Tuesday, February 15, 2011

FYI on TOAs and TOCs

Some things never change. In spring 2009, the Goodson Blogson came to the rescue of frustrated Duke Law 1Ls with a post about formatting tables of contents and tables of authorities, just in time to turn in their LARW appellate briefs. And while those lucky students are now set to graduate in May (hopefully expert in the art of table-generation), the same questions have recurred every subsequent spring with each new crop of 1Ls. Since new versions of popular word-processing programs have debuted since our last post (some dramatically changing the instructions for generating these tables), it's high time for an update.

Tables of contents and tables of authorities were most likely not required in undergraduate writing projects, so they can be entirely new ground for many first-year law students. Don’t fall into the trap of creating these tables from scratch— most word-processing programs can generate them automatically. Since instructions will vary depending on what product you are using (and in some cases, what version of the product), here are updated "how-to" links from some of the most popular word-processing programs: Microsoft Word (both PC and Mac versions), OpenOffice, and WordPerfect.

ProgramTable of ContentsTable of Authorities
Word 2011
(for Mac)
Word 2010TOCTOA
Word 2007TOCTOA
Word 2003TOCTOA
OpenOfficeTOCTOA (unofficial user tip)

Do you have a favorite formatting tip for new legal writers? Or do you use a word-processing program that we didn’t cover? Let us know in the comments section.