Simplified eNewsletters with TinyLetter

tinyletter

If you find the prospect of setting up an eNewsletter to be daunting, you might consider the free-to-use TinyLetter, a subsidiary of MailChimp. With TinyLetter, it is more like sending a long email or blog post to subscribers, rather than “creating campaigns.” It’s very simple to use (there are no templates to set up), and it lets you read replies to your letter, unlike with traditional eNewsletters.  Though eNewsletters are still best practices for businesses because of their robust features such as surveys and ROI tracking, TinyLetter is a way to get your thoughts out, send holiday greetings, or position yourself as an expert in your practice area. You can archive your letters and make them accessible like a blog, or you can have them be email-only. Because of the intimate nature of email and the fact that it was sent by you the individual and not a business, Tinyletter can be a breath of fresh air in a cluttered inbox. There is a 5,000 subscriber limit, and you can add your contacts either through Gmail or a csv spreadsheet.

Signature Stamps in PDF documents

Did you know you can insert your signature into a PDF document if you have Adobe Acrobat or Reader DC or Nuance PowerPDF? It takes a few steps to go from a scanned image of your physical signature to an electronic stamp, so first follow these handy steps from LPMT and the Paperless Chase that walk you through the process in Adobe’s products. The process for Nuance’s product is very similar – create a new stamp and upload your transparent signature, then stamp away! The problem is that sometimes the signature doesn’t appear for some who open the document, most often when you are adding it to a fillable PDF form. To remedy that there are a few options.

In Adobe Acrobat DC there are a few ways to ensure the signature stays put:

1.) Once you have applied the signature stamp and saved the document, print the document to PDF. The biggest downside to this method is that any and all hyperlinks will be rendered plain text.

2.) Flatten the file in Adobe. This will only be an option for Adobe Acrobat (not the free Reader) and while the script available for download from this post on the Acrolaw blog by Rick Borstein was written for Acrobat X it will work in DC. Flattening takes the additional layers (comments, stamps, markup, form fields, etc.) and makes them a permanent part of the document. The script is much easier than the instructions, trust me!

In Nuance PowerPDF Advanced try this:

1.) To flatten a document in Nuance PowerPDF go to “Advanced Processing” in the toolbar tab then choose “Flatten File”. A dialog box will appear with options you can toggle on or off via checkboxes. Make sure the checkbox next to “Stamp” is selected and click “ok”. You signature stamp is now a permanent part of the document.

Acrobat DC fill and sign and Nuance PowerPDF’s Sign Document both make it possible to create a self-signed digital ID and customize them to use your transparent signature. This will add additional protections such as locking the document against editing.

 

What to do if you forgot to save your work and the Recovery menu doesn’t appear

Oh no! Did you forget to save that Word 2013 document or Excel 2013 spreadsheet? It may not be lost if you know where to look, and the process is very similar for both programs. The first step is to restart the program. This should prompt the Document Recovery menu to appear.

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From the Document recovery menu, you can open, save, or delete the files. If the document recovery pane does not appear, there’s still one thing left to try.  Under the “File” tab, click “Open” and then click “Recent Documents.” Scroll to the bottom of all of your recent documents, and you will see a button that says “Recover Unsaved Documents” (in Excel, it will say “Recover Unsaved Workbooks”).

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A menu will pop up with all your unsaved files.

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Find the document you are looking for, open it, and then save it right away. If you can’t find the document there, but haven’t given up hope, there are more methods to try on this support page: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/316951 The article also provides steps for locating missing files in older versions of Word.

Where to Find Free-to-Use Images on the Web — FOR FREE!

Images can be a powerful tool in your online marketing, but how do you get them? You can take your own of course, but the web has a few resources on where you can find images that are not only have free licenses for commercial use, but are also completely free as well.

First up is www.morguefile.com. Named after an old newspaper-industry term for where they store print templates, Morguefile is a great resource for finding free images. Search Morguefile’s image database by typing in the keyword (for this example we will use “Traffic Light”).

Morgue FIle

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All of the images that appear will be free in terms of cost, but also in terms of license. You can even modify them and use them for commercial purposes.

