My post on drafting contracts to be understood mentions the importance of typography (the layout and appearance of printed material) for clear communication. In a recent post, lawyer Sam Glover reinforces the point with five typography tips for lawyers. But it’s Sam’s sixth tip, a non-typographical one, that I’m most interested in.
“Learn styles – Manual formatting is clumsy, requires more effort, and yields inconsistent results. Learn to use styles, so that all your headings are formatted consistently, and so that you can change them all, if necessary, by changing only the style definition.”
Lawyers spend a great deal of time editing and tweaking documents. And styling has a huge impact on how quickly a document’s layout can be updated. So, if you’re a lawyer, you owe it to yourself and your clients to invest some time in understanding how to use styles.
Fine, but where do I start?
As well as the Microsoft tutorial mentioned in Sam’s post, I highly recommend Shauna Kelly’s MS Word tutorials. (Anyone who’s been hit with Word numbering mishaps will be particularly interested in Shauna’s excellent outline numbering tutorial.)