Microsoft Office Tips and Tools

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!

Microsoft Word:

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.

space between sentences setting in Microsoft Word
finding the punctuation convention settings in Microsoft Word

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:


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:

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:


Another feature only available for some users, this feature can only be installed on PowerPoint for for Windows, at least at this time:

Office Add-ins

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: