Note: If you previously purchased The Efficient Lawyer's Guide to Word, you already have access to most of these lessons.

Basic Word Skills for Legal Professionals

Are you:

  • An ex-WordPerfect user coming to Microsoft Word with some trepidation?
  • A solo practitioner running your law practice sans assistant?
  • Just wanting to get some basic Word skills under your belt so you can get daily work done in less time and with less frustration?

Whether you've worked with Microsoft Word for a while or are brand new to it, it could seem as though Word is designed to be intimidating. All those buttons across the top and dialog boxes and menus ... what are you supposed to do with all that?

And if you work in a law office, you probably spend a large percentage of your day sitting in front of a computer, and what time you don't spend sending emails is spent with Microsoft Word. After all, so much of legal practice involves creating and editing documents.

But just because you use something every day doesn’t mean you’re getting the most out of it. And with the way law practice is changing these days, you can’t afford to miss any opportunities to extract the maximum performance and productivity out of the tools you use every day.

Think about the last document you edited. How much time did you spend looking for certain features or struggling with the bad formatting that someone else put there?

Considering how much of your day is spent in front of Microsoft Word, and how important efficiency is becoming in law offices everywhere, doesn’t it make sense to learn how to use this tool well so that you can deal successfully with your ever-increasing workload?

Why most Word training is a waste of time

Oh, you’ve tried to learn Microsoft Word on your own. You took that all-day training class your firm offered, only to be so overwhelmed you forgot most of it by the time you got back to your desk.

Or, you bought a book. But you’re too busy actually working to read a manual. Or maybe you’ve searched for help online, only to find confusing and conflicting instructions.

You’re not the problem – the training is

You see, traditional ways of learning how to use software set you up to fail. Classroom instruction dumps too much information on you all at once. Most software manuals are reference books for experienced users, not instructions for beginners.

And searching for help online? Forget it. Even a simple search brings back screen after screen of confusing (and often outright wrong) instructions.

Where can you get the help you really need?

You know you need to update your skills to do your job better. After all, it’s frustrating (and time-consuming) to struggle with even basic tasks in Microsoft Word. If only someone could take you by the hand and show you, step-by-step, how to make Microsoft Word do your bidding (and maybe even translate your WordPerfect tasks to Microsoft Word).

I've been where you are

Hi, my name is Deborah Savadra (a.k.a. the Legal Office Guru). I’ve worked in and around law firms for over 20 years as a legal secretary, paralegal, and software trainer.

Like a lot of you, I started off with WordPerfect. Back when I began working in a law firm, WordPerfect was still in the DOS version. (Yes, I am that old!)

Geek that I am, I learned all sorts of ways to get the most out of WordPerfect. I had my “WordPerfect Function Key Claw” perfected, I programmed macros right and left, and when I wasn’t doing my own work, I was walking around helping the other staff with their WordPerfect challenges. I made WordPerfect sing!

But then came the day I left the legal field. In the “outside world,” they only used Microsoft Word. I was forced to adapt. I took classes, pored over software manuals, and generally figured it all out (often the hard way).

Fast forward a few years. After moving into software consulting and training, I found myself drawn back to working with law firms. And because I had so much Microsoft Word experience under my belt, I became the “go-to girl” for anyone still having trouble making the transition from WordPerfect (and trust me, a lot of folks are still struggling).

So I’ve seen (and heard) it all: the hair pulling, the fist pounding, and every other variation of “Word Rage.” I’ve been asked every question, seen every formatting foul-up, and performed major surgery on some seriously messed up Microsoft Word documents. (I’ve also stopped several people from throwing their computers out the window!)

I’ve made the leap to Word — and I can help you make it, too!

Of course, being the “Word expert-in-residence” in a law firm, I get a lot of the same questions over and over again. So, to keep from repeating myself, and to save a little time, I started a blog of Microsoft Office tutorials. That way, I could often refer people to a specific blog post (often with video) when they had a question. It made my expertise available when I wasn’t.

But blogs are, well, … disorganized by their very nature. What you need is a systematic, step-by-step way to learn Microsoft Word.

What this course contains

I've started from the absolute beginning with this course, because:

  1. I don't want to make any assumptions about what skill and knowledge level you're currently at; and
  2. You'd be surprised how many time-saving tricks you can pick up by truly understanding how Word works from the ground up

Your first lesson about the ribbon came in very handy when I had a formatting problem and spacing problem. By hitting the little arrow in the lower right corner on Indent and Spacing Section of the Page Layout tab, I discovered that the problem text was centered or justified (I don’t remember which) which caused a line with a few words to be spread out with wide gaps between each word. THANKS!


