Basic Word Processing Skills
Along with words like "marketing" and "training" – "word processing" can make an attorney cringe. But in today's world, it is a critical, critical skill set.I often tell people that they might as well have a good old-fashioned typwewriter back on the desk - the way they just peck and poke away without taking advantage of any of the shortcuts and automation tools Word (or WP) have to offer.
Learning basic document editing skills is a simple (truly simple) task. The true challenge is allowing yourself the time to learn. If your Firm employees a trainer or a help desk – call them up right now – right this second! and schedule a one hour appointment with them. That's all it will take. When they arrive (and they will do so happily) provide them with this checklist of must-know skills:
- Formatting Words, Paragraphs, Pages
- Inserting automatic page numbers so that as you add, delete or move pages, the numbers remain in numerical order
- Autotext and Autocorrect (in Word) are akin to macro's that store and spit out phrases, paragraphs, case styles with the tap of a couple of strokes (Word 2003 | Word 2007)
- A few tips and tricks (10 most useful Word shortcuts from TechRepublic)
If you don't have the luxury of an in-house technology resource, turn to the internet. There are countless tutorials, tips, templates and resources that can help you.
Here are some resources to get you started:
- Microsoft.com: A Roadmap to Word 2007 Training (With links to training tutorials!)
- Interactive: Word 2003 to Word 2007 Reference Guide
- Word on the Mac
- Training Classes from Affinity Consulting
- 60 indispensable Microsoft Word tips
- Legal Tech Trainer
- CompuSavvy's Word & WordPerfect Tips
- KAS Training's Legal Word Processing Corner
- This Blog's past Word for Lawyers posts
- The Lawyer's Guide to Microsoft Word 2007
- Formatting Legal Documents With Microsoft Office Word 2007
- Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010 for Law Professionals Unveiling the Rules and Secrets of Legal Word Processing
- Word 2003 for Law Firms
The ABA TECHSHOW
If you're still manually typing paragraph numbers, tables of contents or tables of authority, you may as well throw your computer out the window and put that old electric typewriter back on your desk. Microsoft Word is a sophisticated tool, but most users just don't know how to tap its power. Drafting complex documents in Word does not have to be a wrestling match and shouldn't feel like punishment. If you're ready for Word enlightenment, come to this seminar. Hear the gospel of Styles and learn how to create paragraph numbering, tables of contents and authority which automatically generate and update. Saturday, March 27, 9:45 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.
Think about your Word documents as digital calling cards. They reflect your professionalism and attention to detail. Today, the appearance of a word processing document often reveals as much about an attorney's skills as the contents of the document itself. Document creation and editing skills are critical in today's professional and technical environment.
Oh, one more thing…take a look at an earlier post I did about typography.