Tag Archives for " Formatting "

3 The 4 Fastest Formatting Fixes I Know

Hands down, the biggest complaint I get is that Microsoft Word seems to have a mind of its own when it comes to formatting. People swear they did nothing more than breathe on their document, and things went completely wonky!

Of course, without actually standing over their shoulder and watching them work, it's really impossible for me to know exactly what happened. A lot of times, there's a pretty easy File > Options tweak that could prevent similar snafus from happening again. (And don't even get me started about why you need to learn to use Styles.)

But in my experience, most people aren't particularly interested in trying to figure out how it happened. They just want to fix it and move on.

So for that crowd, I've put together a two-minute video on the four fastest ways I know to basically nuke your formatting so you can start over. You can basically choose among these:

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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 →

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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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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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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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.)

5 Using Styles & Formatting

Got a long brief or other document that has lots of headings, subheadings, etc.?  You need Styles, baby.

No, not style -- Styles.

The Styles function in Word is a handy tool for, among other things, setting up headings for different sections of a document.  These styles serve a dual purpose: not only do they help keep document formatting consistent (i.e., all paragraph and subparagraph headings at a particular level, for example, will be consistent through the document), they can help later when you create a Table of Contents, since Word can use these styles to create the levels of your Table of Contents.

There are a couple of different ways to use Styles & Formatting (as the feature is formally known) in your document.

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12 So, you miss Reveal Codes in WordPerfect?

The most common complaint I hear from legal professionals who've started using Word is, "I miss Reveal Codes!"

Yes, that ALT-F3 command was genius. No doubt about it.

But what most users don't know is there's something similar in Word. In some ways, it's better. (Intrigued?)

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3 Indenting paragraphs

Sooner or later, you'll need to start a paragraph somewhere other than the left-hand margin. Or have it not extend all the way to the right margin, or wrap somewhere short of the left margin. That's where paragraph formatting with indentation and tabs comes in.

Indentation

While Word does some default paragraph formatting for you, you may want to change the formatting to suit a particular need. For example, you may need to double-indent a section of text to quote case law for a brief.

First, let's talk about basic indentation (which can be done from the Formatting toolbar), then we'll go over more advanced indentation (like double-indents for quotes).

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3 Inserting symbols and special characters

If you work in the legal field, you may often find it necessary to type special symbols and characters that aren't anywhere on your keyboard. There are two ways to do this, and the second one is particularly handy if you use certain symbols frequently (like ¶ or § or °) and don't want to stop to use the mouse.

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