Category: Software

Hundreds of Free Security Software Packages

A tip-of-the-hat goes out once again to Gizmo’s Freeware for providing an updated listing of hundreds of free security software packages, along with reviews and live links.

In the past two weeks I have received literally dozens of spoofed emails from alleged Facebook friends, with toxic links inside.  Thankfully, I never click on links, unless it is clear why it has been sent.  I always think it’s worth a simple email asking that question before taking the risk.  But it reminds me regularly what a dangerous computing world we live in.  Which is why this update from Gizmo’s is even more valuable.

Say It Ain’t So: The End of iGoogle

My friend and colleague, David Bilinsky, just enlightened me about the upcoming end to iGoogle in his recent Thoughtful Legal Management blog post entitled “iGoogle *Disappearing* Soon!! 🙁”   Yes, folks, what has become the best home page, and the one relied upon by hundreds of attorneys to organize their RSS blog feeds, will be disappearing soon.  According to Google, “iGoogle will be retired in 16 months, on November 1, 2013. The mobile version will be retired on July 31, 2012.”

The angst many of us feel about the impending loss of iGoogle is evident.  Read this blog post entitled “Don’t Take My IGoogle Away!”  in ZDNet by tech writer Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols.  He says “Some people have even set up a petition to keep iGoogle alive.. I’m number 2,088 on the petition.”  Thanks for the inspiration, Steve, I’m signature 4,440.  Not that I think Google will reconsider, mind you, but at least I’ve added my name to those who agree.  (And I wish I were a gambler because I’d kind of like to play that number!)

As Dave writes, Google gives the impression that there are lots of replacements ready and waiting.  We’re all hoping they’ll clue us in as to what they are.  I have used separate RSS feed readers.  Several in fact.  But they require that you remember to go to their site to see what’s new, or endure endless emails telling you how many unread posts there are waiting for you.  Hated that. 

Well, how about Chrome?  How about it?  It’s not compatible with all my programs yet, like QuickBooks, so I’m not going there.  Besides, what’s to stop them from pulling the plug on that in the not-too-distant future?

You can also subscribe to have blog posts delivered to your inbox in most instances.  But I don’t have to tell you that this can quickly clog your inbox so badly, it’s difficult to find the urgent stuff.  You might be thinking that you can just make Rules in Outlook to route the emails to a folder.  Yep, that works for just a few.  But when you have as much going on as I do, with dozens of client folders that require Rules, you quickly hit the ridiculously low limit that Microsoft arbitrarily puts on their rulesYou can read my previous blog postAre You Having a Problem With Your Microsoft Outlook Rulesto find out more about that.

So what’s left?  I don’t know, but I can assure you I will be searching for a suitable replacement which offers the same level of convenience and organization.  I will sorely miss having my favorite gadgets such as the “dog of the day” picture, and the daily Sudoku, along with all my RSS feeds organized in the order I want them.  And to have them on my desktop, and laptops, appearing exactly the same, with no extra effort.  Frankly, I could care less about the tools for my iPhone or iPad.  They’re not the tools I’m using when I’m reviewing my feeds.

I stumbled upon a post entitled “Two More Alternatives to Your iGoogle Home Page” written by tech writer Rick Broida on PCWorld.  He suggests All My Faves, which I find visually undesirable for these old eyes, and Protopage.  I will have to give this a more thorough review before coming to any conclusions.  In a previous blog post he recommended MSN or Yahoo.  But these are tools mostly for news monitoring.   I monitor legal industry and related technology blogs.  Plus they too seem way too busy for these weary eyes.  His last recommendation, Netvibes, looks promising.  I’ll be exploring that further, along with Protopage.  If you have experience using either, I’d love to hear from you. 

Stay tuned for feedback as my replacement search continues, along with the countdown to the sad end of iGoogle.

Are You Ready for Windows 8?

I’m not suggesting you run out and get Windows 8 as soon as it’s available.  I never allow my clients to venture out onto the bleeding edge unless they have no choice.  That’s a risk better undertaken by large firms with ample IT staff, who are accustomed to the bumps and burps of new software.  And it isn’t even time yet, since the Developer Preview was just released a couple of months ago. 

If you’re still using Vista, you shouldn’t even wait to upgrade if your system is capable of running Windows 7 and you can afford to migrate, as Windows 7 has been great from day one, and is so superior to Vista they’re not even in the same league.  Good old reliable XPsp3 is also ready for retirement in favor of Windows 7.  Windows 7 is more stable.  And that’s a much easier upgrade than from Vista.  

