Tips and Tricks – Microsoft Word Table of Authorities

Afinety University Tips & Tricks Webinar Series is perfect for those working in the legal field looking to develop their skills in Microsoft Word and other common law firm software programs. This series is instructed by Diana Baker, Afinety’s Macro Developer and Trainer. Diana has over 20 years of experience working in the legal field. Her webinars demonstrate tools for attorneys, paralegals, and legal assistants to increase efficiency in Microsoft Word and save valuable time creating documents. The most recent webinar focused on Microsoft Word’s Table of Authorities feature. We’ve put together some of the key tips and features below, but you can watch the full webinar here.

Marking a Citation

Before getting started with the Table of Authorities feature, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, make sure the document is in its final draft before marking for a Table of Authorities. Second, turn on the “show / hide” option. This allows users to see the Table of Authorities field codes that will be inserted. Once these steps are complete, begin scanning for citations and highlighting.

There are two options for marking citations, users can go through the References tab, Table of Authorities group, and then select “marked citation”. The alternative option is to use shortcut key, ALT + SHIFT + I. From here, go through the document and mark the remaining citations. Another option is to use the “next citation” feature, but scanning line by line is recommended, as this feature can sometimes accidentally skip over citations.

Mark Citation Dialog Box

Let’s break down the mark citation dialog box. First, is the selected text. Edit this text how it should appear in the final generated Table of Authorities. For example, some lawyers may have a preference on abbreviations and other specific formatting. Next, select the category of the citation. A common mistake here is forgetting to select the correct category. Below category is short citation. A short citation should consist of a common factor that is contained in the long cites and in the short cites that are referenced throughout the document. Short citations are marked with a “short cite” field code. To finish using the mark citation dialog box, select “Mark All” and close. If an error is made, revisions can be made and then updated on the Table of Authorities. This will be reviewed later on.

Generating a Table of Authorities

Once ready to generate a Table of Authorities, turn off “show / hide” option. Next, place the cursor in the exact spot to insert the Table of Authorities and go to the References tab, click “Insert Table of Authorities”.  By default, “use passim” is checked. This means that if a citation is referenced on more than 5 or 6 pages of a document, “use passim” will be listed in place of all the page numbers. For formatting, keep original and the category “All” can be selected. Once complete, users should select “OK” to generate their Table of Authorities.

Fixing Errors in Table of Authorities

One common mistake when fixing errors in the Table of Authorities is editing the information directly within the generated Table of Authorities. This is the wrong approach because any manual edits made to the Table of Authorities will be lost once it is updated or regenerated. Instead, users should properly fix errors by revisiting the Table of Authorities field code and making edits there. To then make revisions complete, regenerate or update the Table of Authorities.

For additional tips and tricks on the software programs you use most, register for an upcoming webinar.

Tips and Tricks – Microsoft Word Styles, Multilevel Numbering & Tables of Contents

Afinety University Tips & Tricks Webinar Series is designed for attorneys, paralegals, and legal assistants who would like to develop their skills in Microsoft Word and other common law firm software programs. Instructor Diana Baker, Afinety’s Macro Developer and Trainer, has over 20 years of experience working in the legal field and demonstrates easy tools to increase your efficiency in her webinars. This month’s webinar focused on how to format a pleading using Heading Styles and Multilevel Numbering, as well as generate a Table of Contents with a click of a button. We’ve highlighted some of the key takeaways below, but you can access the full webinar here.


Styles are a collection of formatting instructions which greatly enhance document automation and production. To get started with Styles, open the Styles Pane which will list styles contained in the document. Users can apply, modify or create new styles from the Styles Pane.

A user can preview styles by ticking the “Show Preview” box located near the bottom of the Styles Pane.  Additional options for viewing the Styles Pane include the choice to show styles in the current document and sort the list of styles alphabetically or as recommended. Additionally, it is recommended to remove paragraph, font and bullet formatting from displaying in Styles Pane.

When creating new styles, it is best to start from scratch and base styles on “normal” and then build out each style by formatting the font and paragraph settings, and other preferences.  When setting line spacing in a pleading document, one important tip is to set the spacing to Exactly 24 points (for double spacing) or Exactly 12 points (for single spacing) so the line spacing of the text of the pleading matches the line spacing used in the line numbering embedded in the header.  A tip for Heading styles is to select “keep with next paragraph” and “keep lines together” in order to keep headings from appearing as the last line of text on a page.

Style Area

Instead of viewing Styles in a pane, users have the option to view in Style Area. To set up this feature, go to the File tab, Options, Advanced, Display, bringing you to the option “Style area pane width in Draft and Outline views” – insert a measurement like 0.7.”  To see the Style Area in the left margin, you must be in Draft or Outline View.

Creating your own Style

To create a new Style in Microsoft Word, go to Styles Pane and select “A+ New Style”. From there, fill in the details, such as naming the style, select the style type as paragraph, style based on normal, and style for following paragraph. Then format the font, paragraph settings, and more.

Multilevel Numbering

To begin working with multilevel numbering, select the Multilevel List drop down located in the paragraph group in the Home ribbon.  From the List Library, select a list that closely resembles the type of multilevel numbering you want to add to your Heading styles.  Open the Multilevel list drop down again, and choose Define New List Style.  Name the List Style, click Format and choose Numbering.  Format each level of numbering and link to the respective Heading style.  Be sure to watch the video for more details on formatting multilevel list numbering.

Table of Contents

If you applied heading styles to all headings throughout your document, you can generate a Table of Contents with a click of a button.  Place your cursor in the exact spot where you want to insert the Table of Contents, from the References ribbon, click the drop down in the Table of Contents button, and choose Custom Table Contents.  Users have the option to change the formatting of table of contents, by selecting and modifying “TOC Styles”.  As a reminder, the “use hyperlinks” setting is turned on by default.  Click OK to generate the Table of Contents.

