Litigation Support Tip of the Night

July 7, 2020

In their October 2016 ABA Journal article, Tech comes naturally to ‘digital native’ millennials? That’s a myth, Darth Vaughn a partner and legal process services director, and Casey Flaherty, a counsel, both with Haight Brown & Bonesteel discuss the results of their surveys of law students' technology skills.   The authors tested several law school classes on the following common MS Word tasks:

• Accept/Turn-off track changes.
• Cut & Paste.
• Replace text.
• Format font and paragraph.
• Fix footers.
• Insert hyperlink.
• Apply/Modify style.
• Insert/Update cross-references.
• Insert page break.
• Insert non-breaking space.
• Clean document properties.
• Create comparison document (i.e., a redline).

They report that most law students were only able to perform about a third of these tasks.    So, don't fall for the myth that the younger generation acquires basic software skills early on.  They are apparently learning these techniques on the job.  

You can expect someone with an MBA to have taken courses in Excel.  

July 3, 2020

The Tip of the Night for May 26, 2015 discussed how to use a macro to add multiple hyperlinks to documents cited in a Word document.  At the end of the Tip I noted: 

Note if there are bates numbers containing hyphens, you may wish to find and replace these in Word before you begin.  If you don't, the generated hyperlinks will not cover the full length of the cited bates numbers.  After the macro is run, you can re-insert the hyphens, and the links will still work.

There is actually a better way of avoiding this problem.   You can edit the vba code on the line after the one on which you place the path to the folder containing the documents to be linked.   This line:

isHyper = 1

specifies the number of words the link is supposed to cover.  If it's set to one, only the word from the right of the tag cited in the concordance file will be covered by the hyperlink.  So if you're adding a link to a Bates number that has a space between the letter prefix and the multi-digit number, and the code only reads, 'isHyper = 1', you'll just end up with a link that looks like this:

You can cover each word and space in the link by increasing this number. 

The number should reflect the total number of words, spaces, and punctuation marks used in the Bates number or other tag.  So increase the number for each word, hyphen, underscore, blank space, period, colon or other symbol used in the tag.  When the isHyper number matches the parts of the tag, the full length of the tag will be linked to. 

Refer to Tip of the Night for May 26, 2015 for the complete instructions on how to link multiple documents in a Word document automatically. 

June 27, 2020

Tonight, I successfully tested the below vba code, posted here by Greg Maxey.  It is designed to merge multiple Word documents together. 

Begin by opening a Word document, and entering Visual Basic by pressing ALT + F11.  Enter this code in a new module. 

You can change the extension of the Word documents referenced by the macro on this line:

  strFile = Dir$(strFolder & "*.doc")        ' can change to .docx

When you run the macro, it will prompt you to select a folder that contains the files you want to merge.  

A new document will open which contains the contents of each source document separated by section breaks. 

Sub MergeDocs()

Dim rng As Range

Dim MainDoc As Document

Dim strFile As String, strFolder As String

Dim Count As Long

    With Application.FileDialog(msoFileDialogFolderPicker)

        .Title = "Pick folder"

        .AllowMultiSelect = False

        If .Show Then

            strFolder = .SelectedItems(1) & Application.PathSeparator


            Exit Sub

        End If

    End With

    Set MainDoc = Documents.Add

    strFile = Dir$(strFolder & "*.doc")        ' can change to .docx

    Count = 0

    Do Until strFile = ""

        Count = Count + 1

        Set rng = MainDoc.Range

        With rng

            .Collapse wdCollapseEnd

            If Count > 1 Then

                .InsertBreak wdSectionBreakNextPage

                .End = MainDoc.Range.End

                .Collapse wdCollapseEnd

            End If

            .InsertFile strFolder & strFile

        End With

        strFile = Dir$()


    MsgBox ("Files are merged")


    Exit Sub

End Sub

January 21, 2020

Don't miss that you can find and replace any single character in a Word document by preceding its alt code with a caret.  So in this example we can find and replace the bullet point by searching for: ^0149

If we search for ^0128, the Euro symbol can be replaced.  

November 27, 2019

You can run regular expression searches in Word that will select all email addresses, so you can copy them out, or re-format them to all be lowercase, boldfaced, and so forth. 

Bring up the Find tool and check off the 'Use wildcards' option in the 'More' section.   Then enter this regular expression search:


. . . and click Find In . . . Main document.  Each email address will be selected. 

You can modify the Regex search to find emails which include a period in the name before the domain:


September 24, 2019

I tested it out this week and the below VBA code posted by Graham Mayor here, will successfully remove XE codes from a Word document. 