When will it be time to upgrade to Windows 8?  I’ll let you know.  Right now the feedback is very limited.  Stay tuned.

Nonetheless, eventually you will be upgrading your operating system to Windows 8.  It’s inevitable.  So you might as well check now to determine whether upgrades or replacements will be required to become Windows 8 compatible.  A quick visit to the Microsoft Compatibility Center will help you check all your devices and software.  That way you can spend your near-term dollars more wisely, by making sure they will work well for the next generation of software as well.  And that’s really the whole point of this post.  You don’t want to spend money now on software or hardware which will ultimately require replacement or further upgrade to run on Windows 8.  That would be foolish.

According to a WorkYourOffice blog post, the official minimum system requirements by Microsoft for computers to run Windows 8 are:

  • 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
  • 1 gigabyte (GB) RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit)
  • 16 GB available hard disk space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
  • DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver
  • Taking advantage of touch input requires a screen that supports multi-touch.

The post has a downloadable link for an executable program which purportedly checks your computer automatically for Windows 8 compatibility.  But since I am not familiar with this blog, I am reluctant to run it.  Despite the fact that it is a post which has been sited by one of my favorite blogs:  Gizmo’s Freeware.  Instead, I have chosen to visit the official Microsoft site, even though it’s a little more involved to check items by category.  And that is the link I have provided at the top of this post.  I couldn’t find a link on the Microsoft site to the program mentioned in the WorkYourOffice post.  That doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, especially since the Microsoft site is so complex, but one can’t be too careful.

Are Your Apple Apps Crashing?

I have been having a lot of difficulty downloading and updating my iPhone software and apps.  I thought it was just me until I came upon a recent article in CNET Daily News pointing a finger at the App store.  If you’re having a problem, you may want to report it to Apple, instead of just assuming you’re the only one with the problem, or it’s just a temporary glitch.

Recently I received a survey from Apple to complete.  They may regret requesting my feedback, because it was far from positive.  Let me say that I unequivocally love my iPhone and iPad.  I never thought I’d say that, at least not publicly.  But I know a good tool when I use it.  I have never regretted that my “last straw” frustration with my Blackberry caused me to throw it out the car window.  My husband was astonished, to say the least.  I had been a loyal, but increasingly frustrated, Crackberry addict through three models in a row.  It was a mostly-reliable but frustratingly limiting business tool.  Everything beyond the usual was such a hassle to accomplish.  I felt like the phone was purposely interfering with my ability to be more productive.

My reticence to use the iPhone was mostly based on security concerns.  But I made the leap regardless.  From day one, without so much as a helpful guide to follow, I was more productive than all those years using a Blackberry.  Everything was faster, more intuitive, and more fun.  That being said, my frustration with the App store has been ongoing since purchase.  S L O W W W W W  That about says it all.  It is the slowest darned app to load, connect, navigate, download, update, and whatever else I need to do. 

If Apple is smart, it will take heed of the customer dissatisfaction in this area, and make some improvements.  Since there seem to be some quality issues, it’s time for an overhaul of it’s worst single point of failure.  Want to hasten the process?  Make sure you let Apple know if you’re experiencing similar problems.

Free Browser-based Speech to Text Software

Once again I must tip my hat to Gizmo’s Freeware for clueing me in on the latest free tools.  Glad someone else is out there monitoring the world wide web for the latest and greatest! 

We know that no speech-to-text (voice recognition) software is perfect.  So I’m amused when attorneys look at the accuracy percentage of various packages, (Dragon NaturallySpeaking by Nuance is now up to 99% accuracy), and quickly calculate the number of errors per thousand words, whereupon they turn up their nose with an “unacceptable” snort.  Come on, your secretary is more accurate than that?  I don’t think so.  Even the most experienced secretary misses an occassional word either in typing or proofing.  Most of the “new generation” of assistants out there can’t spell, and they sure as heck don’t know how to proofread.

Anyway, I plan on checking out TalkTyper at my earliest moment.  You can read the original Gizmo’s post here.

Google Knowledge Graph

I keep track of changes in search engines through the popular “About.com: Web Search” blog.  The most recent post informed me about the new Google Knowledge Graph.  This is something that I’ve been hoping would appear in a “mainstream” search engine for a long time.  Instead of bringing up tons of matching words, we’re getting closer to a conceptual search wtih this new algorithm.  I think you’ll find it much more useful.

