Category Archives for "Word 2016"

31 Reader Question: How to automatically number your discovery requests … in 5 keystrokes

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 (a) avoid typing the phrase “Interrogatory No. X” in Microsoft Word over and over again and (b) get that X to be an automatically incrementing number.

If so, the answer is, yes, you can!

One of the reasons I love reader questions is that the best ones get me flipping through my reference books, scouring the Internet, and testing, testing, testing, trying to find a solution to a problem I’ve been wondering about myself (but never got around to examining).

Such was the case with this reader question:

I’ve been searching for the best way to create auto numbering for discovery requests: dare I say in WordPerfect I had the most amazing macros that used “counter” and creating a set of discovery was a snap. I’ve struggled to find something workable in Word. Some people use Discovery Request No. X – Interrogatory; others use Interrogatories No. X, Requests for Production No. X, Requests for Admission No. X throughout a set of discovery. There has to be a way to do this in Word, and I’ve tried several different approaches, none of which worked out that well. Would you please steer me in the right direction? Thanks very, very much.

I tossed back a rather glib answer about using the AutoNumLgl field code to number the discovery requests, and she threw in this little wrinkle: her attorneys like to play mix-and-match with their discovery. In other words, they may put in a couple of interrogatories, then throw in a related request for production, then another interrogatory, then a request for admission that’s related to that interrogatory.

Um. Okay. So they’re going to need three numbering sequences operating independently. Back to the drawing board.

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7 Building reuseable Microsoft Word footers

One of my coworkers called me -- for, like, the umpteenth time  -- asking me to pull up document 389729 (not its real name) and "do that footer thing" (a.k.a. my famous footer trick, wherein I insert a three-column table into a document footer so the document number is on the left, the page number is in the middle, and maybe the date/time stamp for the latest draft is on the right).

My "footer thing" is getting to be really popular around the office, and I'll have to show it to you sometime. But there's a way around having to build new footers in documents repeatedly.

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4 Want that “15th day of August, 2012” to self-update? Here’s how

If your documents are anything like the ones I’ve worked on over the years, there’s at least one section (the “Respectfully submitted” or the Certificate of Service in pleadings or the notary acknowledgement, for example) that has this in it:

 

Dated this the 15th day of August, 2012

 

If you start drafting the document on the 15th but don’t actually file (or sign or whatever) until, say, the 21st or the 30th or, heaven forbid, sometime next month or year, you’re either going to have to leave blanks for the day, month and/or year while you’re drafting or remember to update all those dates when you finalize the document.

But what if you didn’t have to do either one? What if your document was smart enough to do its own updating, based on the date you saved it last?

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11 5 Options You’ll Want to Re-Set in Word

A big part of making Word work better for you is molding the way it works to the way you work. Most users don’t know they’ve got options for how certain features perform. Some things you’ll want to get out of your way, some things you’ll want to make easier to access. Here are my suggestions for changing Word’s defaults to work better in a legal environment:

First Step: Going into Options

Most of the default behaviors in Word are set within the Options dialog box. To get there (a necessary prerequisite for all of the exercises below), go to the File tab (if you’re still using Word 2007, click the Office Button) and click Options.

Once you’re in Options, you’re ready to rock.

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6 How To Add a Style to Quick Styles

Even those who have used Quick Styles frequently don’t know that there are lots more Styles available in Word. Getting one-click access to a Style, though, really requires that it be listed in the Quick Styles gallery (that list on the right-hand side of the Home tab).

If there’s a particular Style that you always want to be available within the Quick Styles gallery (especially one you just created for a particular purpose), here’s how to designate a Style as a Quick Style. Keep reading →

6 Creating new Styles in Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word Styles are the most basic building blocks in Word. One of the first things you’ll need to learn after you master the interface and basic formatting is using the Quick Styles listed on the Home tab. Often, though, the Quick Styles don’t contain a particular Style your document needs.

If the default Microsoft Word Styles don’t fully meet your needs (for example, you need one for block quotes), you can create a new one. There are a couple of different ways to do this. I’ll start with what I think is the easiest one first. Keep reading →

1 Using the Clipboard to Multi-Paste

When you’re drafting a pleading (particularly an answer to a complaint or discovery) you probably find yourself using a few of the same phrases over and over. Rather than going back and recopying those snippets repeatedly (or worse, retyping them), use the Microsoft Word Clipboard to quickly access and paste them again and again. Keep reading →

10 Cutting and pasting from WordPerfect (or elsewhere)

We've all done it -- there's already a WordPerfect (or even Word) document that you need some text out of (a letter addressee, a section out of a brief, whatever), so you decide to cut-and-paste from WordPerfect into your current Word document.

And the formatting in your Word document goes totally ... WAAAAAAHHHH!

