The Florida Bar
Microsoft or Windows:
Microsoft Office Tip: Save As PDF Built In
Did you know that since Office 2007 came out the ability to save a Word (Or Excel or PowerPoint) file as a PDF has been built in? To save your current file as a PDF simply go to File > Save As but before you click OK, be sure to change the “Save as type” to PDF.
Windows Tips: Undo What You Just Did
In Windows, you can undo many actions by using the keyboard shortcut of “CTRL + Z”. You probably know that’s the undo in Microsoft Word or Excel, but you can also use that trick to undo an accidentally deleted or moved a file, to put back an appointment inadvertently dragged to a new date in Outlook, and even to un-rename a file in file Explorer.
Clear Temporary Internet Files and/or Browsing History
CTRL+SHIFT+DELETE is a quick and handy way to clear temporary files and browsing history in all major browsers.
The Right-Click button on a Mouse Has One Main Function: Menus
If your mouse has a right-click button on it – you should use it! Right-clicking an item, a file, a folder, a link – just about anything on your screen will result in a menu. That menu usually displays a list of things you can do with the item. Here’s a handy example – right-click on a hyperlink in a webpage, select “Open in a new tab”. That link will open in a new tab (or window) without jumping you off the current page.
CTRL + F is a popular keyboard shortcut for “Find”
From websites to Microsoft Word pressing the CTRL key and the F key at the same time will usually result in a pop-up box that allows you to input a word or term to search for on that page or in that program. Many programs will even highlight each instance of that word as it appears on the page and offer navigation buttons such as Next, Previous, Up or Down (searching direction on the page). Try it now – right here on The Florida Bar website!
Fastcase Tip: Copy with Citation
Need to copy and paste a portion of a case into a word processing document? Use the Copy Document Text feature!
While in the full case view, select the text you want to copy with your mouse . (Hint: Place your mouse at the beginning of the text you want to copy, then click and hold the mouse button. Drag your mouse to the end of the selection and then release the button. The selected text will be highlighted in blue.) A pop-up box will give you the choice of copying the text or copying the text with the case citation.
Open the brief or pleading that you are working on in the appropriate word processing program (e.g., MS Word or Word Perfect). Then use your program's paste function to paste the text into your document . (Hint: If you are using MS Word, you can paste using the shortcut CTRL+V .) If you selected Copy With Citation, it will paste the text with the citation at the end.
Suggestions and comments: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fastcase Tip: Case relationships
Use the Explore Case Relationships feature in the Interactive Timeline graph to quickly view the cases your case has cited as well as the cases that cite back to your case. The unique features of the Interactive Timeline allow you to see not only how many cases your case cited to, but also how frequently those cases were cited. Additionally ,you can see how many cases cite back to your case as well as how often those cases have been cited. Review a case relationship status.
Fastcase Tip: The new Interactive Timeline and Forecite
We've merged two of our unique features and made it even easier for you to spot important cases. Before, the Interactive Timeline plotted your results on a graph so that the most cited cases were immediately apparent. Forecite could be used to identify important cases that were not included in your search results and alert you to them .
Now we've combined those features so you can see the Forecite results in your Interactive Timeline. We've also added a "Click and drag to zoom" feature so you can focus on a particular group of cases in finer detail.
For more details, visit http://www.fastcase.com/together%20-at-last%20-interactive-timeline-and%20-forecite/
Fastcase Tip: Get even more precise results by using the “Search Within" feature
You already know that you can modify your search by going to Search, then Modify Search, but now you can use the "Search Within" feature to search just within your current set of results. Use the "Search Within" button to quickly refine your search results. Once you've run a Keyword (Boolean) search query and come up with results, simply click the "Search Within" button to add additional terms to look for within your list of results. You'll be able to narrow your original list down to a much more precise set of results with just one click.
Fastcase Tip: Spot negative citation history with 11Bad Law Bot"
Fastcase has enhanced its Authority Check feature to show you where courts have noted that a case has been treated negatively (i.e., reversed or overruled on any grounds). The new feature, "Bad Law Bot ," uses algorithms to find negative citation history . Bad Law Bot then flags those cases that have negative citation history and provides you with the links to those cases. Keep in mind that Bad Law Bot is not intended to be a complete replacement for a full editorial citation or for reading all later-citing cases. A red flag means that there's likely negative treatment, since a court has said as much by their use of a negative citation, but no red flag does not necessarily mean that a case is still good law. If a case has been overturned but no court opinion has cited to it yet , Bad Law Bot won't be able to find any citation signal information.
