ID capture

In my legal writing, I often use the Latin phrase shortcut “id.” or “Id.” to refer to a prior cite in the document (see the Wikipedia entry here). The problem is, those shortcuts are supposed to be in italics, which can slow you down as you are writing a brief or require you to return and format those statements later.

One way I’ve solved this issue is to use AHK. My script is relatively simple and is designed for use with Microsoft Word: “:*:id/::^iId.^i{space 2}”. You type “id/” and the script gives you Id. formatted appropriately.

Here’s how it works. AHK can do anything you can do on a keyboard. The script is telling the computer to replace the “id/” with keyboard shortcut Control + “i” to turn on italic formatting, the characters capital “i”, lower case d, a period, and then Control key + “i” again to turn off italics. The last part of the phrase tells the computer to press the space key 2 times. So, you can just keep typing after entering your cite. Slick.

You can also modify the script to make it case sensitive (e.g., id/ for lower case id. and Id/ for upper case Id.).

Now, typing the id. cite does not require any special formatting or finding and replacing after the fact. Hopefully, this tip will help you focus more on content creation, rather than formatting.

Want more tips delivered right to your email inbox?  Sign up for my newsletter here:



Related Posts

Law Practice Management

Microsoft Word® Format Defaults

Microsoft Word® for the legal profession – format defaults The Indiana Lawyer recently published the second in a series of articles on Microsoft Word® for the Legal Profession. This article deals with setting format defaults Read more…

Personal Productivity

Microsoft Word® for the Legal Profession: Reformatting Documents

I’ve started a new series for The Indiana Lawyer on Microsoft Word® for the legal profession. The first article in that series was published recently. You can read it here. In it, I address one Read more…

Personal Productivity

TextExpander Windows beta update

Recently, Smile software updated its TextExpander beta for Windows. This is a big update, making TextExpander on Windows look and feel like its Mac counterpart. In normal use the beta is definitely more reliable and Read more…