By the way, if you’ve not looked into all the various categories of information About.Com offers, you really should.  There’s something for every possible area of interest.  It reminds me of the early days of searching on Yahoo, with with way more categories to focus in.

Closing with a simple question . . . what the heck happened to the second half of May?  It went by in a nonosecond.

Do You Like Free Stuff?

 

No, I don’t really expect you to answer.  It’s a rhetorical question.  Of course you like free stuff.  We all do.  But we’ve been raised on the notion that there’s nothing good for free.  Not true.  And there’s a resource out there that reviews and categorizes the good stuff for you.   I’m talking about Gizmo’s Freeware.    I’ve been a subscriber for a long time, and have always appreciated the tips. 

Here’s the perfect example.  For my mother’s 88th birthday present, my sister and I gave her a Kindle.  Best darn thing we ever got her next to the gym membership we got her for her 50th birthday.  But Mom is such an avid reader — sometimes going through a book a day –that she eats through our gift certificates like a hot knife going through butter, and runs up quite a tab on her credit card as well.  She is always looking for the “bargain” books, regardless of whether or not she is really interested in the author or genre.  If the book is under $1 she’ll read it. She’ll be in heaven when I help her bookmark some of the 446 Places for free e-books and audio downloads recently published by Gizmo’s.  It will be an easy thing to download whatever she wants and move them to her Kindle.

Don’t have a Kindle and don’t want to purchase another piece of electronic stuff?  Well, how about free software that will turn your laptop, netbook, or desktop into a great e-reader?  Yep, Gizmo’s provides tips too, in addition to the details and links.

What do you like?  Are you an iPad or iPhone user?  Have you been to their App store?  It’s overwhelming, isn’t it?  There’s a ton of free or no cost applications.  Sure there are end-user ratings on some of the stuff, but nonetheless I’ve had the distinct displeasure of downloading many apps based on high ratings, and been sorely disappointed.  Gizmo’s isn’t the be-all and end-all expert, but when they review something and rate it highly, I have a higher level of confidence, based on experience, that it will work as I expect.  And the fact that they aggregate applications in meaningful ways that make sense to me, make them a great resource.  Take a look for example, at their list of the Best Free iPhone Apps.

I own no stock in Gizmo’s.  I’m just a fan who likes to share with others what I find useful.  Enjoy!

Smoking Hot News from Mobile World Congress

Today’s issue of CNET News is smoking hot.  It has a review of the 26 hottest phones and tablets shown at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.  There’s an article about the new Nokia 41-megapixel camera phone with digital zoom.  And there’s a great video offering a sneak preview of the new Windows 8 beta operating system.  Touch screen is but one new feature.  Wholly molly, this tech addict needs to start breathing into a paper bag to calm down.

Are You Having a Problem With Your Microsoft Outlook Rules?

Many people like myself have had a lot of problems with their Rules and Alerts in Outlook.  At first I thought that I was doing something wrong.  Sometimes my Rules worked properly, and sometimes the same Rules did not.  Sometimes things went to the proper folders automatically, and sometimes they just plain disappeared.  No one I talked to could explain what was happening.  I thought — hoped — that when I implemented MS Exchange this problem would go away.  It did, but only for a short while.  Now I know why.

As many of you know, I have been instructing lawyers and staff on how to use Microsoft Word, Outlook, Excel and PowerPoint for many years.  I teach privately inside firms.  And I teach publicly at the PA Bar AssociationPA Bar Institute’s annual Law Practice Management Institute, as well as at various county bars in PA from time to time.   I don’t claim to be facile in absolutely everything.  And there is never a class where something doesn’t embarrassingly fail to work, even though I’ve done it successfully many times before.   But I am always more knowledgeable than those I instruct, except occasionally for a feature here or there.  And because I was a big WordPerfect fan and power user in the past, I have the ability to ease the transition for users from WordPerfect to Word, by explaining how to do what they used to do, often in an easier manner using tools they didn’t know existed in Microsoft.

Another thing which makes me a valuable instructor is that I understand the challenges and needs of law firm users.  One of the most important combination of features I teach attorneys in Outlook is the use of folders and Rules.  Oh, and the use of Follow-up Flags, too.  Let me explain why.

