All the Tech Tips You’ll Ever Need

Well… that may be a bit of a stretch, but this is still a goodie.

If you enjoy the ABA TECHSHOW format of 60 TechTips in 60 Minutes, you will certainly appreciate the lead-off presentation from this year’s inaugural Oregon State Bar Solo & Small Firm Conference.

Featuring Paul Unger and Barron Henley, “60 Legal Tech Tips, Gadgets, Apps and Websites” was a technology whirlwind.  I can honestly say I’ve saved the best post for last.  [If you missed out on prior posts, just time travel back to July 13 to see the beginning and work your way forward.]

Here are a few of the jewels Paul and Barron shared:

For the complete compilation, see this post on Storify.

All Rights Reserved 2016 Beverly Michaelis


Also see the related story featuring Barron’s tips on “Superior Methods for Drafting Complex Legal Documents.”

Save Quickly to PDF/A with Keyboard Shortcuts

If you are a user of federal court Case Management and Electronic Case Filing (CM/ECF), then you are already familiar with the transition to PDF/A for electronic filing of court documents.  Perhaps you have searched for a quick, easy way to convert your PDFs.

You could use your mouse and follow the eight steps described in this blog post* by Rick Borstein, author of the Acrobat for Legal Professionals Blog.

Or you can try this:

Keyboard Shortcut:  <Alt> F A M A or <Alt> F A M A <Alt> E For the Brave

Remember keyboard shortcuts?  We used them with impunity in early versions of WordPerfect and Word, but what have they done for us lately?  Perhaps you’re like me and have fallen out of the habit.  I blame it in part on the touch screen technology of smartphones and tablets.  But when Jim Calloway of the Oklahoma Bar Association challenged me to find and publish a shortcut to saving PDFs in PDF/A format, I responded “Game on!”  (Actually, I think I said “Good idea, Jim!”)  Here are two keyboard sequences for your consideration.  UPPERCASE is used solely to make these shortcuts easier to read, please don’t hold down the <Shift> key – it isn’t necessary.

For those who wish to quickly access Save As PDF/A:

Hold down the <Alt> key, type “F,” then A M A.  Notice you are now in the Save As dialog box with PDF/A selected under “Save as type.” Click Settings… and follow the steps described in Rick Borstein’s blog post.

For the real keyboard shortcut believers:

<Alt> F A M A <Alt> E

This combination will take you directly to Preflight Settings.  The Preflight Dialog box looks like this:

The radio button “Save as PDF/A-1b” and check box “Apply Corrections” should already be chosenLeave these two options selected for the reasons given by Rick Borstein.

From here, only two “mouse moves” are required:

  • Check “Create PDF/A-1b according to the following PDF/A-1b conversion profile; and
  • Click OK.

Open a PDF and try it: <Alt> F A M A <Alt> E, check “Create PDF/A-1b according to the following PDF/A-1b conversion profile” and click OK.  Write <Alt> F A M A <Alt> E on a post-it note and keep it by your monitor until you have the shortcut memorized.

Can’t I Use a Macro To Do This?

Macros (or Actions) in Acrobat can be used to automate any number of steps, including “Preflight Print Production,” which is what we’re doing when we save to PDF/A.  This will be the subject of my next post.

My thanks to Jim Calloway of the Oklahoma Bar Association for the idea and to Barron Henley of Affinity Consulting who inspired me. I’ve heard Barron speak many times at the ABATECHSHOW.  More recently, we were fortunate enough to have him come out for presentations on Acrobat and going paperless.  Thank you Jim and Barron!

Copyright 2012 Beverly Michaelis

* Note – due to a numbering glitch in Rick’s post, the steps jump from “5” back to “3,” but there are eight steps if you use your mouse to “File, Save As PDF/A.”  If you can’t wait until next week to read about Actions (macros) for saving to PDF/A, then check out this post.

Law Office Paper Reduction

On Friday, April 20 the PLF is offering two stellar CLE programs featuring Barron Henley, lawyer and nationally recognized legal technologist.  The morning session, PDFing: A Lawyer’s Guide to Adobe Acrobat, will be held from 8:45 am to 12:00 pm.  In the afternoon, Barron will present Law Office Paper Reduction and document Management: Strategies that Work.  Here are the details:


OSB Center, Columbia Rooms A & B, 16037 SW Upper Boones Ferry Rd, Tigard, Oregon.


1:15 – 4:30 pm.


$10 for live seminar or Webcast.  (Please note that registration for Law Office Paper Reduction and document Management: Strategies that Work is separate from PDFing: A Lawyer’s Guide to Adobe Acrobat.  If you wish to attend both programs, mark your registration form accordingly or sign up using each program’s Webcast link.)

Program Description:

Technology has fundamentally changed the way lawyers draft documents, gather and manage case infor­mation, conduct research, communicate, and render services. In spite of these changes, many of us still man­age paper today the same way it was done 50 years ago. It’s time to upgrade that approach. This seminar covers everything you need to create your own digital filing system, get your paper under control, and take full advantage of Adobe Acrobat and PDFs. Going digital means collecting all documents you’ve created and received – plus all related faxes, email messages and attachments – into one electronic system, organized by client and matter. It sounds complicated and expensive, but you’ll see that the tools you need are easy to use and inexpensive. We’ll explain and demonstrate how scanners can be used in the law office to reduce paper, lower operating costs, and significantly improve efficiency. We will also discuss document organization and storage techniques that will allow you to locate any document (sent or received) in seconds.

How to Register:

Visit the PLF Web site and select “Upcoming Seminars” under the CLE/Loss Prevention heading.

As I noted in yesterday’s post, I’ve heard Barron speak many times at the annual ABATECHSHOW.  He is one of my favorite presenters, and I am confident he will become one of your favorites too.  Space is limited for the live program, so if you prefer to attend in person, register early!

PDFing: A Lawyer’s Guide to Adobe Acrobat

Join us Friday, April 20 for PDFing: A Lawyer’s Guide to Adobe Acrobat with Barron Henley, lawyer and nationally recognized legal technologist.


OSB Center, Columbia Rooms A & B, 16037 SW Upper Boones Ferry Rd, Tigard, Oregon.


8:45 am – 12:00 pm.


$10 for live seminar or Webcast.

Program Description:

You have probably noticed that PDF files are everywhere and have become the file format of choice when trading documents with other lawyers and clients. Many courts now require that all pleadings be filed as PDFs and most governmental forms are available exclusively in PDF format. The master tool for PDFs is Adobe Acrobat; and while many lawyers own it, very few take advantage of its full capabilities. In this semi­nar, we’ll cover the basics and legal-specific features of Acrobat, such as metadata removal, redaction, PDF portfolios, bates numbering, routing PDFs for comments/feedback, and more. Learn how to apply document security, scan to PDF, and archive your e-mail as PDFs. You’ll also discover new ways to combine files to cre­ate trial notebooks, document binders and “deal” books.

How to Register:

Visit the PLF Web site and select “Upcoming Seminars” under the CLE/Loss Prevention heading.

I’ve heard Barron speak many times at the ABA’s annual TECHSHOW – you won’t be disappointed!  Keep in mind that space is limited for the live program, so if you prefer to attend in person, register early!