Legal Mac Tip 2: Saving documents to .doc

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You can't escape the paperclip

CC photo credit: Shayne Kaye

My co-editor of Mac Tips section in the Colorado Bar newsletter, attorney Lenny Frieling, takes over the reinsthis month to address why Apple based lawyers should still save documents as .doc files.

Pdf is wonderful and does many magic things. Most attorneys work with either Word, Word Perfect, Open Office (free and cool) on either Mac OSX or PCs.

Theoretically, we are trying to communicate. Sadly, neither Word Perfect nor MAC has supported Word Perfect for a number of years now. I’ve not been thrilled with the conversion programs (run on MAC to convert wpd to doc).

The fact is that .doc is the current easiest common language for most platforms, PC and MAC. Regardless of the word processor used, I suggest that the default file type for saving files is .doc Not docx, not wpd, and sadly not pdf. [Tomasz here, personally, I feel that .rtf is a better choice in this regard for maximum flexibility and readability across platforms.]

The idea is that anyone on any computer can open your document, and have minimal risk of translation issues.

Specifically, the changes are made under preferences. On a one-by-one basis, the key is hidden under the SAVE AS screen.

Here’s what it looks like. To save a document from Word, for example, go to the top line of pull down options. Under FILE, you’ll see SAVE AS.

After you choose the file name, use the pull-down menu next to “Format” to select “Word 97-2004 Document (doc).”

We’ve now let the software save a version of the document that can most likely be read without trouble from any computer.

Keep in mind: none of the safeguards of pdf are available. The doc may be altered, and if done right, without footprints. If you’re worried about that kind of behavior from a colleague, it is indeed a sad state of affairs. The option of using the same procedure as above to SAVE AS pdf remains or to PRINT to pdf on MAC is always available.

Note that the same procedure works permitting saving a document as a .rtf or as .txt

Complicated formatting will not work. Text will be perfect, and many modern fountain pens can translate it into a readable document.

All that is missing is the setting of default SAVE AS for Office Mac, Office, WPD and W.