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Microsoft Word Legal User's Guide 

Microsoft has been working closely with some of the leading experts in the legal community to create the Microsoft® Word® Legal User's Guide. The Guide contains step-by-step instructions to help legal users accomplish the tasks necessary to build robust legal documents. It has been a truly amazing phenomenon — law firms are either incorporating Microsoft Word into their document production repertoires, or they are moving their entire document creation operation entirely to Microsoft Word. The Legal Users' Guide addresses the issues that law firms and legal departments are facing as they switch to Microsoft Word 97 and Microsoft Word 2000.

The guide was written and reviewed by the Legal Advisory Council to Microsoft. This group is comprised of IS Directors and document specialists in firms around the world, and a leading training and development provider who has authored several books on using Word in a law firm. The Legal User's Guide focuses on problems and solutions from both global and detailed perspectives. Many firms face not only the standard hurdles in introducing new software when they roll out Microsoft Word (integration, training, staffing, customization), but also major cultural barriers and resistance to change. The Legal User's Guide addresses both the technical and the cultural issues of changing a firm's focus to Word 97 or Word 2000.

There has been demand for this kind of resource for years — a free, topically segmented guide prepared for IS professionals, legal secretaries, paralegals, and others who work in law firms and legal departments, and containing a focus on common problems and their solutions. When you've exhausted the help files, when the general Word books come up short, and when the on-site consultants shrugs their shoulders — the Legal User's Guide is here to help.

What's in the Legal User's Guide? Everything from how to use tables to solve common problems, to the top questions and answers about numbering and styles. We address issues in both Word 97 and Word 2000, and where the versions vary you'll find a note icon:

Because the Legal User's Guide is segmented, you'll find some overlap in certain areas, but be assured that it's intentional. We know that not everyone will read the whole thing, so we don't mind repeating information where necessary.

Should you read the Legal User's Guide "front-to-back, " so to speak? We sure hope not. We've separated out the major topic areas with links, and included in each "chapter" further links to outside resources and experts, which we think have proven helpful in the past. Feel free to point your users and colleagues to those parts of the guide that specifically address the challenge areas you've faced in your firm's experience.

A lot of hard work went into the Legal User's Guide, and many voices are represented here: consultants, law firms, industry experts—and Microsoft! So, whether you're wading your way leisurely through the material or just after some quick answers, we hope you enjoy the Legal User's Guide.

CK Note: "By the end of this exercise, you will realize that Word’s default settings are all designed for the knee-cap-level user, and that we have to spend a lot of time undoing them. {Begin Political Rant} I hereby give you permission to think unkindly of the Product Marketing Department, which took the world’s finest word processor and ruined it in order to reinforce the misconceptions of people who should not be left unsupervised with a pencil!!!  {end political rant}." 

John McGhie, How to Create a Template - Part 2

(You may have figured out that these three paragraphs do not appear in the original Microsoft version of this guide. See Supplement for information on how and why I have supplemented the Legal Users' Guide to make it the Intermediate Users' Guide.)

Click to return to table of contents page of Legal Users' Guide to Microsoft Word.Click to go to Microsoft Word new users frequently asked questions site in a new browser window.
(this guide table of contents) ------- (MS Word New Users FAQ)



This chapter from original Legal Users Guide to Microsoft Word 2002 - document in zip format

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