Email Management, Microsoft Office, Productivity, Research, Security

Practical and Tactical Tech Tips

Every week subscribers receive the ICYMI enewsletter from the NCBA Center for Practice Management. The newsletter highlights tips, tools, trends, and techniques to help your law practice. Following are a few quick tips from past issues of the newsletter, highlighting tech know-how you can use today!

How to Compress Images in Microsoft PowerPoint

Many presentations built in Microsoft PowerPoint result in very large files, because images can be very bloated. This article shows you how to compress images to reduce the size of your slide deck. If you are interested in learning more about PowerPoint power tips NCBA members can watch the recording from the Learning Objectives webinar (8/19/2020).

Convert Your Recording into Text with Word’s New Transcribe 

MS Word now lets you take a recording and transcribe it in Word (speech to text). Jim Calloway from the OBA Management Assistance Program points out why this is a super useful feature for lawyers, including transcribing notes dictated to your phone or transcribing a recorded discussion. At the moment, the Transcribe tool is only available on the online version of Word, and only to Microsoft 365 subscribers.

How to Automate Repetitive MacOS Tasks with Automator

This article walks you step by step on how to perform some easy automations with your Mac, including how to create a “Quit All” switch to close all the applications you have running, turn text to audio, or rename multiple files at once.

How to Blur Your House on Google Street View (And Why You Should)

If someone has your home address they can “drive by” from afar via Google Street View. Whether you have a client who is trying to escape an abusive partner, or you would rather not have anyone cybersnoop on your house, follow these steps to request your house be blurred in Google Street View.

What to Do If Your Laptop Freezes

This very thorough PCMag article takes you through a whole checklist of things to do if your laptop freezes. Of course, you can’t read it if your laptop is frozen so consider saving it to Evernote or OneNote or where you can get to it from your smartphone if you need it.

How to Send an Email with a Different “From” Address in Outlook

While there may be few reasons to send an email from a different address in Outlook, and it is worth knowing that you can – and so can others. According to this PC Magazine article “email providers do prevent people from using it for harmful purposes”.

How to Add a Custom Dictionary in Word, Excel, and Outlook

Isn’t it irritating when you spell a word correctly and Microsoft flags it as misspelled? If you use medical or legal jargon this is a common occurrence. But you can fix this by uploading a custom dictionary that will be available in Word, Excel, and Outlook. Thanks to my colleague Jennifer Shapiro, who used it in her workers comp practice, for this tip.

IF function in Excel

Microsoft Excel is an exceptionally powerful application. The IF function can help show disparities in a budget and so much more. This is a useful tutorial on how you can use the IF function, including common problems that can cause the function to er, malfunction.

How to Use Microsoft Outlook Online File View

In MS Outlook Online you can see all the attached files in your email with the click of a button. You can then share them or download them. This could be a very useful view of your mailbox!

How to Display More Tiles on the Windows 10 Start Menu

The Windows 10 Start Menu has a lot of options for customization to make it easy to get to the websites and apps you use every day. You can get “live” tiles to show you essential information from within an app at a glance. However, be aware that Microsoft has plans for “rejuvenation” of the Windows 10 interface, so anticipate some changes ahead.

A Quick Way to Learn More About Your Search Results

Now before you click on a link from search results in Google you can get some background on the source. Click on the vertical ellipses to see a Wikipedia entry about the website, or if there is no Wikipedia entry you will find out how long Google has been indexing the site. This is a quick way of verifying – even before you click the link – whether the information is legitimate or unreliable.

Microsoft Teams Tips

Microsoft Teams provides law firms with a way to quickly adopt video conferencing since it comes with the Microsoft 365 subscription. It also supports intra-office communication, file sharing, project and task management and more by incorporating other Microsoft 365 tools like Lists, Planner, and SharePoint. If your firm is exploring Teams here are a few tips of note to help you use the tool: move files from Outlook to Teams with a drag and dropcombine tasks from Planner and To Do for one stop shopping, and how to recover a deleted file from Teams.

Litigation Support Tool Tip – Create Folders from a List in Excel

This article offers step-by-step instructions on how to automatically create a sub-folder structure by using Excel and a VBA script. The context is for eDiscovery, but this could be used in other ways, like automatically creating a sub folder structure for any new client based on the type of matter. There is a video tutorial that accompanies the article. Because author Amy Bowser-Rollins has supplied the VBA code so you can copy and paste, this is swift and simple to execute.

Don’t wait for a wrap-up. Subscribe to ICYMI for tips like these in your email box every week.