Bad Law Bot is a part of Fastcase's Authority Check, which means it's free to you as a member of the Florida Bar. For more information, visit http://www.geeklawblog.com/2013/04/fastcases-bad-law-bot-big-data.html
Have you tried Fastcase, the Bar-approved free legal research service for Florida Bar Members?
Thanks to our relationship with Fastcase, Florida Bar Members get free access to most state and federal resources including Florida Supreme Court decisions since 1950, and all district court of appeal opinions since the inception of the DCAs. Also included are all U.S. Supreme Court decisions, opinions from the Fifth and 11th U.S. circuit courts of appeal, the Florida Administrative Code, Florida Statutes, and the Florida Constitution. For an additional $195 annually, Bar members can buy access to Fastcase’s complete national law database, covering all 50 states and all federal courts. That service typically sells for $995 annually. Login to your Florida Bar Member profile to access Fastcase. Our November Tech Tips will feature Fastcase Tips.
Tech Tip: Wondering Where the Open and Print Buttons Are on the Newer Versions (2007-2013) of Word?
Word comes off the shelf with minimum shortcuts displayed. A new toolbar feature called the “Quick Access Toolbar” (QAT) allows you to add the shortcuts (aka buttons or commands) you use the most to this handy toolbar located
at the top of the Word window. There are two ways to add buttons to the QAT. Begin by identifying the QAT, it is located above the ribbon and by default looks like the image below. It has the Save, Undo and Redo button on it by default.
You’ll notice a small drop down arrow at the end of the QAT. Click on it to show a list of commonly added commands. Click each one you would like to add. You can also add a button from any other Ribbon in Word. For example, let’s say you insert a lot of footnotes and are regularly clicking the Reference tab and then the Footnotes button to insert that footnote. On your next visit to that button, RIGHT CLICK ON IT – you will be presented with a menu of options, one of which will be “Add to Quick Access Toolbar”.
Keyboard shortcuts to the ¶ and § symbols in Word and WordPerfect
For legal professionals the paragraph and section symbol can be very handy! You can always find the Insert > Symbol > Special Characters but learn these quick keys as an alternative. (Note – you MUST use the number keypad and have NUM LOCK on for these tips to work).
Microsoft Word - To input the ¶ Paragraph Symbol, hold Alt, and on the NUMERIC keyboard type its code – 0182. For the § Section Symbol hold Alt, and on the NUMERIC keyboard type its code – 0167.
WordPerfect – To input the ¶ Paragraph Symbol, hold Alt, and on the NUMERIC keyboard type its code – 1. For the § Section Symbol hold Alt, and on the NUMERIC keyboard tap 2.
Microsoft Word Text Selection Tips
Learn these mouse tricks to quickly select text in Word (and many other programs – just try them!).
- Double-click a word to select only that one word
- Triple-click in a paragraph to select only that one paragraph
- Hold the CTRL key on your keyboard plus one single mouse click to select one sentence
Outlook Tip – Add a New Person To Your Contacts
You can quickly create a new contact in your Contacts folder from an email message you have received. With the message open, right-click directly on the senders name or email. On the shortcut menu, click Add to Outlook Contacts.
Outlook User: Quickly Copy an Email onto Your Calendar
Many emails would be more useful on your calendar than in your Inbox – payment reminders, conference call in-details, docketing-related emails. Outlook allows you to drag and drop emails from your Inbox onto the Calendar folder to convert that message into an appointment.
1. From your Inbox view click and hold the email you would like to convert into an appointment.
2. Drag onto the Calendar icon on the left-side navigation pane and release.
3. Outlook will present you with an appointment window that will have use Subject line of the email as the Subject line of the appointment. You can easily change the Subject as well as fill in the Location, Date and Time and other details.
