would pay bonuses for your guidance.”
“Pleading paper instructions would be fantastic! I mostly work in California state and federal courts, and our office just reuses old documents to keep the pleading paper formatting. Unfortunately this brings along a host of other formatting issues, and while I’d love to be able to start from scratch I don’t know how. Any help you could give would be terrific, thank you!!”
“I am not sure of the technical name for it, but years ago law firms had stationery with double lines on left side of a page and one line on the right. I know Word can duplicate it, but I don’t how to add them or what it is called. I will try the [pleading paper] template, but is there a way to remove the page numbering on the side?”
“I wish WORD was like WordPerfect in that we could just add the pleading format into the document after the document is completed. Anyway, if you could help me figure this out it would be great. I recently added [a plug-in] to Word/Office which provides a host of automated functions, like cite checking, quote check, and table of authorities, which would make finalizing a brief a breeze. However, if I can’t get out of the WordPerfect format for my brief writing, I don’t see where all these extra functions will benefit me.”
Okay, okay, I get it, I get it! Clearly, my standard reply (which I used so often that I actually created an entry in Quick Parts in Outlook for it) isn’t getting the job done. So, while I would love to create a custom template (like I did for that last person above) for each and every one of you, there just aren’t enough hours in the day!
So, in lieu of becoming a template factory, I’m going to show you how to make some common adjustments to those musty old Microsoft templates (either the 25-line one or the 28-line one) all by yourself. And if you don’t see your particular question addressed in this series, by all means leave it in the comments at the bottom, and I’ll add the answer.
If you ever think your mouse has gone crazy in Microsoft Excel, don’t panic! Here are two reasons your text selection is wonky.
Want your Table of Authorities entry to line-wrap at a specific point? A fellow Legal Office Guru reader shares her (fantastic) tip on how to accomplish that.
A reader asked me recently how to calculate the difference between two dates. My response? Well, it depends. Fortunately, there are only two scenarios to pick between, and I’ve illustrated them both in this post. Click through for complete tutorial on how to calculate in Microsoft Excel using dates.
A Legal Office Guru reader wrote in, asking for help with some forms she’d been asked to create to . “Is there a way to autopopulate a field?” she asked. “I’d like it to work similar to Adobe [Acrobat], where if you give the fields the same name, the text in one will automatically fill up in all of the others. I’ve read something about making each field an REF field, but I don’t understand how to do it, and I’ve tried tons of Google search results. Can you help?”
To achieve that Adobe-like effect, I’d choose Word’s Bookmarks feature. Click the “Read More” link below for the full illustrated tutorial.
A Legal Office Guru reader has an “insert page number” macro that works just fine … until he logs off. How I solved his dilemma.
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