Sub Macro1()
Dim oFld As Field
Dim strFldText
Dim strAsk As String
Dim bHidden As Boolean
    With ActiveWindow.View
        bHidden = .ShowHiddenText
        .ShowHiddenText = True
    End With
    For Each oFld In ActiveDocument.Range.Fields
        If oFld.Type = wdFieldIndexEntry Then
            strFldText = Replace(oFld.Code, "XE ", "")
            strAsk = MsgBox("Delete " & strFldText, vbYesNoCancel)
            If strAsk = vbYes Then
            ElseIf strAsk = vbCancel Then
                GoTo Finish
            End If
        End If
    Next oFld
    With ActiveWindow.View
        .ShowHiddenText = bHidden
    End With
End Sub

September 22, 2019

The Tip of the Night for May 26, 2015, discussed how to use the Add-in for Word, Notestripper, to help facilitate the insertion of hyperlinks in footnotes of a MS Word document.   After the text of footnotes is stripped out to text at the end of a document, you may receive an error message from NoteSripper indicating that the number of note references does not match the number of notes when you try to convert them back to notes. 

If this happens try the following.   First search for blank spaces formatted as superscript using the Find tool in Word.  (Go to the Format menu, select Font, and check off the 'superscript' box.)  Any footnote number with a blank space before it will throw off Notestripper. 

The Add-in will not read the notes themselves if any text is crossed out or marked for deletion with track changes in Word.  Be sure to re-format this text and the text on the following line, or Notestripper will not read each separate line of notes.  

August 18, 2019

You can make use of a macro to select all of the text highlighted in a specific color in a Word document.   The macro itself turns text highlighted in a selected color to a different font color - in this example red.   This will help you export out (or copy just the text highlighted in one color) because you can search for text with in a particular font color, but not text highlighted in a particular color. 

Press ALT + F11 to enter Visual Basic and enter the code below (posted to Word Banter by Dawn Crosler) in a new module 

On the line reading:

If Selection.Range.HighlightColorIndex = wdYellow Then

. . . you can designate the color highlighting you want to process.   See a list of different highlighting colors in Crosler's post

Once the color of the text has been changed you can run a search in Word for just text with the font color red.  Use the option for Find In . . . Main Document. 

All of the search results will be selected.  You can then copy them out for analysis. 

Sub ChangeHighlight()

'Purpose: Changes highlight colors in a doc...need to change

'WD color index

'Changes the font color based on selected highlight color


'go to top of doc

Selection.HomeKey Unit:=wdStory

'clear previous find


'set search for highlight on

Selection.Find.Highlight = True

'run search


'while highlights are still found

While Selection.Find.Found = True

'if highlight is "wdBrightGreen" (color to find) then

'change the wdBrightGreen in the line below to match the Color

'of highlight you desire. Use the wdColorIndexConstant List

'as inspiration

If Selection.Range.HighlightColorIndex = wdYellow Then

'change Selected Text Font to White

'Use the wdColorIndexConstant List to change to the

'appropriate font color

Selection.Range.Font.Color = wdColorRed

End If

'continue same search


Selection.Find.Highlight = True


'end loop when no more found


'move back to top of doc when done

Selection.HomeKey Unit:=wdStory

End Sub

July 17, 2019

In order to get the formatting for Tables of Authorities and Tables of Contents correct, be sure that you know how to add in the leading dots before the page numbers and indent the second line of each entry.

Begin by selecting all of the text that you need to format.  On the Home tab, click on settings in the Paragraph section (the little arrow on the bottom right corner).  Then click on the Tabs button at the bottom left of the dialog box. 

 Set the tab stop position to 6"; the alignment to 'Center'; and the leader to "2 ......". 

 When you press tab after each section title or case name the leading dots will be generated.  

 To set hanging indentations, go back to the Paragraph settings and select 'Hanging' in the Special drop-down menu.  Set it to 0.25". 

The second line of each section title or case name (before a paragraph return is entered) will be automatically indented. 

July 16, 2019

Don't miss that you can run regular expression searches in Word, and then highlight the results.   In Find and Replace, check off the 'Use wildcards' box and enter the searched for term in parentheses.  In this example, we're searching for eight-digit numbers using this Regex pattern:


 . . . since we're only using one Regex term, to replace with the searched for term we only enter a '\' followed by a '1'.  If there was a second term we would enter '\2'.  

 This works in both MS Word 2016 and MS Word 2010. 

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Sean O'Shea has more than 15 years of experience in the litigation support field with major law firms in New York and San Francisco.   He is an ACEDS Certified eDiscovery Specialist and a Relativity Certified Administrator.

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