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Keyboard Tips, Hacks, and Recommendations

KennyBrendanKennyBrendan Minneapolis, Minnesota

Microsoft Word and Exchange are a major source of frustration for me (and I think a lot of other lawyers). Even inserting common typographic symbols and setting up good formating can be difficult. I set up this discussion with the hope that we could share our experiences and ideas, and with any luck, we could all come away with some tools. So let's see if we can get some good legal-writing crowd-sourcing on this.

Comments

  • samgloversamglover Minneapolis, MN Admin

    You mentioned it in your LegalBoard review, but AutoHotKey is a really powerful tool for Windows users. It's not as user-friendly as TextExpander (which you should use if you don't already), but it gives you so much more flexibility.

    Because it's nice to get keyboard shortcuts for special characters in Word, but I find that isn't really all that useful. I want keyboard shortcuts in Gmail and in my practice management software. In Evernote—everywhere I take notes. It's no good creating a shortcut for an em dash or section symbol that works in Word but that I can't use when drafting a settlement email.

  • KennyBrendanKennyBrendan Minneapolis, Minnesota

    Will AutoHotKey work in Microsoft Outlook emails?

  • samgloversamglover Minneapolis, MN Admin

    AHK and TextExpander work everywhere, which is why I prefer them to Word shortcuts and alt codes.

  • KennyBrendanKennyBrendan Minneapolis, Minnesota

    By the way, I emailed back-and-forth with Matthew Butterick yesterday. He wishes LegalBoard all the luck, but he's dyed-in-the-wool Team Tactile Pro.

  • samgloversamglover Minneapolis, MN Admin

    The LegalBoard's advantage is the keyboard shortcuts. If you want a better keyboard, mechanical keyboards are far superior. I thought the LegalBoard was good for a membrane keyboard, but I was happy to put my fingers back on the keys of my WASD (pictured in this post.

  • KennyBrendanKennyBrendan Minneapolis, Minnesota

    Let's hope hipsters don't do to mechanical keyboards when they did to fountain pens.

  • KennyBrendanKennyBrendan Minneapolis, Minnesota

    Auto correct is also a way to fix some typographical problems. disq.us/p/1f5iyvp

  • KennyBrendanKennyBrendan Minneapolis, Minnesota

    Here's the tip itself.

  • MattYospinMattYospin Boston, Massachusetts

    Catching up here...
    I think rather than setting autocorrect or snippets or shortcuts in a particular program (such as Word), I'd set up what you want in AHK or TE. You'll like the results and speed more. Don't know about AHK, but TE does an okay job on my phone: snippets sync, the keyboard extension is okay (like a C+ okay), and many programs do a nice job of expanding TE snippets automatically.
    As to keyboards: the WASD models look great, and I've heard great things from many people. But I don't see a split (ergonomic) key layout and I don't want to go back to a straight keyboard. That's one of the reasons I'm considering the keyboard.io product. Has anyone else considered it?

  • samgloversamglover Minneapolis, MN Admin

    The main reason I haven't gone for a split keyboard is that I've never seen a laptop with one and I'm always switching back and forth between a laptop (or iPad keyboard) and my desktop keyboard. I hate the fumbling I do in the first few minutes of typing on my laptop after I've been typing all day on a keyboard with a different form factor.

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