Tech Tip: Create A Table Of Contents From PDF Bookmarks

Bookmarks in a PDF are very helpful for readers to navigate to different sections of a document. They also lets the document creator highlight areas for readers to “jump” to without having to page through the document. Whether you are using Adobe Acrobat or Nuance Power Converter Pro, the process to create bookmarks is nearly identical. You can add bookmarks manually  by selecting text in the document and press keys <ctrl+b> to add that text as a bookmark, or you can also have either program recognize Microsoft Word’s Styles and automatically add headers and subheaders as bookmarks. Microsoft Word Styles can also be used to generate a table of contents in the originating Word document and in the PDF version of the original document. However, there are many times where the source documents have no table of contents or several documents are combined into a single PDF.  Lawyers may want to also generate a hyperlinked and printable table of contents, and Nuance’s PowerPDF Advanced will easily create a hyperlinked table of contents from the PDF bookmarks you create.

Once you have created your bookmarks in Nuance PowerPDF Advanced, with the bookmarks view opened  click on the wrench icon in the Bookmarks tools menu.  Toward the bottom of the options that appear click to  create a “Table of Contents”. Use the settings to choose how it looks and how many levels deep to display. Once those decisions have been made click “ok” and then decided where you want the Table of Contents to be (first page, after the cover page, etc.). Voila a hyperlinked, automatically generated paginated table of contents will be inserted into your document.  Once you have created the TOC you have options to update it, or export it as a separate document in PDF.

Click to expand

Create Table of Contents from Bookmarks

 

How many days do I have again?

It’s hard to calculate how many days are between a certain day and another, especially if they are far apart. If your deadline to file a motion is 60 days before your hearing date on October 12th, 2015, what date is that? Luckily, there are several ways to determine that calculation. We’re going to cover Excel, Outlook, and a web tool called Timeanddate.com.

If you frequently need to keep track of court calendar deadlines, services like Deadlines.com (formerly Deadlines on Demand) or Juralaw (if you practice in Illinois) can keep the dates straight for a price. There are several ways to count how many days for free, however, and best of all you can use these tricks for all your deadlines—not just court specific ones.

 

The first is with Excel. In cell A1 type the date of your hearing: 10/12/2015. In cell B1 type “=A1-60” and hit enter. Excel will calculate the date automatically, changing the cell contents to say “8/13/2015.” If the date of your hearing changes, replace the date in cell A1 and the date of your filing deadline will automatically change with it.

excel screenshot

 

To find out if that date falls on a weekend, click cell B1, go to the cell formatting drop down menu under the Home tab and select “Long Date.”

long date excel spreadsheet

 

The cell data will change to tell you what day of the week 8/13/2015 is. In this example it is Thursday, but if it were on a weekend you could adjust your deadline as needed.

If you don’t have Excel handy, you can also add or subtract a date on the web. Timeanddate.com has several different calendaring calculators. Use their date calculator to add or subtract from a date. Still using the example of 60 days until your hearing date on 10/12/2015, enter 10/12/2015 as your start date. Select “(-) Subtract” from the dropdown menu, and enter “60” under “Days.”

subtractdateweb

Press “Calculate new date.” The result will be “Thursday, August 13, 2015.” Timeanddate.com also features calculators to determine the number of days between two dates, time duration between exact times and finding the week number of any date.

Finally, there’s Outlook.

Enter the October 12, 2015 hearing for your client on your calendar. After the appointment is on your schedule, bring up the Go To Date box by right clicking the date (or typing Ctrl – G if you’re a keyboard shortcuts person).

hearing for my client

In the box that appears, place your cursor before the date and type “60 days before”

60 days before

Press OK, and you will be brought to August 13, 2015, where you can now enter a new event for your motion filing deadline. You can also find out dates in the future by typing “x days after.”

Pick A Date

When you need to initiate a meeting, it can quickly turn into a mess of emails without a resolution. Scheduling tools can help take out some of the hassle, and one that really stands out is Doodle. Doodle creates meeting time polls you can send to recipients. Setting up an account is easy and free, and it’s available for mobile.

