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Posts published in “Software Products”

Microsoft Office Quick Tips and Shortcuts

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Do you recycle text from other documents? Or do you use a certain word or phrase a lot?

Check out these quick tips from Deborah Savadra who demonstrates how to paste text for better formatting and how to use AutoCorrect as a text expander.

Also, watch the videos below from the Practice Management Assistance Program. These will teach you several global keyboard shortcuts to save time.

How to Select Text Quickly

Discover other quick tips and shortcuts in the Practice Management Assistance Program’s video series. Contact pmap@scbar.org with questions or call (803)799-6653, extensions 183 or 118.

Productivity Tip: Managing Digital Distractions

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According to a national survey by ComPsych, “nearly 90 percent of employees suffer from digital distraction.”

What are some ways to reduce distractions and increase productivity? Stick to one task at a time, set boundaries and prioritize. In addition, minimize digital distractions by following these tips from Cleveland and from Digital Responsibility.

Also, check out websites and apps that promote productive work environments:

​Looking for other time-saver and productivity resources? Contact pmap@scbar.org for assistance.

Solo & Small Firms’ Top 10 Favorite Microsoft Word “Shortcuts” for Windows Users

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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 techtips@scbar.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:

  • To select all text in a document: use CTRL+A
  • To select a whole paragraph: triple click with your left mouse button OR use the keyboard shortcut SHIFT + CTRL + UP OR DOWN ARROW
  • To select an entire sentence: hold the CTRL key + CLICK (one left mouse click on any word)
  • To select one word: double click with the left mouse button OR SHIFT + CTRL  + Left or Right arrow
  • To select text between the cursor and the end of the line: SHIFT + HOME or SHIFT + END
  • To select a square field of text: ALT + CLICK AND DRAG YOUR MOUSE

3.  FAVORITE UNIVERSAL MENU, EDITING, AND FORMATTING COMMANDS

  • CTRL + N: Use to create a new document
  • CTRL + O: Use to open a document
  • CTRL + S: Use to save your work
  • CTRL + P: Use to print your work
  • CTRL +F: Use to locate words, phrases, or specific text
  • CTRL + X: Use to cut selected text
  • CTRL + C: Use to copy selected text
  • CTRL + V: Use to paste selected text
  • CTRL + Z: Use to undo recently typed text
  • CTRL + B: change selected text to bold faced text
  • CTRL + I: change selected text to italic text
  • CTRL + U: change selected text to underlined text
  • CTRL + SPACE: changes text to character level format (default font size/font)
  • CTRL + Q: changes text to paragraph level formatting; leaves character level formatting alone
  • CTRL + SHIFT + N: returns character and paragraph level formatting to default formatting
  • CLEAR ALL FORMATTING:  button to the right of the font size pull down menu allows you to clear all formatting and start from scratch

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 boxselect 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.

6.  EDITING HOTSPOTS (literally)

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?

Shortcut Menu to Quickly Change Case (Uppercase, Lowercase, Title Case, etc.)

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 techtips@scbar.org and we will add it to the list.

How to Take Advantage of Member Benefits, Discounts, Webinars & Demos

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Did you know most companies who have law practice management or technology products or services offer them to South Carolina Bar members at a discount through South Carolina Bar member benefits? Many also offer free webinars and demonstrations on a monthly basis where they share about a specific topic affecting law firms or product/service updates.

Here are a few quick tips on how to take advantage of these opportunities:

Visit the PMAP webinars page for the latest information in monthly webinars and demonstrations. SC Bar members are allowed to choose one webinar/demo to attend or all of them. The choice is yours! CLE credit is not available.

Check out the wide variety of member benefits available to SC Bar members. Benefits include insurance and finance, discounts on office products and services, discounts on software productstravelretail and entertainment, and wellness. For more information about these member benefits, contact Charmy Medlin at (803)799-6653.

BONUS TIP: Visit the Lawsites blog for the latest updates in law practice management software and technology vendors.

Do you have practice management or technology questions? Contact pmap@scbar.org for assistance.

9 PMAP Website Resources to Help You Manage your Law Firm

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In recognition of National Small Business Week, check out a few of our favorite practice management and technology website resources to help you manage your small firm (or large firm):

  1. Start a Practice - Are you planning to start a practice? Navigate these resources to find tools to help you develop a business plan, create a budget, decide on an entity and firm name, find the right location, get the proper licenses/insurance, market, prepare for emergencies, choose technology, plus much more!
  2. Close a Practice - You're thinking about winding down your practice...but you have no clue where to begin. Check out the PMA's guide to close your office plus how to transition out of practice based on a variety of situations. We even have resources for succession planning!
  3. Firm or Law Partner Changes - Things happen: Lawyers decide to leave in order to form new partnerships, go solo, or dissolve practices. Our lawyers in transition section will help you navigate through a variety of situations. If you cannot locate a particular situation, contact pmap@scbar.org for assistance.
  4. Build Your Practice - Whether you want to explore client development or learn how to build your business, our business development resources provide a variety of tips from a variety of marketing resources.
  5. Prepare for the Worst - With Atlantic Hurricane Season kicking off officially June 1st and manmade or natural disasters happening every day, it is important for law firms to create a disaster and emergency preparedness plan. Check out our Prepare page for tips and also request a free copy of our disaster handbook, if you do not one.
  6. Time and Business Management - How should you manage your time and stay organized in your business? Check out a few great tips here. (P.S. Don't forget to check out our SC Small Firm blog for more organization/time management tips and the PMAP Forms Bank for correspondence, checklists, plus more.)
  7. Technology Tips - Whether you are interested in learning more about technology or looking for a specific tech topic (software, security, consultants, etc.), our tech tips section will help you navigate through some of the most important decisions in managing your practice.
  8. Legal Research (for South Carolina Bar members) - Looking to conduct research for a particular case or cases? Check out the South Carolina Bar's free legal research member benefit Fastcase by logging into the Bar's website. Our FAQ's page will help show you how.
  9. Resources- Can't find a specific resource you're looking for? Don't forget the South Carolina Bar has over 160 resources available to active Bar members in good standing via the Lending Library. Also, check out the PMAP Videos Bank and the FAQ Bank for helpful tips and information.

Contact the Practice Management Assistance Program for further assistance in managing your law practice.