Though the search feature is not a good as MorgueFile’s, www.unsplash.com is filled with beautiful, high resolution images. Explore Unsplash’s database either through search or by browsing their collections.

unsplash

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Like MorgueFile, it’s free in every sense.

The New York Public Library has released a treasure trove of free-to-use images. It features prints, photographs, maps, manuscripts, and even streaming video. This year, NYPL enhanced access to all public domain items in the Digital Collection. Visit http://publicdomain.nypl.org/ to search.

NYPL

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Restrictions and Permissions Settings for Editing a Microsoft Word Document

Do you need to share a word processing document with someone but want to limit what text the recipient can edit? For instance, would you like to create a pre-approved contract that allows some clauses to be editable? Or do you have standard internal documents that you would like to make available to everyone but limit editing of certain portions? Did you know that, unlike PDF creation tools that only allow a user to apply copy, print and edit restrictions to the whole document, Microsoft Word gives the document creator a number of granular editing restrictions?  Just go to the Review tab and click on “Restrict Editing”  in the “Protect” group.

Restrict Editing toolbar

To apply editing restrictions in Microsoft Word 2010 or 2013 open the “Review” tab and click on “Restrict Editing” in the “Protect” group. This will open a new pane with two restriction options. If your firm makes extensive use of Styles and templates the first option “Formatting restrictions” may be of interest because you can keep others from changing formatted Styles, which includes auto-numbering, table of authorities and citations.

Exceptions to Read Only

The other restriction option is “Editing restrictions”. Check the box and then choose from the drop down menu to limit use of the document to track changes, add comments, or fill in form fields (see how to turn a MS Word document into a fillable form in our How To… Automate Functions in Word 2013 video). The last option in the drop down menu is “No changes (read only)”.

If you select to restrict a document to “Comments” “Filling in Forms” or “No changes (Read only)” another option appears, which is to allow exceptions to the editing restrictions. Simply select text in the document that you will allow users to have full editing rights to.  Click “Everyone” allow people to edit the selected sections.

Finally, click “Yes, Start Enforcing Protection”.  You will be prompted to create a password and confirm it. If you skip this step anyone who has access the document can stop enforcement of protections.

highlight editable regions

After you start enforcement anyone who opens the document (including you until you enter the password and stop enforcing protection) will be restricted to commenting, filling in forms, or merely viewing the document EXCEPT the portions that they have full edit rights to, which are highlighted for them.

Now that you know you can do this, I bet you can find some reasons to put it into action!

Privacy Controls in Facebook

Do you know who you’re sharing with on Facebook? The audience selector tool is available for you when you post status updates, photos and more. Click the tool and select which audiences you want to share with. By default, Facebook allows you to select making your post entirely public, available to “only friends,” or set to “only me.”

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You can further customize who you share with by selecting “More Options.” An expanded menu will appear that allows you to select Smart Lists, which are automatically generated based on profile information. I have indicated on Facebook I live in Chicago, IL, so I see “Chicago, Illinois Area” as a Smart List option. When selected, this means my post will only be shared with people who live in Chicagoland.

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To get even more specific, you can select “Custom,” which will bring up a new, “Custom Privacy” window that allows you to restrict the post from certain people.

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You can select to share with certain people or lists by name, but you can also restrict who can see the post. Type in the names of the people you do not want to see the post in the “Don’t share with” field and select them from the list. The post will be shared with all of your friends except for whom you named.

Facebook’s audience selector tool remembers whom you shared with the last time you posted something and uses the same audience when you share again until you change it. If you choose a custom setting, such as Friends Except for (insert person here) for a post, your next post will also be set to that custom setting unless you change the audience when you post.

You can change the privacy of your posts retroactively, meaning that after you’ve shared a post, you have the option to change who can see it. If you want to change the audience of a post after you’ve shared it, click the audience selector and select a new audience.

