Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tip #1 - how to avoid orphan headings

This is probably one of my favorite tips - I use it a lot when I'm writing articles or pleadings.  A common problem people have is when their headings land on the bottom of the page without any text underneath.  Most people just hit enter to put it on to the next page but if things move around, that title may end up on the next page with a bunch of spaces above it and that will have to be fixed.  It can be a real hassle to make sure all of those things look right, especially if they keep changing.  So, here's how to fix it in Word (WordPerfect users, if there is a similar trick, please send it to me).

1.  Highlight the offending heading and, if there's a space below it that is also on the same page, that space
2. Click Format, then Paragraph
3.Click the Line and Page Breaks tab
4. Check the box next to "Keep with Next"

Now your heading will always be kept with the paragraph below it and you won't have to fix it again.  You can do this for every heading you use or just do it when you see an orphaned heading.

Time saved!


Welcome readers!

I wanted to give a little description of what this blog is about.  I have been a lawyer or legal academic for almost 10 years and, in that time, I have learned a series of tricks or shortcuts that make legal research and writing easier.  Anyone who is or has ever been in law school should have gotten the basics of both research and writing (IRAC, I'm looking at you) but practicing law gives you a whole new set of teachers and makes certain time-saving techniques life-saving as well.  So, I will be posting on a (roughly) weekly basis my latest tip to save time or correct a common error.  Please feel free to email me your own tips (you will get credit on the blog!) or even ask me a question for how to do something quicker.

Thanks for reading!