So here's exactly what you'll be learning in this course:

  • A complete tour of the Ribbon interface, where you'll learn what Microsoft calls certain things (i.e., launcher arrows, etc.) so you'll know those key terms going forward
  • What's in the Backstage View, and why that view is the key to not only printing your documents but also setting up Word to work with you rather than against you
  • How to set up the View and Zoom to suit your needs
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    How to create a new document (whether blank or from a specialized template)
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    The essential keyboard commands for formatting and other functions
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    How to quickly select text for formatting, whether it's a single word, an entire sentence or paragraph, or the whole document, all with either a quick mouse click or a key combination
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    Inserting special symbols like ¶ or § or ° (and even setting Word up so you can do it with a quick key combination)
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    Copying, moving and pasting text in a way that doesn't mess up your document's formatting (document recyclers of the world, rejoice!)
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    How to format characters with bold, italics, underline, strikeout, and a whole host of font formatting options you may not have thought possible (like small caps, all caps, superscript, subscript, and hidden text)
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    How to change text to ALL CAPS, Initial Caps, and Sentence case without having to re-type it
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    Controlling justification (left, right, center, full-justify) and line spacing in your paragraphs, plus how to add space before/after paragraphs without using the Enter key
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    Using special indentation like hanging indents and first line indents (the latter's really handy in letters!)
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    If you've been scared of or frustrated by automatic paragraph numbering, you'll learn the basics of getting that feature to work, plus how to solve some common problems
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    Want to type on a page that's NOT standard letter size or turn your page sideways? You'll learn all about Page Setup, including page size, page orientation, and margins
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    Need to keep certain text together on the same page? You WordPerfect users call that Block Protect, but Microsoft splits that into two different features. I'll show you which to use when, plus how to diagnose problems with them
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    How to edit and work with headers, footers and watermarks
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    Finishing your document with spelling and grammar check, metadata scrub (important if you're sending that document outside the office), converting your document to PDF, and printing your document, including how to print envelopes and labels

All new videos for Word version 2019

This course has been newly-revised in 2021 to cover the latest version of Microsoft Word. Each lesson has a comprehensive header video covering the entire lesson's contents for those of you who are visual learners. The course now contains three hours and 20 minutes of video instructional content.

Prefer not to watch videos? Below each video is a text-and-screenshot version of the lesson you can scan and find just the tip you're looking for.

Why this beats traditional Word training, hands down

Basic Word Skills for Legal Professionals contains 45 bite-sized lessons perfect for incremental, at-your-own-pace learning. After all, this sort of bit-by-bit instruction mimics the way you naturally learn a new skill. After all, you didn’t start speaking in full sentences as a baby, did you? You started by imitating the sounds you heard your parents make. Then you gradually started forming whole words. Eventually, you strung those words into sentences.

That’s the way most people learn things – step-by-step. And that’s how Basic Word Skills for Legal Professionals works, too. It presents you with one simple building block, then another, then another. With each lesson, you’re building your Microsoft Word skills gradually, naturally, and painlessly.

These lessons are fully illustrated, with short videos strategically placed within each lesson to show you step-by-step how to use the feature(s) being covered. Each lesson covers just one set of skills. No information overload here!

Contrast that with the way most legal professionals receive training. They corral you into a conference room, race through a webinar or in-person training presentation that dumps a ton of information on you, then send you back to your desk with the absurd expectation that that's going to make you more productive!

Listen to what another student has to say about the course:

Very good! Nicely organized and presented. I like your teaching style in your videos as well, and hearing the “clicks” kept me focusing on the screen and seeing where you were headed next. Good job!!!


Compare $67 to the cost of other training

If you've ever looked at the cost of taking a basic Word course at your local community college or at a software training center, you'll probably find that it's over $100. Plus, you're probably going to be required to be in their facility at certain dates or times to take the training.

With this course, you can learn in your own environment, practice at your own pace, and decide exactly what skills you want to learn when.

Try it risk-free!

I don’t want you to pay $67 (US) for this course if you’re not absolutely convinced it will help you.

That’s why I offer a 60-day money-back guarantee. During that time, you could review all 45 lessons from the course. If you decide with 60 days of purchase that this course didn't improve your skill level and make you more productive, all you have to do is email me, and I'll process a refund, no questions asked!

Click the button below to add this course to your cart, then click it again to go to checkout. You'll choose your login user ID and password and give me the email address you want your periodic reminder emails to go to. Your purchase receipt will contain a link to your first lesson and instructions on logging in and navigating around the courseware.

What do you have to lose? Click the Add to Cart button below now!

Basic Word Skills for Legal Professionals

Essential Word skills for anyone working in the legal field



  • Understanding the Word Ribbon interface
  • Using Navigation and Views to customize your Word experience
  • Creating, saving, opening and editing documents
  • Character/font, paragraph, page and document formatting
  • Finishing and printing your document (including getting rid of metadata)
  • Formatting and printing envelopes & labels
  • Dealing with sections, headers, footers, and page numbering
  • Inserting and formatting tables and columns
  • Basic automatic paragraph numbering
  • Checking spelling and grammar
  • Using Document Inspector to strip out metadata
  • Printing and PDFing your document
  • Graded final exam with certificate of completion

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