I’ve found that  most attorneys are increasingly swamped with in-bound information.  Their inbox becomes so crowded so quickly, it becomes almost impossible to stay on top of everything that’s important.   Typically, the inbound content is not just about client matters anymore.  There are electronically delivered pieces of subscribed information from news sites, blogs, e-newsletters etc.  There are all of the social media requests to connect on LinkedIn and friend on Facebook.  There are all the updates on activities of others we’ve connected with on social media.  There are tons of sales-oriented emails from vendors, educational groups, marketing people.  There is no doubt a certain amount of personal correspondence.   And then, on top, there are the back and forth “conversations” with clients, co-counsel, and other parties involved with various client/matters.  This is what I consider the most important content in the inbox.

By setting up a folder for each active client, and then creating email  Rules based on who has sent the email, one can automatically  route emails related to particular clients directly to the client’s folder.  Customize “Outlook  Today” to display all the active client folders.  (It’s easy to add and subtract which folders display in this view — it takes literally seconds to make a change.)  Make sure you have checked the box “When starting, go directly to Outlook Today” which you can get to from a variety of locations.  Now, when you open Outlook, you will immediately see whether emails came in related to on-going matters, and each folder listed is a live link to the actual folder itself, so it’s easy to get there to read the new emails.  You don’t miss seeing it just because it’s automatically routed to a folder.

By avoiding your Inbox and going directly to the active client folders to review new correspondence, you’re allowing the cream to rise to the top.  You don’t wade through all the less important stuff in your Inbox — likely getting distracted by the latest joke or puppy pictures — and maybe run out of time before you get to the red hot messages lower down.  You first go to the really important stuff.  Later, when and if you have time, you can check out the other “stuff” in your inbox.  I encourage attorneys to create folders for newsletters, social media news and requests, and more.  That way you can prioritize your email review time better, especially when it’s limited.

Creating Rules is easy in Outlook.  There’s a wizard which walks you through what you want to do fairly quickly and easily. Once you’re created one or two, you’ll be an expert.  And you’ll wonder why you didn’t avail yourself of this tool combination earlier.  But now, let’s get back to the problem.  A problem I only recently discovered had a relatively simple solution.

Microsoft, in its infinite wisdom, has for some unknown reason decided that 32K of memory is sufficient for storage of Rules for those who have cloud-based Exchange.  It isn’t.  For those with in-house Exchange, their limit is 64K for Rules, which is built into Outlook.  Again, Microsoft feels this is sufficient room.  It isn’t.  And if you don’t have Exchange server at all, you are still limited to the 64K storage for Rules.   Problem is, there’s nowhere you can go to find out how much of that memory you’ve used, so when you hit the limit, some of your Rules just stop working, or don’t work properly.  You don’t even get to decide which.  If you go to create more Rules when you are over the limit, and only if you have Exchange server, only then will you get an error message that tells you that you have no more room for Rules.  With just Outlook, you get no error message . . . some of your Rules just stop working, and not always the same ones.

You will think you’re crazy, like I did.  You’re not.  Because when something that was working perfectly stops for no apparent reason, or suddenly works unreliably, you just assume it’s you.  Especially when support tells you nothing is wrong.  If you’re not extremely persistent, you get nowhere, and no explanation.  Eventually, you just give up.  I admit I did.

It was not until  my new partner, Jennifer Ellis, finally believed that there really was something strange going on, she was doggedly determined to get to the bottom of it.   And eventually she did.  I was apparently using their best feature too well, and had exceeded the size threshold.

We put in a request to increase the storage size for my Rules from 32K to the 64K built into Outlook.  That request was granted in a reasonable length of time.  But it wasn’t long before I hit that limit as well.  We put in another request to up the limit.  This was more difficult.  Microsoft had to be “convinced” that I deserved to have more memory.   We had to prove that my Rule names were optimized for saving space, that they were not duplicative, and that they were important to the way I do work using Outlook.   Come on, really?  Yes!   Finally, after a month or so back and forth, my size limit was increased to 128K.  With that size increase, all my Rules worked reliably, and I was finally able to regain control of my 350 – 450 daily  inbound emails.

A short while ago, Microsoft made us migrate to their new “365” product.  Immediately thereafter, my Rules experienced the same problem as before.  It was apparent I had lost memory.  Most of my Rules started acting erratically, or stopped functioning, immediately after the conversion.   However, what we thought would be a simple request to up the storage size — after all we had been through the drill before — hit a rock wall.  It seems that Microsoft had hard-coded the 64K limit into Outlook itself, and because this is not considered a “bug” they will only fix it if they get complaints.  Now, they’ve already gotten quite a number of complaints, we’re advised, but not enough to move this up to actually get it resolved.  They tell me that they must have more complaints to up the priority.

