Since one of my hats is tech trainer in our legal writing classes, sharing how to use Microsoft Word effectively as a lawyer, I look forward to what I learn at the ABA TechShow each year about new features of Microsoft Office.
Often I’m able to from the folks who are most familiar with the legal applications of this core software. Ben Schorr, a Senior Content Developer for Microsoft, spoke at one session I attended and was called on to answer questions as an audience member at others. He recommends the Office for Lawyers Facebook group as a great way to learn new tips, best practices, and more.
If you attended this show – sessions and/or Expo Hall, please feel free to share your own favorites tips or tools in the comments!
Have you ever been frustrated by editing a document to standardize spacing with periods? End the conflict with a “set it and forget it” rule, regardless of whether you’re a one-space or two-space person.
Grammar Nerds: 1 or 2 spaces after a sentence? Do you wish @Microsoft Word would follow your rule? Annette Sanders of @PayneGroup shows how Grammar Settings offers punctuation convention options you can customize (one? two? don't make Word fight your preference) #ABATECHSHOW— EBarney (@EBarney) February 28, 2019
Do you hate it when Word’s autocorrect adds symbols to your document? Would you like to customize what symbols it adds? Here’s my own tip:
Here's how to change it in Word 2016: File > Options > Proofing > Autocorrect Options pic.twitter.com/pr8swvj1OV
— EBarney (@EBarney) February 28, 2019
Would you like to do more with key information in your spreadsheets, even hook into live data? If so, you may want to explore this new development:
Intelligent Data Types in @Microsoft Excel pulls in updated information - geographic, company info, etc. - will even give you prompts for trends, details to look for under "Ideas" toolbar - @bschorr #ABATECHSHOW https://t.co/4MpW5c0zLj pic.twitter.com/DvzAjvIpZt— EBarney (@EBarney) February 28, 2019
Outlook for Office 365
This feature isn’t available for all Outlook users, but it may be very convenient if it is available for you:
Audience tip about favorite feature from @Microsoft365 : Bookings (give people a link to a selected view of your calendar so they can directly set up an appointment with you based on your availability) #ABATECHSHOW https://t.co/dWyhZPkRh5— EBarney (@EBarney) February 28, 2019
Another feature only available for some users, this feature can only be installed on PowerPoint for for Windows, at least at this time:
OK, this is absolutely cool and worth testing with some friends with more languages - would you like to have auto subtitles on your presentations in @Microsoft Powerpoint - @bschorr #ABATECHSHOW https://t.co/BgkgjwvtjA— EBarney (@EBarney) February 28, 2019
Of course many specific legal tools for Microsoft Office are developed by outside companies. My final session of the conference offered a roundup of these tools and noted which are available for Office 365, which are more cost effective, etc. See more in my twitter thread:
Why? Model Rule 1.1, Comment 8 – ethical obligation for tech competence
Be more effective, serve client needs!https://t.co/AUwKsxCQmu
— EBarney (@EBarney) March 1, 2019