Lawyer’s Guide to Microsoft Word Styles

When I survey my readers, their #1 problem, hands down, is document formatting. They’re incredibly frustrated by how seemingly random Word is!

But that seeming “randomness” is more about them not understanding the underlying engine behind Word formatting: Styles. 

Many Word users, though, take this attitude:

I hate Styles! WordPerfect never needed anything so confusing!

(I hate to tell that guy, but WordPerfect has Styles, too!)

But even if you refuse to use Styles, they’re still controlling your formatting. In fact, every single piece of text in a Word document is controlled by one (or more) Styles. You literally can’t get away from Styles!

How long does it take YOU to make global document changes?

Knowing how Styles work, which one is controlling a particular bit of text, and how to modify it to make a simple change globally can mean a massive difference in how much time you spend editing.

Don’t believe me? Check out this example. Say you’re required (perhaps by court rules) to make all your footnotes the same type size as your body text. Microsoft Word, by default, makes footnote text 2 points smaller than regular text. 

So, do you:

  1. Double-click into each footnote;
  2. Select the text; and
  3. Use the font size drop-down on the Home tab to resize the text?

Or, do you simply adjust the underlying Style and watch the footnotes resize themselves?

Watch a side-by-side comparison of each technique to see which one wins the speed contest:

This isn’t about footnotes per se. This is about knowing how to manipulate the behind-the-scenes Styles of any type of text so you can knock out work product a whole lot faster than all that direct formatting you’re currently doing!

Slash your editing time by using Word Styles intelligently

Lawyer’s Guide to Microsoft Word Styles is a course on using Microsoft Word’s Styles feature to slash your document editing time. And if you’re looking to become more efficient in your day-to-day work (and in The New Legal Normal, who isn’t?), you need to learn how to work with Word, not against it.

In this course, we’ll cover:

  • How Styles make global formatting so much easier and faster
  • How understanding Styles can help you diagnose and fix problem formatting
  • What a Style really is
  • The 3 types of Styles, and which to use when
  • Advanced features that become available when you use Heading Styles
  • How Style cascading works, and why the Normal Style is so important
  • 3 ways to apply a Style to your text
  • How to create a custom Style to use in your documents
  • How to figure out what Style is applied to your text and then fix it to make global changes

Frequently Asked Questions

During the checkout process, you’ll be asked for your email and you’ll choose your own user id and password. (If you’re already enrolled in one of my other courses, you should log in at this point so all your courses will be associated with the same user ID.) Those credentials will be what you’ll need to log into the course (see below).

Your purchase receipt (which you’ll receive via email automatically as soon as you enroll) will have a link to the first lesson and detailed instructions on how to log in. That same link will also appear on the purchase confirmation page online after your payment is processed.

You’ll also automatically receive a series of emails that will guide you through the course and give you detailed login instructions at the bottom of each email.

Go to https://legalofficeguru/login and use the login form:

There’s also a Course Login button in the top menu on every page of my site:

You have lifetime access to the course! As long as this site is up and running, you can come back and go through the lessons at your leisure.

If you decide within 60 days of purchase that the course isn’t right for you, email me at [email protected], and I’ll process your refund within 24 hours. No questions asked! Depending on your bank or card, it may take 2-3 days for the refund to show up in your account.

Online services like Lynda and Udemy are great for picking up new skills. But the courses I feature here at Legal Office Guru not only teach you these same skills but apply them directly to the law office/legal department context. You’ll see how to use these skills in documents like the ones you work with everyday.

Click here to see a 2-minute video tour of the lesson interface.

Unfortunately, no. This course only covers the Windows versions from 2007 through 2019 and Microsoft 365.

Email me your question at [email protected] – I’ll get back to you as quickly as I can!

With the current legal environment piling more work on fewer people every day, you need every time-saving trick you can get. Click the button below to start learning how to format documents more effectively!