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  1. #1
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    Considerations for law office (2003)

    Hi All,

    I've been asked to give a 3-hr lecture to people in a law office who are learning Word. They are currently on WordPerfect (V12?).

    I know there's lots of loungers who support Word in law offices. So a few questions for guidance:
    - what's really different between Word and WP (eg, people used to talk about WP's reveal codes but I never considered that a difference; people didn't know how to get at the Word equivalent)?
    - what special considerations are there to using Word in a law office, as opposed to any other office environment? putting templates on a network/shared drive is common to any office situation. other thoughts?
    - what features in Word particularly lend themselves to use in a law office? templates and styles, maybe TOA for briefs, use of fields such as ASK for fill-in type of documents, others?

    Other ideas?

    TIA

    Fred

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    Re: Considerations for law office (2003)

    Caution: It has been about 2.5 years since I have dealt with WP, and somewhat longer since I worked a word processing legal job.

    The people I knew switching from WP to Word always found it a huge deal about reveal codes, not because they couldn't discover the barely-equivalent feature in Word's task pane, but because the concept of storing formatting information in the ending paragraph mark in an opaque manner was so completely different from WP. They were accustomed to editing their formatting as they typed text, rather than treating typing and formatting as separate processes. This becomes particularly apparent when dealing with section formatting, and as I recall, a tremendous amount of direct formatting applied rather than creating proper styles.

    In the legal field, outline numbering is a VERY BIG DEAL, and Word's outline numbering is structured to work best for students writing academic papers in a solo manner. Documents in a law office, which are shared/edited with multiple people/computers across networks, make Word's outline numbering explode in a very messy way. ESPECIALLY with Word's so-called helpfulness in the default AUTO-FORMAT options.

    Blacklining/redlining and versioning tend to be legal features -- in my limited experience, law firms did better to pick up DeltaView to compare documents rather than relying on TRACK CHANGES and/or COMPARE SIDE-BY-SIDE, but you may want to discuss this. Also, I was always cautioned against using Word's native versioning feature (although I cannot recall specifics)

    Is your law firm using any sort of third-party document management software? If not, how do they identify their documents? The documents property window and some custom fields may be of interest to them.

  3. #3
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    Re: Considerations for law office (2003)

    Thanks for the answer. Any advice is welcomed.

    As to the firm's practices, I didn't get into that with the office manager (I don't work there; I'm just a hired hand for this).

    Yep - Track Changes would be good and I've heard of Delta View. Does DV work with WP also? I've worked with Word's Track Changes and consider it adequate.

    In term's of Word's outline numbering, can you share with me what about it makes it explode when multiple people work with it? I thought the change to stabilize list numbering was supposed to have fixed it. Not that it's intuitive but I've used it.

    Fred

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    Re: Considerations for law office (2003)

    DeltaView does not have a WordPerfect version -- Comparerite did have both WP and Word versions, but I think Comparerite is no longer around.

    I defer to the information presented on Charles Kenyon's site, AddBalance, that numbering schemes are stored in the Registry, without a front end to sharing customization (although there appears to be an easy work-around presented on AddBalance) and that using numbering without using styles can lead to document corruption. Again, the WP users I worked with relied on direct formatting rather than styles, your users may be more used to styles.

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    Re: Considerations for law office (2003)

    Re

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    Re: Considerations for law office (2003)

    Thanks again. I looked at Charles' web site and pulled a few things from it on numbered lists.

    Fred

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    Re: Considerations for law office (2003)

    Good points. I think I did an experiment once and spacing from a given point on a line to that same point on the next line (eg, base line to base line) was font size + 2.5 pts. So double spacing of a 10-point font would give 25 points from one line to another whereas exactly 24 points does save a little.

    Thanks.

    Fred

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