It’s nearly that time of year again for the Thomson Reuters Elite VANTAGE conference.  Held on 10-11 October in Sydney, MOSMAR are again silver sponsors and promise to captivate you all at our session on MatterSphere workflows. As always, we will provide a sugar hit to keep you awake and enthralled.

There is always much to learn at VANTAGE while having a great catchup with friends and colleagues in the industry.

Be sure to register, and see you there!

http://www.elite.com/exchange/vantage/auc17/regional-conference/

A new feature in DocAssist as of build 1094 is “Clippings”. We like to think of clippings as an easier and more versatile version of autotexts or building blocks. As you probably know, autotexts and building blocks can only be saved to templates, there’s not many options for organising them, sharing is a pain, and updating them is even more painful.

So what are Clippings. Well they are really just documents that can be inserted in to another document. Not hugely exciting until you see how they can be used.

First of all you need to configure the locations for the clippings. You can have up to 3 locations currently. We recommend Personal, just for you, Shared for your department or practise group, and Precedents for firm or company wide clippings. The locations can be on a network or local – whatever works best for you.

If you have DocAssist build 1094 or newer, you will see the configuration settings within the Settings.xml file.

Now create some clippings. In a Word document, highlight some text you want to reuse as a clipping. Then press Shift Alt S (the shortcut we usually setup – or run the SaveClipping macro) and you will get the following screen.

Save Clipping screen

Select a location to save to, and then select a folder. You can also right click to create your own folders, or rename existing ones.

Give your clipping a name, and also an optional code, and hit save.

What’s the code for…that’s the fun part. Create a new document in Word, and then type in the code and press F3 (or run the InsertClipping macro) DocAssist will find the clipping and insert it in your documents – just like an autotext/building block.

And for those clippings you don’t have a code for, or you forget the code, you can browse all of the clippings that are available just by clicking on the Clippings button on the ribbon.

Browsing for clippings

So now you have a simple way to save your own autotexts, or share them with your department or entire company or firm. You can create a standard set of codes to have them easily and quickly inserted in to documents. Plus you can create your own taxonomy for sorting your clippings.

And to top it off, you can even create shortcuts to specific folders within your clippings. So you can have options on the ribbon to say insert an execution clause, or insert an address, and it will bring up a list of all clippings from that location.

This is a very simple yet powerful feature and has received great feedback so far, so make sure you give it a go. It’s all now part of DocAssist.

Have you ever tried to open a .CHM file in Windows, and it shows the index but no content? Not exactly HELPful. It had me stumped when checking out the NetDocuments ndOffice extensibility documentation.

Well it turns out to be such a simple fix. Right click on the .CHM file, select Properties, then select Unblock.

Too easy.

We get a lot of queries about Office 365, and about whether a law firm can use the online version instead of the local applications.

It’s an interesting question, and a very interesting answer.

The first thing to be aware of is the online version of Word is very limited in what it can do. So as long as your needs for editing are basic, then the answer is “possibly”.

A deal breaker for legal is often the fact that the online version has limited support for track changes. If you have a document with track changes turned on already, then yes you can edit it online and your changes will be tracked – but the kicker is you won’t see the tracked changes online. You need to open the document on the desktop version to see your tracked changes. Also, there is no way to turn track changes on or off with the online version, so you need to do that in the desktop version of Word first.

Another commonly used feature in legal documents are cross references. Well you can forget about them in the online version.

We also won’t mention that you can’t insert or update a table of contents, you can’t add or edit styles, or you can’t add shapes, textboxes or WordArt.

There is also only limited support for content controls. The online version only supports rich text content controls – so you can forget about things like date controls and dropdowns.

Law firms tend to have a lot of addins and customisations, most of which are also not supported in the online version.  So forget about all those macros and ribbon customisations your firm uses on a daily basis  – they won’t be available. Most commercial addins are either COM or VSTO addins – which do not work online as they rely heavily on the operating system and the .Net framework so will not be happy in the confines of a browser.

Speaking of addins, that usually includes your document management system. You’ll find most will require the desktop version of Word.

The online version of the Office apps have a long way to go to even get close to the desktop versions. They may be a handy tool to get you across the line with a few basic edits especially when you’re stuck with only your phone, iPad or browser. But I don’t think you’ll be doing any of the real heavy lifting online any time soon.

Hopefully that answers the question for now.

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