So, this post is both informative, and self-serving.   Perhaps you didn’t know about the power that Rules and creation of client-specific folders could give you to tame your inbox.  Now you do.  Perhaps you’ve been using Rules already, but weren’t getting reliable results and didn’t know why.  Now you do.  Now to the self-serving part:  I urge you to take a moment to contact Microsoft and let them know that it makes no sense whatsoever to purposely limit use of one of their most beneficial features in Outlook.  If enough of you out there join me in complaining, it will be fixed.  And it will be fixed quickly, because some important eyes are watching the “buzz” about this  right now.  So please, help me help us all get this resolved.   The phone number for Microsoft support is  (866) 764 5574.  The email page  for support is at http://support.microsoft.com/.

Outline Numbering in Word

Me and my partner, Jennifer Ellis, just returned from presenting numerous seminars at The Paralegal Institute and The Law Practice Management and Development Institute, both of which were held at the beautiful Lancaster Marriott Hotel & Convention Center.  I presented, among others, a session on Word for Paralegals, and Word for Attorneys, respectively, at each institute.  I ran into a frustrating and embarassing problem when demonstrating Outline Numbering in Word.  I promised those who attended I would get to the bottom of the problem and post the resolution on my blog.  I am making good on that promise with this post.

While still at the conference, I contacted our Microsoft trainer, Judith Kraft, to see if she had a solution.  Judy’s suggestion was worth noting, however it was not the cause of the problem I experienced at the conference.  I had already detected that a Microsoft Word default setting was, ahem, wrong, and fixed it.  But it’s likely that you haven’t, so you will want to check this first, before you attempt to follow my instructions.

It seems that by default the automatic numbered lists check box might not be checked in the Autocorrect section.  To get there:  Click the Office button / select Word Options in bottom right / Proofing / Autocorrect / make sure that “autoformat as you type” is checked.  If not, click in the box to turn it on.  The default is NOT turned on in the 2007 and 2010 versions out of the box. 

Ok, but as I said, that isn’t what was causing the pesky problem during the demonstration.  Then I remembered that when I last suffered a similar embarassment, it was demonstrating the exact same feature in Word 2003.  And I further recalled having the problem as far back as Word 2000, when I first encountered it.

The resolution at the time was to accept the fact that the one outline numbering format/style which seemed to be the most popular and appropriate with/for attorneys was in fact the only one which was buggy.  It just doesn’t work.  Could it be that all these years later, the problem had not yet been fixed?  Inplausible.  Impossible.  Yet, unbelievably, absolutely true!!

Since every outline style is completely customizable — one of the reasons for the demonstration — I decided to prove the hypothesis by using a different style, and making it look like the other one.  In doing so, I also discovered yet another shortcut which you will find makes it even better and easier to do this.  Here are the steps I performed:

