Use these five essential Word tools to format your documents

There are various tools available to assist with document amendments, some of which are more well-known than others.  If you can master the correct way to use these tools you will save a ton of time and headache for your document users.  Check out our Online Learning for Document Formatting for video demonstrations.

  • Format Painter allows you to fix the incorrect formatting of a paragraph by applying the format of a correct paragraph elsewhere in your document.
  • Paste using Keep Text Only is correct but you should always paste into a blank paragraph that has the correct style applied.
  • Clipboard can store pieces of text to insert later.  You can take a piece of text from one document, put it on the Clipboard and insert it later into another document.
  • Ctrl Shift E is a shortcut to toggle Track Changes on and off if you are making live amendments, while the Status Bar will give you a visual cue that Track Changes are turned on.
  • Use Compare Documents in the Review tab for making changes into a clean document, and showing what changes have been made.

It all starts with pasting

When adopting safe pasting practices like using “Keep Text Only”, the text doesn’t always appear in the format you expect.

The reason for this t is that it’s not just about how you paste – and Keep Text Only is definitely the right way to go – but where you paste. If your cursor point is on an empty paragraph mark that does not have the right style applied to it, your insert may still go wrong.

The good news is that this is not difficult to fix if you use the correct technique and follow Word’s rules or – better still – if you learn how to insert the text correctly in the first place.

Learn to do it the right way

Novum Learning, professional services solutions provider, and Microsoft Word services specialist Bluebird are running a series of complimentary courses designed for lawyers about legal document best practice.

The series allows practitioners to learn in a focused, industry-specific manner and to put the learnings into practice straight away.

The 30-minute sessions focus on showing lawyers how to make amendments to transactional documents correctly and efficiently, even when the document belongs to another party. The first session of the course covered crucial formatting techniques and shortcuts, which are a great foundation for this coming session. It shows lawyers that managing ongoing transactional documents under a tight deadline can be done efficiently.

The skills from this course will take lawyers another step closer to self-sufficiency, which is becoming an expectation at law firms, especially those looking at continuing to offer flexible working arrangements even when working in the office becomes a usual practice again. Nevertheless, efficient document management is key to shortening the turnaround of matters and reduces the time lawyers spend on non-billable work.

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