7 ways formatting documents by a specialist can help you

7 ways formatting documents by a specialist can help you

7 Ways formatting by a document specialist can help your business

Creating formatted documents needs a specialist: from brochure to proposal, order form to invoice, internal admin and client reports, to name just a few examples.  The document lifecycle is improved with smart formatting.  Here are 7 ways how a document specialist can help you.

Formatting fillable forms in your PDF

Collecting information from your customers is easier by using a PDF form.  PDF (portable document format) works on all of your recipients’ devices and so they don’t need to print/scan.  Unless you are collaborating on editing a document, you should always send a PDF.  Remember, not all of your recipients will have Word (or similar editor) installed on a phone, tablet or a PC.  A document specialist will reformat your text and convert to PDF and will then use Adobe Pro to create your fillable form.

Sending documents for e-signature

The natural progression from creating a fillable PDF is to ask for e-signatures.  There are many products that offer e-signature and many different features available.  Some things to consider:

  • Do you need a secure verification of the recipient signature?
  • Do you require a lot of signatures each month? If so, consider a product that offers some integration with your business systems.
  • How many people in your business are asking for signatures? Cost, training, integration with systems will have an impact on your decision on which product to choose.

Switching to e-signatures is easy and the benefits to you and your clients and customers is huge!

Formatting standard document precedents

Are you using the same documents over and over again?  Or are you copy and pasting similar paragraphs?  Creating a standard template document will save you tons of time and give you consistency and ease of use.  A professional suite of documents will not only make you look great but save you time.  A document specialist will always create a base template which takes into account your house style (your branding) and use styles so that formatting documents is quick and easy.

Automation of your numbering, cross references, table of contents: document specialist skills

Your documents should have easy-to-use automatic numbering, automatic cross references and tables of contents (where applicable).  All word-processing features are designed to save you time. If you’re collaborating with your documents – that is more than one person is involved in editing – then you should invest your time to make it easy for all parties involved.  A professional document specialist can fix your formatting for you.

Version control, track changes, document protection

HR documents, policy documents, operations manuals all have one thing in common.  They are strictly controlled and should contain version and editing notes.  A document specialist can ensure that your documents contain a version control cover sheet, the document is protected (read only often helps), and any changes can be shown in track changes.

Converting from PDF

Whilst some versions of a PDF document will allow a conversion to a Word document, it often doesn’t retain the word-processing formatting.  Having an editable text version of a document is one thing, making is easy-to-use is another.  The correct formatting is essential when converting PDF documents.  Without it, automatic numbering and cross refencing won’t work and inserting track changes and comments become difficult.  A professional document specialist can quickly convert and re-format your document so you have a usable version.

Comparing documents: not necessarily a document specialist role, but …

Did you know that you can compare two versions of a Word document and the result will show the differences in track changes?  It’s a useful feature used by many lawyers and there are plenty of Word training courses out there to learn how to do it yourself.  But if you don’t want to learn the skills then a document specialist will run the comparison for you and it takes just 10 minutes to do.

Quick and easy document formatting

The most common phrases in this article should be document specialist, document formatting, quick and easy.  Never struggle with a document because the chances are we can quickly fix it for you.  We operate on a pay-per-document basis so please get in touch if you would like a quote on a particular document.

For Format’s Sake!

For Format’s Sake!

For Format’s Sake!

For Format’s Sake! A Guide To Help Lawyers Produce Their Own Documents

Download your free e-book which should take no longer than an hour to read. To implement your new skills may take a couple of days and within a few weeks of practice you will be a competent Word user. You will be faster at creating and updating your documents and you will be presenting your business brand in documents to be proud of.

Whether you’re starting a business from scratch, or have worked in the same firm for years, the framework outlined in For Format’s Sake! will help you produce your documents with less stress.

 

For many, many years we have seen lawyers break their documents, waste time with formatting and cause more problems that could easily be avoided. And there’s good reason too. Not many people have received basic training (although some may consider the contents of this book advanced training).

Download your free e-book today! 

In this short book, we have provided you with some super-useful information to help you solve some of those problems you didn’t know how to fix, and perhaps given you some new ones to try out.

But we know time is limited – which is why the book is short – so all of them will save you time and money … and a lot of unnecessary frustration.

To get your free book For Format’s Sake!  A Guide For Lawyers Who Produce Their Own Documents fill in the form below and you will receive an email with a link to collect your download.

E-book For Format's Sake! 

 

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Catherine Lockett
21. January, 2022.
Your investment in Bluebird Support Services' time and expertise will pay you dividends... I highly recommend! I have been working with Leanne from Jayne’s team whilst she has re-formatted at least a dozen complex template documents for me so far, and there are more to do as well. My document nightmare has turned into an administration dream – gone are the tedious and time-consuming checks that I had to do. I can now do in a few minutes what would have taken me hours to do previously, with far more confidence in the end result for my clients. If you use templates or any legal documentation in your business, I can’t encourage you strongly enough to pass them by a member of Jayne’s team. Your relatively small investment in their time and expertise will definitely pay you dividends. I would highly recommend!
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5 essential Word tools to format your documents

5 essential Word tools to format your documents

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.

You can learn more about Advanced Word Mastery here