Here's how to avoid that:

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16 In praise of text expansion (or, how to keep from typing the same thing 100 times)

Here in the last several weeks, I've been busy. And when I say "busy", I'm not talking your run-of-the-mill "I have a nice steady flow of work" level of busy. I'm talking "so overloaded I'm farming out scut work to other people", "oh my gosh, I just had that piece of paper in my hand a moment ago", "I wonder if I can still get that Xanax prescription filled" level of busy. It was insane.

So naturally, I was looking for every time saver I could get my hands on. If something could save me even a few seconds (especially on a repetitive task), it was worth it.

One of the things I found myself doing was typing the same long complicated phrases over and over and over again. I don't know about you, but I don't exactly love typing. (As proof of that, I'm using Dragon NaturallySpeaking to write this article. I'm all for letting the computer do the work.) And when my brain gets a little overloaded and the pace starts getting on my nerves, my already sketchy typing skills go to pot. So I have no patience whatsoever for typing the same long complicated phrase 100 times.

So if you find yourself stuck typing "Brief in Support of American Amalgamated Consolidated Widget Corporation's Second Amended Motion for Leave of Court to Conduct On-site Inspection" for the umpteenth time, I'm going to show you how to get out of all that repetitive typing. It's a concept called "text expansion", and you don't even need extra software to do it (although there is software that will do that).

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Reader Question: Copying WordPerfect footnotes to Microsoft Word

You know how I’m always telling you that the best way to get your old WordPerfect text into a new Microsoft Word document is to just copy it over? Well, that’s not always the case. Sometimes Microsoft Word doesn’t “translate” WordPerfect text into just the right Microsoft Word equivalent.

Take, for example, the problem posed by this reader:

When using footnotes in a document, if I copy footnotes from WordPerfect and insert them into a Word document, the numbers do not change. Is there any way to make the numbers follow the number sequence in the document. Sometimes there are as many a 100 footnotes with dozens of different numbers — which need to be dealt with individually. Is there any way to make the numbers change and follow sequence at one time? I’ve tried everything including Ctrl-A (in the footnote draft, in the body of the document), but nothing works.

It took me a few minutes of experimenting, but I came up (I think) with the perfect solution. It’s one you’ll need in your toolbox if you ever have to copy footnoted content from old briefs, etc.

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20 Reader Question: Type Once, Repeat Many?

Ever had one of those forms that repeats someone’s name or some other piece of information, um, repeatedly? Say, a will or a power of attorney or something similar?

If you’ve tried to make yourself a homegrown forms database, knowing that you’ll have to go in each time and fill in the variable information (name, he/she, his/her, son/daughter/children, etc.) in all (and I do mean all) the right places, then you can appreciate this reader’s dilemma:

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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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15 Customizing the Status Bar

There's a whole host of ways you can make the various Microsoft Office applications easier to use. In fact, most users don't take full advantage of the options for customizing these applications to make the Office suite work better for them.

Today, we're going to talk about one of the easiest customizations: the Status Bar. Look at the bottom of any Office application and you'll see a bar just above the Windows Taskbar at the bottom (like this example from Word 2007):

Status Bar from Microsoft Word

Click the image above for a full-size version

Most users don't know they can change the information listed on the task bar in any Office application (except Outlook, unfortunately). And it's really easy:

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2 Go from UPPER to lower without retyping

If you've ever decided (or been told) after you've already typed something that what's in lowercase letters now needs to be UPPERCASE, or vice versa, you don't have to retype a single letter.  No, no, no.  You just need to use Microsoft Word's Change Case feature.

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2 Converting from WordPerfect to Word: Getting rid of WP watermarks

A friend of mine was about to tear her (expensively and enviably coiffed) hair out the other day. She'd copied over some text from an old Wordperfect document into Word to start a new document. But she couldn't get rid of the DRAFT watermark.

It's not like she didn't know how to delete watermarks in Word. All you have to do (in Word 2007, which is what she had) is go to the Page Layout tab, click on the Watermark button, and choose Remove Watermark at the bottom of the menu.

But she did that ... and there was STILL this big ol' word DRAFT stuck behind the text! Like so:

If you've either retrieved or copied your old WordPerfect documents into Word as a conversion method (something I suggested in an earlier post), you may have run across a similar situation. Here's why it's so messed up.

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5 “Where did that line come from (and how do I get rid of it)?”

Have you ever typed a few dashes in between paragraphs (as a placeholder or whatever), hit enter, and somehow wound up with a line all the way across the page that you can't get rid of, no matter how many times you hit the Delete key?

Infuriating, isn't it?  But I'm here to tell you: It's both fixable and preventable. (Yay!)

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Using and configuring AutoFormat As You Type

Have you ever been typing along, looked back at what you typed and discovered that something weird happened? Like, you typed a few dashes, hit return, and now there's a solid line all the way across the page?

There's more than one possible explanation for these kinds of oopsies (none of them your fault), so there's more than one fix.  Today, we're going to talk about setting your AutoFormat options.

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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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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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