Legal Tech #TBT – Special Prince Edition courtesy of Jim Calloway

Prince’s passing has all of us sad, but Director of Management Assistance Program at Oklahoma Bar Association and Legal Services Consultant, Jim Calloway is making us nostalgic with his post, Legal Technology Like It’s 1999. It’s a fond look back at all the law office technology from the year Prince paid tribute to. The more things change, the more things stay the same. Checkout his post here: http://www.lawpracticetipsblog.com/2016/04/legal-technology-like-its-1999.html

Manage Your Excel Spreadsheet with a Table

If you’re working with a list of data, you can turn it into a Table.  Excel gives you some features that make manipulating this data much easier. Your column headings will always be visible, and your rows are now formatted with alternating, colored ledger lines (like a checkbook register), which makes your data easier to see. Each column now has the AutoFilter dropdown menu. You can use AutoFilter to filter or sort columns of your data. It will sort everything all together at once, so you don’t run into the common problem where you sort one column, and then everything is no longer corresponding to the cells around it.

 

To convert your data into a Table, select your data. On the Home tab, under the Styles group, select “Format as Table” and choose the table formatting that looks best to you.

 

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Now that you’ve converted your list into a Table, you’ll see that the Ribbon has now given you a new tab called Table Tools Design. You can check “Total Row” in the Table Styles Options group. When checked, a row will appear at the bottom of your data that calculates different totals you can toggle for sum, average, and count.

To take advantage of the AutoFilter feature, scroll up to the top with the column labels. Click the dropdown arrow of the column you want to sort. In my this case, I will sort the Date Opened column.

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As you can see in the dropdown menu, I can sort Oldest to Newest or the opposite, but what’s cool is that I can quickly check and uncheck the months. If I only want to see what happened in November, I just uncheck October and December and now my table is only showing November.

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If I want to see October and December data again, I just go back to the dropdown menu and recheck the boxes. Nothing’s been lost!

 

You can go back to a regular Excel range by clicking “Convert to Range” in the Tools group of the Design Table Tools ribbon.

 

For my example, I am using a spreadsheet of 140 pro bono clients that are in nine clinics. You can get a copy of this spread sheet to fiddle around with yourself here: https://excelesquire.wordpress.com/2015/07/19/analyze-matter-data-with-pivot-tables/

Simplified eNewsletters with TinyLetter

If you find the prospect of setting up an eNewsletter to be daunting, you might consider the free-to-use TinyLetter, a subsidiary of MailChimp. With TinyLetter, it is more like sending a long email or blog post to subscribers, rather than “creating … [Read more]

Signature Stamps in PDF documents

Did you know you can insert your signature into a PDF document if you have Adobe Acrobat or Reader DC or Nuance PowerPDF? It takes a few steps to go from a scanned image of your physical signature to an electronic stamp, so first follow these handy … [Read more]

What to do if you forgot to save your work and the Recovery menu doesn’t appear

Oh no! Did you forget to save that Word 2013 document or Excel 2013 spreadsheet? It may not be lost if you know where to look, and the process is very similar for both programs. The first step is to restart the program. This should prompt the … [Read more]

Where to Find Free-to-Use Images on the Web — FOR FREE!

Images can be a powerful tool in your online marketing, but how do you get them? You can take your own of course, but the web has a few resources on where you can find images that are not only have free licenses for commercial use, but are also … [Read more]

Restrictions and Permissions Settings for Editing a Microsoft Word Document

Do you need to share a word processing document with someone but want to limit what text the recipient can edit? For instance, would you like to create a pre-approved contract that allows some clauses to be editable? Or do you have standard internal … [Read more]

Privacy Controls in Facebook

Do you know who you’re sharing with on Facebook? The audience selector tool is available for you when you post status updates, photos and more. Click the tool and select which audiences you want to share with. By default, Facebook allows you to … [Read more]

Legal Tech #TBT – Special Prince Edition courtesy of Jim Calloway

Prince's passing has all of us sad, but Director of Management Assistance Program at Oklahoma Bar Association and Legal Services Consultant, Jim Calloway is making us nostalgic with his post, Legal Technology Like It's 1999. It's a fond look back … [Read more]

Manage Your Excel Spreadsheet with a Table

If you’re working with a list of data, you can turn it into a Table.  Excel gives you some features that make manipulating this data much easier. Your column headings will always be visible, and your rows are now formatted with alternating, colored … [Read more]

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