Three Microsoft Word Ninja Features

By Deborah Savadra

Microsoft Word is a complex application, so much so that most of us use only a fraction of its capabilities. But you don’t have to spend all your waking hours becoming a bona fide Word ninja to extract a lot more productivity out of it.

Here are three high-leverage features you should get to know better.

1. AutoCorrect

Most Microsoft Word users are accustomed to thinking of AutoCorrect as a fixed background feature, that thing that automatically corrects typos like “teh.” They don’t realize that it’s highly configurable — to the extent that it can automate certain repetitive (and annoying) formatting issues that crop up often in legal documents.

AutoCorrect works off a behind-the-scenes database of common misspellings. Microsoft has supplied a default set, but you can customize it. For example, AutoCorrect can act like a text expander. No additional software required! You can even configure it to insert common symbols, like paragraph or section when you type ‘((p))’ or ‘((s)),’ or to insert formatted text like id.

2. Quick Parts

Say document assembly to most lawyers, and they immediately think of some expensive piece of software they have to hire an even more expensive consultant to install and train them on. But document assembly comes in lots of levels. The easiest one to adopt is already within Word. Quick Parts allows you to store snippets of text you can drop into any document. I use it for form Certificates of Service, notary acknowledgments, signature blocks, repetitive objections and affirmative defenses, and even custom footers and watermarks.

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