4. Save and close to return to your Inbox, delete the original message.
Tech Tip: Customize Your Email Signature on iPhone & iPad
It’s easy to replace the default “Sent from my iPhone” signature to one of your own. Simply go to
Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > scroll down to Signature. With the newest versions of the iOS operating system you can create a different signature for each email account on your device.
iPad Keyboard Shortcuts for Lawyers
There are useful hidden characters on the iPad keyboard. To reveal them press and hold the displayed key:
- Use the comma key for an apostrophe
- The period key reveals a single quote mark
- On the numeric keyboard the quote mark hides smart quotes and other symbols
- Need the section symbol? Look for it under the ampersand on the numeric keyboard
- How about a bullet? Hold the hyphen on numeric keypad
- Curly quotes can be found under the quotes key on the main keyboard
- An ellipses is hidden under the period on the main keyboard
Ask Your Smartphone to Calculate a Date
iPhone users can ask Siri “What is 45 days from January 1". Siri will tell you that it’s “Saturday February 15th, 2014” and she might even mention it’s a holiday. Ask her “What is 5 days before February 19th” and she’ll tell you “It’s Friday February 14, 2014 (Valentines Day”. Don’t have an iPhone? Try it with any voice-enabled smart phone and see what happens!
Use Google to Define Words and Perform Calculations
Can’t believe “pignut” just lost you a Words with Friends game? Use Google to quickly look up definitions. Simply type in the word “define” followed by your term – “define pignut”. You can also type calculations directly into the search box – “5*9+(sqrt 10)^3=”. The answer is 76.6227766017 and a pignut is a hickory tree that bears nuts with thin husks.
Are you an Internet Explorer User? You should know about Compatibility Mode.
Occasionally you will encounter a perfectly good website that just isn’t 100% compatible with the version of IE on your computer (many court websites!). Images might not show up, menus might be out of place, and text boxes could be jumbled together. Find and click the “Compatibility” button in the address bar to resolve many issues. Sometimes a website you're visiting doesn't look like you expect it to. Images might not show up, menus might be out of place, and text boxes could be jumbled together. This can be caused by a compatibility problem between Internet Explorer and the site you're on. When a site is incompatible with Internet Explorer, you'll see the Compatibility View button in the Address bar. You can only turn on Compatibility View in Internet Explorer for the desktop.
To turn on Compatibility View
1. See if the Compatibility View button appears in the Address bar. (If you don't see the button, there's no need to turn on Compatibility View.)
2. Tap or click the Compatibility View button to display the site in Compatibility View.
Make sure you know how to create good passwords and that you have a password policy for your professional AND personal devices. Make sure that all your staff/colleagues/family members take password
One of the best articles on creating good passwords, “Keeping Your Passwords Strong and Secure” is from LawPro, from the Lawyers' Professional Indemnity Company in Ontario, CA.
Some tips include:
- Never tell anyone your password
- Never write your passwords and leave on your monitor
- Do not save passwords on your hard drive (OOPS)
- Use a password manager
- Do not use the same passwords for everything
- Change your passwords often
- Change compromised passwords IMMEDIATELY
- Do not use the “Remember Me” Feature
Reliable Internet Access Options
Whether you simply need to access email or your firm has embraced the cloud for practice management, reliable Web access is a must-have for most lawyers. Those who travel know that the promise of ubiquitous free Wi-Fi is not a reality. In fact, some hotels charge for each device connected to their Wi-Fi network. Unsecured public Wi-Fi can also be a security risk if you inadvertently select an evil twin network or your data is intercepted via a man-in-the-middle attack. Accessing the Web via a tethered iPhone/iPad or Android works, with some limitations. Tethering will often reduce the battery life of the device much faster than normal, so have a charger and outlet handy. Most carriers charge more for allowing you to tether, and you will watch your data limits (if you have them) much sooner. If you are tethering, make sure to build in a password so that your cloud cannot be intercepted.
Purchase a mobile hotspot, otherwise known as Mi-Fi. Mobile hotspots are usually smaller than a pack of playing cards and can support anywhere from five to 10 devices via a 4G LTE, 4G or 3G network, depending on location. There are many choices for devices and service through your existing mobile data carrier, another mobile data provider or prepaid options. Plans vary on data limits and cost anywhere from $25 to $45 per month. International plans are also readily available. These devices offer three to four hours of continuous use, and some devices now come with extra batteries. A mobile hotspot can be shared in a small law office if someone is traveling, or used for backup if the Internet is down. Source: Catherine Sanders Reach, Chicago Bar Association -ABA Law Practice Vol. 39, No. 2.