I stayed up late one night to help my daughter finish a high-school term paper.
By her standards, it was an extremely lengthy piece with countless quotes and contributions from innumerable sources. She had to pore over every numbered section to ensure correct indentations and numbering styles. She proofread each quote, footnote and citation for the correct font, size and italization.
She had to manually maintain an index and bibliography (a laborious affair) despite her best efforts to adhere to the assigned template. Changing anything but content triggered a cascade of undesired alterations that required a lot of wasted time and effort to resolve . Typing, editing and light formatting of her manuscript was about all she knew how to do with Microsoft Word.
The next morning, I visited an estate lawyer who was drafting a hefty Last Will And Testament that made my daughter’s paper look like a walk in the park.
I happened to notice quite a few embedded tables, charts and numbered figures scattered throughout the document. I was staggered by the intricacy of the numbered outline and the quantity of comments and redlines. Even though she used the same version of Microsoft Word my daughter used at home, she clearly had a host of purpose-built tools at her disposal to manage the document’s complexity.
She instantly compared details within charts, footers, comments and spreadsheets. She effortlessly managed the effect on numbered outlines when moving large blocks of text, and created an index-like table of authorities with a single click. To her, Microsoft Word was nothing more than a handyman’s workbench to support a variety of authoring and collaboration tools. These tools empowered her to exercise her legal expertise without hindering her workflow or wasting time.
I am reassured when my $475 an hour attorney doesn’t rely on the basic tools my 14-year old daughter uses for schoolwork. Too often I notice high-paid lawyers with tools no more specialized than the ones our school-children use to write research papers.
At Litéra, we understand file authoring and editing better than anyone. That’s why Gartner awarded us its “Cool Vendor” designation. We help you make every single document better; better than before, and better than your competitor’s.
Sr. VP Corporate Development | Litéra