Affinity Consulting Blog


Microsoft released its Office for iPad apps earlier this year, including Word for iPad. One key feature missing from the initial release was the abiliyt to print a Word documents from your iPad. That omission has now been c corrected.

With the free version of the Office for iPad apps (including Word for iPad), you can read Word documents, view Excel data, present with PowerPoint, and print your documents. With an eligible Office 365 subscription (a bargain for most law office users), you can also edit and create documents on the iPad, use Office for your PC and Mac®, and get many other benefits.

With printing now built-into Word for iPad (and the other Office for iPad apps such as Excel for iPad and PowerPoint for iPad), all you need is an AirPrint compatibile printer on your network. PC Magazine has a nice list of the ten best AirPrint compatible printers at a wide range of prices. If you like the printer you already own and don't want to buy an AirPrint compatible printer, instead buy an AirPrint server such as the xPrintServer from Lantronix for $100 to $200 depending on how many printers you want to enable to work with your iOS devices like your iPad.

If you are creating bills in PCLaw, hopefully you know by now that you can create a PDF version of that bill during the billing process. There are many benefits to creating a PDF from within PCLaw, a few of which are: you keep a copy of original bill for historical purposes; you don’t waste time and resources printing and scanning the bill (this means the original PDF can be text searchable with some PDF applications); and if you aren't using the e-mailing features, you at least have your bills in a location and format where you can insert it into an email, etc.

Your firm may have clients that require uploading electronic bills, typically called Ledes, Tymetrix, etc., where the format is EDI.

Let's talk about where PCLaw stores these PDF or EDI files and the options you have to change that.

PCLaw's default location is the Data\Dyndata folder on your server, or workstation if PCLaw is installed as a standalone system. This folder contains live data files for PCLaw (i.e. banking transaction data, client and matter data, billing data, etc.). You can imagine the potential for accidently deleting data files when users browse to this folder so as a best practice, we change the location to a different folder. Here are the steps to accomplish this. This must be set at each workstation for users who create or recreate bills in PCLaw. You log into PCLaw at that workstation with a PCLaw login that has sufficient security to access System Settings, hence why you should consider this a workstation setting.

1. Create a folder on your server (or workstation a standalone install) called PCLaw Bill Images, in a location backed up and accessible by other users.

2. Go to the Options pull-down menu | System Settings.

3. Go to the Billing tab and locate the Output Options for Invoice Images section. Here is what the default location and settings could look like, depending on how your computer is connected to the server.

4. Click the Browse button and browse to the folder you just created

- Change the number from 20 to a higher number (we would recommend a few months of invoices depending on the number of invoices you create each month). Note: the size of these PDF and EDI files is small so on a server, space should not be an issue, but if you are a standalone installation, keep in mind the number and the capacity of the hard drive.

- Select the Automatically Generate PDF Output. Note: EDI formats are created when you are on the Create Bill screen and select the Editor output option.

- Click ok to save.

Here is an example of the changed location and settings:

One more thing to know…If you upgrade PCLaw, or perform a new workstation installation, this path in System Settings REVERTS BACK to the default DYNDATA folder, so review this at every workstation after the upgrade or new installation.

As always, you can call or email our Client Services Team for assistance, at 877-676-5492 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Your law firm is Your Business.

As a business, a law firm is really no different than most other closely held companies. You sell your prospective services, you perform your service and your firm is paid. Your business takes in revenue, meets its expenses and hopefully has something left over for the owners of the business to enjoy.

Over the years, your firm’s financial health has probably improved, but do you know why? The better question is will that trend continue? Or, are you finding that your firm’s financial health is in jeopardy? Are the people you’ve charged with expense management, billing, accounting and financial management doing an efficient and productive job to ensure that your law firm, your business, will maintain its financial health?

Collaboration is one of the great benefits of using Microsoft Word in your law practice. Whether you are working on documents with attorneys or staff within your firm, co-counsel outside your firm, or opposing counsel, the too-little-used feature of replying to comments within Word can streamline the editing process.

1. Click the Reply button.

2. Type your reply.

Or click the comment and click Review > New Comment.

If you see a comment balloon instead of the comment, here’s how to reply:

1. Click the comment balloon.

2. In the comment, click the Reply button.

3. Type your reply.

In less than a year, Tabs3/PracticeMaster versions 15.1 and 15.2 will no longer be supported. Support for those versions ends on June 1, 2015. Support for version 15.3 will continue until June 1, 2016.

Simple is better. As lawyers, we often write for a sophisticated audience. However, that does not mean that our writing should be overly complex. Any barrier our writing erects between us and our readers can inhibit persuasion. That is not good.

We write to inform and persuade. This month's tip will show you how to enable and find Word's readability statistics. You can use these statistics to measure the readability of your document.

PCLaw 13, and the soon to be released version 14, make billing by email easier than ever! They vastly improve the functionality of sending bills and statements via email. Billing by email saves your firm, time, resources and lowers the cost of maintenance on printers, toner and postage. In 2014, very few clients should have issue with receiving bills from your firm via E-Mail. In fact, if you ask your clients, this writer surmises that many would prefer to receive bills in PDF format by email alleviating the task of receiving traditional “snail mail” from your firm only to have to scan the paper in upon receipt by the client. Emailing a PDF is efficient, time-saving, and cost effective.

Many Microsoft Office users save their Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and PowerPoint presentations only to the local hard drive on their computer. While this may create the illusion of safety and security, it can put your files at risk, particularly if your local hard drive is, like many, not adequately backed-up. In many law firm settings, MS Office is configured to save your files to a drive on the firm's server. While that may be more secure that the local hard drive on your PC, a flood, fire, or theft at the office could also destroy those files.

Whether you are the victim of a hurricane or a busted water pipe in the office suite above your server room, having a plan for protecting your business assets, and for recovery from the disaster, is critical to your business.

This month, we will highlight products and services that don't just put you back in business after a disaster, but keep you IN business! From Cloud based network infrastructure and Cloud based software, to full service recovery solutions that include power, office space, computer and communication systems, you will learn what to consider as you put together your firm's disaster recovery plan.

Let's Get Started Today

with a plan that's right for your practice.

Let Us Teach You

Take advantage of our blog resources, sign up for our law office technology white papers, take a course from Affinity University, Attend all of our Live Events.

Start Now


Hire Us To Do It For You

Hire Affinity Consulting Group to make your law office run more efficiently than ever… We can deliver the hardware, the software, and the training that is perfect to make your law office more efficient.

Start Now


Work With Us

We can give you expert guidance, helping you make smart choices for your law firm. We can help you analyze your current situation and make suggestions that will point you in the right direction.

Start Now


Sign up for our newsletter and

keep your law office efficient.

Join over 4,000 successful law firms who receive our newsletter today.

Email:

Read Our Previous Newsletters