Simply fill out the details of your meeting and then propose dates off Doodle’s calendar:

doodle calendar

 

After you’ve selected the dates, choose time options:

doodle time

Users then will receive a poll via email where they can check every option that works for them. Once you’ve set up your basic poll, Doodle provides you additional settings: you can make the poll visible to only you; limit the choices down to one option; limit the number of participants per option (to create a registration form); or allow the respondent to say “If I need to be there.” There are similar products out there, such as Meeting Wizard and WeTime. See which one works best for you!

 

 

 

Get on Track (With Track Changes)

Microsoft Word provides a handy feature for document collaboration called “Track Changes”. Used by professionals the world over, this functionality has many benefits and a few pitfalls. For instance, when receiving a document that has Track Changes enabled it is often difficult to read because of all the markup. Did you know that you can make it much easier to focus on important text changes by going to “Show Markup” and uncheck “Formatting”?

Turn off formatting markup in Track Changes

Turn off formatting markup in Track Changes

Track Changes with no format tracking is much easier to read

Track Changes with no format tracking is much easier to read

When you send out a document with Track Changes enabled you can click on the arrow in the Track Changes button and select “Change Tracking Options” to toggle off “Track Formatting” so your collaborator can have a cleaner copy of the changes too!

Turn off formatting in Track Changes when sending a tracked document

Turn off formatting in Track Changes when sending a tracked document

What if you forgot to turn on “Track Changes” when you sent out a document and now you want to see if there are changes in the returned document? No problem! In the Review tab, Compare group click Compare and choose “Compare” to do a side by side blackline of your document versus the one you’ve just received. In the options you can toggle off all formatting differences so you will have a clean comparison of the differences in the text, without formatting adding an unnecessary layer of complexity.

Options for Document Comparison

Options for Document Comparison

Compare feature show blackline, plus original and updated document in three panes

Compare feature show blackline, plus original and updated document in three panes

Want to learn more about using Track Changes? Check out this useful article from PC World article “How to track changes in Microsoft Word without going insane”.

Note-taking Tips with Attorney at Work

The folks at Attorney at Work invited Catherine and I to join a team of legal technology experts and weigh in on our favorite tip for taking notes in meetings and making them actually usable. Here’s what we had to say:

Catherine Sanders Reach:  I try on note-taking apps like a little girl trying on Easter dresses. I might stick with one for a while, but soon enough I’ll want another.

The one note-taking tactic that has never let me down is pen and paper. I can write faster with a pen, paper lets me free-hand in the margins, and I can doodle (because doodling makes you think better — it has been proven). Yes, I’ve tried Penultimate and many other iPad apps with a stylus but it just doesn’t feel the same. However, I have learned that to organize and share the notes, or refer to them again, I can scan the notes with my Android phone with Evernote Premium and annotate them further with Skitch or use the new iOS scanner app from Evernote. Since my initial notes are hardly ever in a state to share them with someone else, when I need to email them out, I retype the notes first, then save the email in the folder with the scanned original. That activity takes extra time but helps me solidify the information and organize my thoughts.

However, even though I may walk into a meeting with trusty pen and paper, I always have my phone out to check my calendar and add events, tasks and important items as the need arises in the meeting.

 

Nora Regis: I swear by my Livescribe 3 smartpen. It’s a ballpoint pen with a computer and audio-recorder embedded. The pen’s microphone records audio of your meeting or deposition while also recording what you write on its special Anoto digital paper, and it syncs and indexes them together. After a meeting, tap your notes and the audio will begin to play to the exact moment you wrote your note.

The secret is the special Anoto paper that features an imperceptible dot design the pen reads. Livescribe sells notebooks with this paper, but you can also print it out with a laser printer capable of at least 600 dpi. The notebooks feature calculator cards so the pen works as a calculator as well. You can share your notes with others in a “pencast” via email, Facebook, Google Docs or Evernote. Your notes can be saved as an interactive PDF with Adobe Reader (version 10 and higher), too. Never miss a word again!

