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Cheat Sheet for Lawyer Keyboard Shortcuts

By George Khoury, Esq. | Last updated on

When you're in the zone, banging your fists against the keyboard trying to knock out that brief, stopping to open up the list of "symbols" and scrolling through them can be a real flow killer.

Luckily, there are a few options that you may not even realize exist. If you have the desk space and money to burn, you can buy one of the new "legal" keyboards or keyboard attachments. These have quite a few useful keys that you won't find on a standard keyboard.

However, if you don't have desk space, nor extra computer peripheral cash sitting around, you can easily get by using standard keyboard shortcuts, so long as you can remember them.

Below is a list of the most helpful keyboard shortcuts for lawyers. Most of them should work on most all computers, except for the Word specific ones at the end.

Basic Shortcuts

These shortcuts are ones everyone should know and be able to use without looking at the keyboard.

Italics = Control "i"
Bold = Control "b"
Underline = Control "u"
Undo = Control "z"
Save = Control "s"
Cut = Control "x"
Copy = Control "c"
Paste = Control "v"

Shortcuts Lawyers Will Love

If you've never used your "Alt" key before, you might want to sit down for this. Hold down the Alt key while typing the numbers or keys following the "+" (don't type the plus) below.

§ = Alt + 0 1 6 7
¶ = Alt + 0 1 8 2
™ = Alt + 0 1 5 3
© = Alt + Control + c
® = Alt + Control + r
➽ = Alt + 1 0 1 7 3

Once you get the hang of using the Alt key, you may want to forget the boring bullet points, and start using cool arrows, or other symbols, of which there are plenty.

Word Specific Shortcuts for Lawyers 

If you use the auto formatting feature, there's a shortcut for it you may have never known about. To copy the formatting, highlight your sample text, then click Control + Shift + "c". Then to paste the formatting, highlight where you want to apply it, and click Control + Shift + "v".

For footnotes, if you even use them, you can simply click Alt + Control + "f", and voila, automatic footnote created.

And for more complex motions or pleadings that require a table of contents and/or table of authorities (or even an index), Word has shortcuts for these as well.

To mark a table of contents entry, click Alt + Shift + "o"
To mark a table of authorities entry, click Alt + Shift + "i"
To mark an index entry, click Alt + Shift + "x"

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