  1. From the HOME tab, click on the Multi-level List Icon (the main icon, not the pull-down arrow next to it).
  2. When the menu opens, I noted that “None” was selected.  I immediately scrolled down to the bottom section of the dialog box and selected “Define New Multilevel List”. 
  3. I clicked on Level 1 to modify in the top-left box. 
    • I went to “Number style for this Level” and clicked on the down arrow, and selected  “I, II, III” for roman numerals.
    • I went into “Enter formatting for number box” immediately above.  I removed the right parentheses and replaced it with a period.  [Remember, you format this the way you want.  Just because I choose to put in or take out a parentheses or period, doesn’t mean you have to do the same.  You format each level how you want.]
    • I clicked on “Font” immediately to the right.  I picked the font I normally use for default, since it’s pretty likely it will match whatever document I use it in.  While you are in there, you should notice whether your font color says “No Color” and if so, change it to “Automatic”.  [If you want your numbers to stand out, you can pick whatever other color you want.]  I also chose to make the numbering Bold.  I also noticed that all of the “Effects” were shaded.  Just to make sure there were no errors, I purposely checked, and then unchecked each, so no special effects would be inadvertently applied.  [Remember, if you do this right, you won’t have to do it again, so take the time to do it right.]
  4. Anyone who does outlines which contain roman numerals, or have more than 9 items at the same “level” knows that your indenting can quickly misalign when your number is more than one digit in length if you only use the default .25 inch indent after the number.  So I changed the “Text indent at” setting from .25 to .50. 
  5. Here is the new step which saved tons of time aligning all the following levels.  I checked the box immediately to the right labeled “Set for All Levels.”  It opened a dialog box, where I changed both “Text Position for First Level” and “Additional indent for each level:” from .25 to .50.  By doing this, I didn’t have to do anything for the additional levels except for repeating step 3a through 3c above.  [Note:  for those of you who don’t want the text to all align like on this list – perhaps you want to have the text return to the position under the number for second and subsequent lines, or even wrap to the left margin, it will mean that you will want to change the “Additional indent for each level” number.]
  6. Once all nine levels were defined to my satisfaction and looked pretty good in the preview screen, I clicked “OK” and I was in my document at “I”. [Note:  for some reason, the “Numbered List” key was activated, and not the “Multi-level Numbering” key.  But I continued anyway, and it worked fine.
  7. Now came the testing.  I entered at least two lines of text for each number, and at least two numbers for each level.  I tested all nine levels to make sure that everything was indenting and wrapping just as I wanted, and that the labels were as I wanted. 
  8. Avoid the most common mistake made with Outline numbering.  To move down (right) a level, you press the “Increase Indent” key, not the Tab key.  To move up (left) a level, you press the “Decrease Indent” key.  Again, not the Tab key.  While Tab may appear to work correctly, you are putting errors in the side-stream of your document which very well could cause it to corrupt later. 
  9. Avoid the second most common mistake made with any kind of numbering – flat list or multi-level.  If you want an extra blank line between your numbered items, don’t try using an extra return, turning off numbering, and then another return and turning numbering back on.  Instead, build the space into each paragraph by going into Home / Paragraph.  Select the little right arrow on the right of the Paragraph section label to open the dialog box, and adjust the “Space After” setting.  [Note:  Word hates blank paragraphs.  It’s designed to have the extra blank spaces included within the paragraph definition.]
    • You’ll note that if you use the up and down arrows, by default the increments will change in 6 pt increments.  But you can just select (click and drag over) the number and type in anything you want.  If you’re using 10 pt for your font, then putting a 10 pt space after your paragraph will give you the equivalent of one blank line.  If you’re using a 12 pt font, then you’ll want to space 12 pt after the paragraph for the proportionate blank line.  And so forth.
    • When you correctly include the extra space within the paragraph, you’ll discover that when you move things around you won’t wind up with blank paragraphs (your extra blank lines) getting numbered in error, and having to turn numbering on and off manually.  Again, your current technique may look like it’s working, but it’s actually putting errors in your document side-stream which can eventually cause it to corrupt. By building the space into the paragraph, Word intelligently selects the paragraph with the extra space, and moves them together without causing numbering errors.
  10. Avoid the third most common mistake made with any kind of numbering– flat list or multi-level.  If you want multiple paragraphs within your numbered item, don’t try using a regular return, turn off numbering, type the next part, and then turn numbering back on after however many desired paragraphs are finished. You know what happens already – it is often difficult to align the text in the additional paragraphs.  And of course you’re doing additional work.  But the real problem shows up when you decide you want to take that multi-paragraph numbered item and move it elsewhere.  Each individual paragraph winds up getting its own number in the new location, and you have to start making manual corrections.  All of which puts more errors in your document side-stream, which lead to document corruption. When you want a multi-paragraph numbered item, like this one, you want to use a soft return instead of a hard return.  A hard return is created by pressing “Enter” whereas a soft return is created by pressing “Shift+Enter”.  You’ll notice that instead of a paragraph symbol, you’ll see a bent arrow.  You’ll want to do two soft returns to get the appearance of a blank line between paragraphs.Word will not see separate paragraphs, since there is no hard paragraph return.  It will intelligently select all of the paragraphs as one item when you copy / cut / paste.  There will be no numbering errors made in the new destination, and no corrections to make.

    [Note:  some of you may not know about intelligent selection.  If you put your mouse in the gutter to the left of any paragraph you want to select – you’ll see an arrow instead of the blinking cursor — and double-click, Word will intelligently select the paragraph in entirety, including any spacing before or after, and including what looks like multiple paragraphs thanks to soft returns.]

SAVE YOUR DOCUMENT.  Even if you’ve tested the outline with total gibberish for text, it doesn’t matter.  As long as you’ve got all nine levels on there and looking as you want, and the spacing between paragraphs just as you want, give it a name and save it.  Why?  My next post will tell you how to make a style out of the outline in this document, so you never have to do this again.  Ever.  You’ll only have to turn on the style, and it will be perfect every time.  So stay tuned!

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