Moving Forward

You can easily add the styles you create or modify into the template the document is attached to, so you have access to these styles in new documents moving forward.  When modifying or creating the style, tick the “new documents based on this template” box.  Another tip Baker mentioned was, do not select the “automatically update” button for styles because anytime direct formatting is applied to a word or paragraph, that formatting will be added to the style that word or paragraph is in.

For additional tips and tricks on the software programs you use most, register for an upcoming webinar.

Tips and Tricks – Microsoft Word Track Changes and Document Comparison

Recently, the Afinety University Webinar Series looked at “tips and tricks” regarding the track changes and document comparison features in Microsoft Word. Led by Diana Baker, Afinety’s Macro Developer and Trainer, the webinar covered best practices when tracking changes, options for markup and displaying changes, printing with or without markup, and features when comparing or combining documents in MS Word. Diana’s background in the legal field allowed for great insight and practical tips that can be easily applied when working with legal documents.  Here’s an overview of a few of the key features, but you’ll want to watch the webinar for a full walkthrough.

Getting Started with Track Changes

For quick access to turning the track changes feature on or off, there is a shortcut key, “CTRL+ Shift + E”.

One of the most common complaints about track changes is many say they are unable to see changes that have been made, especially when using an upgraded version of Microsoft Word. When opening a document that contains tracked changes, the default Display for Review is set to “simple markup”. Simple markup displays a red line in the left margin, letting the author know something has changed within that paragraph, although it doesn’t show the specific changes. In order to see the specific changes, it’s really as simple as clicking the drop-down in the Display for Review field and selecting the “All Markup” option.

Track Changes with Multiple Authors

If a document has been modified by multiple people, changes will display in a different color based on which author made the changes. Selecting the option, “show revisions in balloons”, displays the name of the author together with the author’s respective changes. Users can easily display the document showing a specific author’s changes using the “Specific People” option in the Show Markup settings.

Advanced Options

The Track Changes Options dialog box contains various options that control what edits show in the document, what shows in Balloons and a choice to have the Reviewing Pane on or off.  The color and format of inserted and deleted text can also be changed in the Advanced Options.

Protecting Track Changes When Collaborating on a Document with Others

In order to make sure Track Changes is kept on when collaborating on a Word document, the document can be locked with a password.  This will prevent others from turning Track Changes off.

Warn Before Printing, Saving or Sending

Since Word allows users to view a document in original or no markup mode, in which case it does not display tracked changes, it is not uncommon for users to be unaware of the fact that they are tracking changes or that changes have not been accepted or rejected.  Alerts can also be set up when starting to save or send a document that contains tracked changes.

Printing with Track Changes On or Off

Users have the option to print with or without tracked changes on their document.  Set the Display for Review to “No Mark” to print the document as if all changes have been accepted.  Set the Display for Review to “All Markup” to print the document with the Tracked Changes.

Differentiating Between Comparing and Combining a Document

The difference between the compare and combine features has to do with the two documents being worked on. For example, the “Compare” feature would be used to compare two files that do not have track changes turned on.  The “Compare” feature will note changes between the two files as “tracked changes.”  The original document is compared to a revised version of the document.

The “Combine” feature would be used to compare two documents that do contain tracked changes.  As an example, let’s say you made some changes to a document and tracked those changes.  Then, the document is sent to another person, and that person makes changes and tracked them.  There are now two versions of the document, each with their own tracked changes.  The “Combine” feature would be used to view a document that combines all tracked changes.

Comparing a Word Doc to a PDF

Comparing a Word Document to a PDF can have some challenges. This is partly due to the styles in a particular document. Word takes the PDF and puts it into an editable Word document. The resulting comparison of the original Word document and PDF that was converted to Word, will show all styles in the original Word document as formatting changes.

For additional tips and tricks on the software programs you use most, register for an upcoming webinar.

5 Red Flags in your Cloud Partner

Now that you’ve asked all of the right questions of your prospective cloud partners (Questions to Ask – Part 1, Questions to Ask – Part 2), you’re ready to go back to your leadership team and make recommendations, right?! As you comb through your partner’s answers, here are some red flags that may indicate they’re not the right partner for your organization:

  1. They ask you to sign a long-term contract without termination for convenience.A reputable cloud provider should include a reasonable exit clause, sometimes called “termination for convenience.” This clause stipulates that your organization can terminate the contract at any time for any reason if you are unsatisfied.

  2. They have limited or no experience working with legal practices.Legal organizations have unique needs and require specialized support and services. Cloud providers that haven’t worked in legal likely do not have experience working with your applications, such as ProLaw or iManage. They have experience supporting customers but may not understand the urgent response times needed by firms. They also may not sign Business Associate Agreements (BAA).

  3. They are a young company.A new cloud provider may be able to meet all your needs, but without having a background in hosting for organizations similar to yours, it’s best to proceed with caution. It becomes even more important for you to understand how many team members the organization is made up of, how they manage their infrastructure, what support is provided, etc. Small, start-up cloud providers present risk in employee turnover and inexperience.

  4. They don’t have references similar to your practice.References are extremely valuable when choosing a cloud provider. They give you a good look at what it will be like to be a client of the provider. If the cloud provider has any hesitation in providing client references or testimonials, you may need to reconsider.

  5. They don’t ask about your desired business outcomes.Cloud providers should be focusing on what you want to get out of your IT infrastructure, ultimately asking what your desirable business outcomes are. Your cloud experience will be most successful when you and your service partner understand the overarching goals of the practice.

Choosing a cloud partner may be the most important decision your organization makes this year. The security of your data, the experience of your users, and the productivity of your firm depends on it. Choose wisely.