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Also, watch the videos below from the Practice Management Assistance Program. These will teach you several global keyboard shortcuts to save time.
DISCLAIMER: These tips were created for Microsoft Word users that own Microsoft Office 2010 or later. If you own an earlier version, some of these tools may not be available.
P.S. MAC friends: Stay tuned next week for South Carolina Solo & Small Firms' Favorite Microsoft Word Shortcuts. Send any of your favorites to firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. PIN TO TOP: Do you have favorite templates you use over and over again to create correspondence, pleadings, interrogatories, requests, motions, subpoenas, etc.?
Rather than go through file directories to find and open your document, save yourself some time with Microsoft Word’s “Pin to Top” feature by pinning important documents for easy access.
To pin, click on the “File” menu, then “Open”. On the right hand side, under the “RECENT DOCUMENTS” listing, highlight (click on) one of your favorite recent documents, then press the “pin symbol” on the right hand side of the highlighted document.
2. HIGHLIGHT/SELECTING SHORTCUTS:
Save time highlighting areas of text by remembering these quick shortcuts:
3. FAVORITE UNIVERSAL MENU, EDITING, AND FORMATTING COMMANDS
4. CUSTOMIZING THE QUICK ACCESS TOOLBAR
Add your favorite and frequently used buttons or commands to the Quick Access Toolbar by right clicking on the button you use the most and click “Add to Quick Access toolbar”.
You can also add commands or buttons (that you either don’t remember where they are or what they look like) by clicking on the down arrowat the top of the Quick Access Toolbar and select More Commands. Then, from the Popular Commands box, select the command you want to add to the toolbar, and press the add button (it will move that command over to the right side under Customize Quick Access Toolbar). You can also remove any commands by selecting the command on the right side (under Customize Quick Access Toolbar) and clicking the remove button. To save your preferences, click OK.
5. NONSENSE TEXT
Do you ever want to generate nonsense text for an example or to set up a template? Microsoft Word has your back. Just type: =lorem(p,l) and replace the p with the number of paragraphs you want and replace the l with the number of sentences you need text. Hit enter and presto, you should have gobbledygook nonsense text!
*Be sure to when you type the equation you are on a brand new line and not part of a previous paragraph…in other words, be sure to hit a hard return to get the equation to work.
If you prefer Romans nonsense text, type =rand(p,l) and follow the same steps above to replace the number of paragraphs and sentences you want.
Do you hate scrolling and wish you could cut out having to scroll to go back to the last spot you edited? Guess what? Microsoft Word allows you to do that! Use Shift+F5 to go back to the last part of the document you edited.
7. lowercase, UPPERCASE, Sentence Case, tOGGLE cASE, oh my!
How can you change a word from lowercase to uppercase or vice versa fairly quickly?
First, highlight or double click on the word. Go to the Home Tab, click on the “Aa” pull-down menu three buttons down from the font size menu. Click the correct “case” you prefer the word to be.
8. QUICK PARTS
Do you ever have text you use a lot or specific formatted text that you get tired of cut/copying and pasting into a new Word document?
You need to learn about Quick Parts! Think of Quick Parts as a function where you can save
To Save a Quick Part:
Highlight the area of text you wish to save as a Quick Part, then click on Insert, AutoText, Save Selection to Auto Text Gallery. A window will pop up allowing you to save your auto text selection with a name you can easily remember. Click OK.
To Insert a Quick Part:
Place your cursor where you wish the quick part (text) to be inserted.
Click Insert, Quick Parts, then select the correct general Quick Part.
9. TRACK CHANGES
Lawyers and their staff edit documents a lot. The track changes feature is a lifesaver to any Microsoft Word user who wishes to track of changes made to a document. This feature is useful to users who are almost at the end of a document. To use this feature, click on the Review tab, then the Track Changes button (or click CTRL+SHIFT+E).
As changes are made back and forth between users, each user has the option (unless the feature is locked) to accept or reject each change through the Accept or Reject buttons under the same Review tab.
Users can also choose to show comments beside each change.
Once the user is happy with all the changes, the user can click the small down arrow under the Accept button, and click “Accept all changes” or “Accept all changes and stop tracking”.
(Windows users may find versions for this feature may vary).
10. COMPARE DOCUMENTS
Lawyers compare documents a lot. This cool feature under the review tab allows users to cut out some of the difficult work by providing an option to compare two versions of a document OR combine revisions from two documents into a single document for comparison.
To use this feature, click the Review tab, then click the down arrow under the Compare button (near the Track Changes button) to choose which way you would prefer to compare documents.
Then, edit the document like you would any other Word document. You have the choice to save your changes or you can use the feature to just compare two versions or two documents and not save the changes.
(Windows users may find versions for this feature may vary).
Do you have a favorite Microsoft Word shortcut for Windows Users? Send it to email@example.com and we will add it to the list.
The "Format Painter" feature, available in versions Microsoft Word 2010, 2013, and 2016, allows you to copy the formatting of one section and "paint" that formatting to another section.
Click here for "Format Painter" tips from Microsoft. (After clicking the link, look for the Microsoft Word link and then click to discover the tip...plus see other tips for Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, etc.)
This tip is courtesy of Brett Burney, special guest speaker at the 2017 Solo & Small Firm LPM-TECH Conference, held in Columbia last Friday. Do you have questions or want to learn more about the Solo and Small Firm Section, contact Section Liaison Courtney Troutman or PMAP Assistant Emily Worley.