 

Visit http://www.attorneyatwork.com/tech-tips-note-taking-digital-dictation-apps/ to see what the other experts had to say. We’ll be contributing to this series each month, so be sure to check back!

Know What You Are Sending (With A Little Help) in MS Word

Microsoft can warn you  before sending, saving or printing a document with comments or tracked changes

Microsoft can warn you before sending, saving or printing a document with comments or tracked changes

Eighteen jurisdictions have ethics opinions on metadata.  All of them suggest that a lawyer who is sending an electronic document should take reasonable precautions to prevent disclosure of confidential information. While technically not metadata, the comments and tracked changes in a Microsoft Word document do present a significant opportunity to unintentionally expose  confidential information.  There are many ways to remove and reduce exposure of metadata, but one very important aspect is that the sender is aware of what is being sent. In some cases you may fully intend to send a document with comments and tracked changes.

Whether intentional or not, a notification that a document you are saving, sending, or printing has tracked changes or comments could be useful.  Fortunately you can do exactly that with a setting in MS Word.  In Word 2010-13 go to File – Options – Trust Center – Trust Center Settings – Privacy Options and check the box that says “Warn before printing, saving, or sending a file that contains tracked changes or comments”.

Once this option is checked if you click to save or save as, print to a physical printer or to PDF,  save to PDF or use a PDF conversion tool like Acrobat or Nuance, or use any command under the “Save and Send” menu you will get a warning that the document has either comments and/or tracked changes and asks you to click yes to continue.  However, the warning system is fallible because if you attach the file from an email program, such as MS Outlook you will get no notice.

CBA Future of the Law Week is Coming 2/17-2/20

The Chicago Bar Association Young Lawyers Section and Law Practice & Technology and The Chicago Bar Foundation are excited to invite you to attend the Future of the Law Week events. Every day we will present a new cutting edge topic on how to practice like Steve Austin (better…stronger…faster). We’ll also have a Future Fair where you can meet organizations and companies that are helping lawyers respond to client’s needs while investing in their own. Plus a reception to kick it off and lunch for the finale!

Week at a Glance:

To get all the details see our Chicago Bar Association Future of the Law Week Guide. Hope to see you there!

Five ways to have a better morning.

Morning StretchFor those of us who struggle with mornings, hit quadruple snooze until our iPhone alarms lap each other, and despise the early morning meeting; Here are five ways to get your day in gear, and on the road with time to spare.

1. Get a real alarm clock and place it across the room.

It’s been said that a trip to the gym is easier once you put your gym shoes on. The same is true for getting out of bed. Once you’re actually up, and have walked across the room, you have to make a conscious decision to crawl back under the covers and go to sleep. Snoozing your phone alarm on the night stand, or silencing an alarm right next to you is offers little resistance to oversleeping.

2. Pre-make your breakfast.

Having something delicious to look forward to in the morning is a great motivator. Here are a few easy to make morning meals that are both healthy and commute friendly.

i. Granola Parfaits – Three Ways

ii. Easy Muffin Tin Mini-Omelets

iii. Freezer Friendly Breakfast Sandwiches

iv. Overnight Slow Cooker Oatmeal

3. Drink a glass of water.

One tall glass of water first thing in the morning will do much more for your energy level than any amount of espresso. Drinking water jump starts your metabolism, digestive system and increases brain function.

4. Lay out your clothes and effects the night before.

Scrambling around the house looking for a sock, your keys, or standing in front of your closet wondering what you should wear eats up precious time, creates stress and in turn… makes you frantic and late. Regain those minutes and start your day calm and on time.

5. Research your destination before bed.

There’s nothing worse than driving around a courthouse or client location you’ve never been too, already running late due to traffic. Taking 5 minutes to run through your route, and find local parking ahead of time works wonders. You’ll not only know when you need to leave, but where to park when you arrive. Extra credit: Save time & money finding Chicago parking with SpotHero.com, it’s like the Hotels.com of parking garages.