Even though I still hate it, here are some good tips on Microsoft’s Word

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Lisa Solomon is a New York lawyer. She graduated from Brandeis University, B.A. (1990), magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. In 1993, she graduated from the New York University School of Law, obtaining her J.D. degree cum laude. She now does contract legal writing and research.

She recently sent me an e-mail. In it, she passed along a few tips about Word. While you will still have to pry WordPerfect from my cold, dead hands, here are the tips that Lisa graciously allowed me to post (with a few edits by me):

Dear Judge Kopf:
I am an avid reader of your blog, albeit a bit behind on the posts. I have some thoughts to add on your “A Fighting Word” post, but I see that comments are closed. I’ll share them with you; if you think they are sufficiently valuable, I hope you’ll pass them on to your readers by posting them in the comments, or allow me to do so myself by briefly opening comments on the post.
1. SHIFT+F1 works in Word 2013 as well as earlier versions to bring up a formatting panel on the right side of the screen.
2. Word 2008 is an outdated Mac version. The current version is Word 2011 (part of Office for Mac 2011). Word 2016 (part of Office for Mac 2016) is available now in a preview version, with the official (final) release slated for later this year. See https://products.office.com/en-us/mac/mac-preview#faq.
3. Word (along with the other Office programs) is also available for—and works quite well on—the iPad. Corel (which makes WordPerfect) has never developed an iPad app, and the available third-party app, WordPerfect Viewer for the iPad, is poorly rated. This is significant because, even as long ago as 2012, 58% of federal judges were using ipads for their court work (see http://www.geeklawblog.com/2012/06/judges-ipads-perfect-fit.html), and iPads are hugely popular among lawyers as well.*
4. Word skeptics should check out one of these two books about Word 2013 especially for lawyers: The Lawyer’s Guide to Microsoft Word 2013 (260 pages) by Ben Schorr [and] Microsoft Word 2013 for Law Firms (512 pages) by the Payne Group (Schorr also wrote The Lawyers’s Guide to Microsoft Word 2010 [and] The Lawyer’s Guide to Microsoft Word 2007.)
Thanks very much Lisa. While you haven’t convinced me, I am sure many others will find your tips very useful.
*I don’t use an iPad. I prefer a standard laptop. In a similar vein (that is, as a nonconforming ass), I think my staff and I are the remaining holdouts in our district who still use WordPerfect as the primary word processing tool.

3 responses

  1. In the two federal circuits in which I’ve clerked, WordPerfect was the standard. Only one judge (that I know of) used/uses Word. I still use Word at home, but in these last three years I’ve come to hate WP a bit less.

    As a side note to Mr. Ausbrook – Keep up the good work. It is greatly appreciated.

  2. Keep up the good fight and keep WordPerfect. It’s cheaper, more versitile and all around plain better than Word.

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