How to quickly insert legal symbols into your Word documents

Word Hacks for Lawyers #1 • Save time and stay in the flow by using these quick shortcuts for adding legal symbols into your documents.

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How to quickly add legal symbols in Word

As a lawyer, you probably frequently use legal symbols when drafting legal documents. But stopping to search and insert a legal symbol with your mouse can be disruptive when you’re right in the middle of drafting a document. Did you know you can stay in the flow with the help of keyboard shortcuts (hotkeys).

We’ve put together a quick guide that you can refer to for all the standard legal key shortcuts.

If you're not a fan of memorising lots of Windows or Mac shortcuts, you can also set up your own or hack Word's Autocorrect feature, to help you input symbols in just a few steps. Make sure to read on below or watch the 'how-to' video.

The standard legal symbol shortcuts

SymbolUsed forWindowsMAC Shortcut
§ Section (Silcrow)Alt + 0167Option + 6
Paragraph (Pilcrow)Alt + 20Option + 7
©CopyrightAlt + 0169Option + 1
®Registered TrademarkAlt + 0174Option + R
TrademarkAlt + 0153Option + 2
Em DashAlt + 0151Shift + Option + Minus
En DashAlt + 0150Option + Minus
ΠPlaintiff (Pi)Alt + 227Option + P
ΔDefendant (Delta)Alt + 30Option + J

How to customise your own shortcuts

You can easily customise your own shortcuts in Word. Select the legal symbols that you use most frequently and follow these steps to setup your own shortcuts or watch our video to see how it's done.

  1. Find 'Insert Ω Symbol' in the Insert tab
  2. Click on 'Ω More Symbols'
  3. Locate the legal symbol you want to create the shortcut for
  4. Press the 'Shortcut' key
  5. Type your shortcut in the ‘Press New Shortcut Key’ box
  6. Click 'Assign'
  7. Click 'Close'

Use autocorrect to add the legal symbol for you

Instead of assigning shortcut keys for each legal symbol, you can also hack autocorrect to insert your legal symbols for you by assigning a quick phrase to each symbol. In our video example, we will assign the word 'sects' to autocorrect to the section symbol.

Follow these steps to create your own autocorrect shortcuts:

  1. Find 'Insert Ω Symbol' in the Insert tab
  2. Click on 'Ω More Symbols'
  3. Locate the legal symbol you want to create the shortcut for
  4. Press the 'AutoCorrect' key
  5. In the replace box enter in the letters to assign to your legal symbol
  6. Click 'Add'
  7. Click 'OK'

Now type your legal symbol letters, hit the spacebar and AutoCorrect will add the symbol into your Word document.

If you’ve tried all of these tips but you’re still not convinced then we can also recommend the LegalBoard, a keyboard specifically designed for lawyers.

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