Category Archives for "Word 2007"

2 The Spike: It’s more than plain cut-and-paste

No, I’m not talking about a medieval torture instrument (sorry to those of you who are disappointed) — I’m talking about a cool “undocumented” feature in Microsoft Word.

The Spike allows you to gather up several different pieces of text into a holding area and paste them as a block into a document.

This could come in handy if you have, say, discovery requests you want to pick-and-choose from prior cases.  Just start going through your various old files, save each block of text into the Spike with CNTRL-F3, and assemble away!  Or use it to ease the editing of a document when the attorney is moving large blocks of text around.

So what’s the difference between this and the Clipboard?  The Spike allows you to work with multiple pieces of copied text at once, while the Clipboard only allows you to paste in the last piece of text you copied.

A caution, though: the Spike cuts text from your originating document instead of copying it and leaving the original text intact.  As long as you don’t save the altered original document, though, no harm done, right?

According to Lori Kaufman of HelpDeskGeek.com, “The Spike is a useful feature if you need to quickly and easily rearrange and move non-contiguous text or create a new document from pieces of another document.”

Use the Spike or just open up a new document window to assemble text?  It’s up to you.  But do head over to HelpDeskGeek.com and check out their tutorial before you decide.

(Hat tip to HelpDeskGeek.com via the ever-popular LifeHacker blog for the heads-up on this feature.)

1 Stop repeating yourself – build a Microsoft Word template

Ever get tired of creating the same document type, over and over, from scratch?  Then don’t.  Build a template instead.  A template will have all the basic elements of your document in it (a signature block, a custom header/footer, whatever you need), saving you repetitive effort every time you create a new document.

What’s that?  You don’t know how to create a template?  You’re in luck.  I’m about to build one for myself.  And I’ll even let you watch over my shoulder while I do it.

Keep reading →

5 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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3 How to reconfigure AutoCorrect to NOT drive you crazy

How many times has this happened to you?

You’re typing merrily along (or maybe not so merrily, but, hey, you’re typing), and whatever you’re drafting/transcribing has a list that starts with (a), then goes to (b), then to (c), etc.

And you type the open paragraph symbol, the letter “c”, and the close paragraph symbol, and as soon as you hit the space bar …

Where did that *#*@&#^! copyright symbol © come from?

Yes, AutoCorrect strikes again.  And when it’s not correct, it’s wrong.  Seriously wrong.

Fortunately, there’s a way to fix that.  I promise.

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“But I don’t want to lose my WordPerfect formatting!”

One of the tactics I regularly recommend to users when transferring content from an old WordPerfect document is to use Paste, Special, Unformatted Text instead of just the plain Paste or CNTRL-V commands:

Paste, Special Dialog Box

The advantage here is that Paste Special clears out all of the formatting so the newly-pasted text doesn’t mess up your nice Microsoft Word document.

The disadvantage?  Well … it clears out all the formatting.  And this can be a pain to re-do, particularly if you’ve got a long document with lots of case citations, etc.

What to do?  Here are three tricks to keep in your Microsoft Word skills arsenal.

Keep reading →

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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26 Using and formatting columns in Microsoft Word

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

But I’ve seen lots of legal professionals use columns to format things like service lists in Certificates of Service.  Hey, to each her [his] own.

So if you want to use this feature in your Microsoft Word documents, here’s what you need to know:

Keep reading →

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.)

Generating “placeholder” text automatically in Word

While this isn’t a common need in law offices, it’s such a cool trick, I just had to share.

Have you ever seen a sentence that started with “Lorem ipsum …”?  That’s placeholder text that web and print designers use to show how text will be formatted in a document.  And it’s easy to insert automatically in Word.

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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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5 Automatic numbering makes exhibit dividers easy

While I haven’t quite gotten to discussing how to use the Bullets and Numbers feature in Word (that will require a video tutorial to be really effective), you may find you need to create a series of numbers not related to paragraphs.  Here is a quick and easy way to embed automatic numbering you may not have thought of:

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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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1 How to Squeeze It All on One Page

Have you ever had a document that you had to get all on one page, but there seemed to be just a little too much text to make that happen?

I assume you’ve already tried reducing the font size or making the page margins smaller.  But have you tried any of the following?

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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 Format, Font on the menu bar):

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Working with Word 2007 & 2010 documents in earlier versions

It’s bound to happen sooner or later.  Someone — co-counsel, client, whoever — sends you a document with a .docx extension.  You try to open it in Word 2003 or even 2002, but you get an error message.

Don’t fret — it’s an easier problem to solve than you think.

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