Coping with Word 2007 - Part 2: Drafting for Counsel STANDARDISING THE FORMATTING IN WORD 2007

WORD 2007 preserves one of the more irritating aspects of the older versions of WORD, that it not only formats each paragraph separately, but tends to format paragraphs differently as well. For example, cutting and pasting from paragraph A to paragraph B may alter the formatting of paragraph B, regardless of whether one of these paragraphs precedes the other (a problem I have described in an earlier article as the ‘dancing margins’ problem). There are many ways of overcoming this problem, but one of the most useful is by use of the formatting paint-brush.

Assume that paragraph A is formatted the way you want it, but paragraph B is not. Left-click within paragraph A. Then move your cursor to the ‘Home’ tab, and in the Ribbon below, in the first compartment from the left, you will find in the bottom right corner an icon of a paint-brush. Left-click on the paint-brush. Then take the cursor to paragraph B, and left click within it. Paragraph B’s formatting should change to that of paragraph A. You can use the same method to change a letter, word, or group of words, for example to make a phrase bold or underlined. Occasionally this does not work the first time, but if so, it usually does work the second time you try.


Creating a backsheet at the end of an opinion or a pleading is no great problem. The top of the document can easily be copied and pasted to the end. You can use the useful shortcuts C for copying and V for pasting, or use the icons under the Home tab (the first of the tabs above the Ribbon), first compartment on the left (Clipboard). Alternatively, a backsheet may be copied from an earlier file, preferably one on some work prepared for the same instructing solicitor (but don’t forget to change the reference if you have quoted it).

Numbering the pages of the opinion or pleading, but not of the backsheet, is more complicated. To number the main pages, left-click on the Insert tab, and in the fifth compartment (Header & Footer), left-click on the third icon (Page number), and choose and left-click on the position you want the page number to appear. You can easily edit the page number, for example to make it bold or not, or by adding a hyphen each side to make it appear as “-3-”.

To remove the page numbering from the backsheet is a process that can scarcely be called intuitive. You first need to create a section break. Left-click at the end of the main text. Left-click on the Page Layout tab, and in the second compartment (Page Setup) left-click on the top right icon (Breaks). In the lower part (Section breaks) left-click on Next Page. That achieves a separation between the main text and the backsheet for formatting purposes.

To remove the page number, you must now left-click somewhere on the backsheet. Then left-click on the Insert tab (this really is counter-intuitive), and in the fifth compartment (Header & Footer), left-click on Header if your page number is at the top of the page, or on Footer if it is at the bottom. A window will open, and towards the bottom of the window left-click on the Edit function. This will open a
special Ribbon, in the third compartment of which (Navigation) you need to left-click on the bottom left corner (Link to Previous) which will separate the page numbering of the backsheet from the page numbering of the main section. Only then is it safe to delete the page numbering from the backsheet. Finally left-click on the far right compartment to complete this editing process and return to the document.


In earlier versions of WORD, it was difficult to prevent a reader using the tracking facility to discover changes you had made to your document, stored with the document as so-called ‘metadata’. The facility provided for removing the metadata rarely worked. So if your instructing solicitor passed on an electronic version of your opinion or pleading to the opponents, they might be able to bring up a version
you had since amended, which could be embarrassing. One of my previous articles suggested a reasonably simple workaround that prevented this. With WORD 2007 it appears unnecessary to use this work-around, and the facility provided seems to work successfully.

When you have finished editing the document, left-click on the Office Button at the top left of the screen. About twothirds of the way down the left column is an icon called ‘Prepare’. Left-click on it, and then simply left-click on the second option ‘Inspect document’ and follow the instructions.