Does anyone Actually Use Word's Table of Authorities Feature for RealWork



One of the groups I support is the law department. I saw them creating
a table of authorities by hand. I asked why they were doing that
because Word has a built in TOA feature.

They explained that the Word's TOA feature is more of a pain than a
help. So I decided to try and prove them wrong---and failed miserably.

Over the past few month I had picked at the issues. During the past
two weeks I had some time to seriously look at it.

My conclusion is that the TOA feature is a check box feature only.
It's there. We can say the product does it but the feature is
incapable of doing real work.

I think I mentioned this one in this forum before--TOAs do not take
the style formatting with them. Our guys have document templates. The
apply a character style to underline or italicize the party names (the
method used depends upon the court). They have boiler plate text for
various legal points. The styles allow them to switch formats. The TOA
feature does not take the style formatting.

Here's a good one. The TOA marking has a "Next Citation" button. It
search for "v.", "yyyy)", "supra", "ibid" and "id" (maybe others but
that's what I have found). In other words, it hunts for a case
citation using simple matching. BUT is misses
Short citations to cases fully cited.
And any other form of citation.
In other words, if you use search feature, you are going to miss most
of your citations, adding an extra step to the process of using that
marking and having to back through the entire document to find the
citations missed.

I won't go through an inventory of what I found. Interestingly, every
Word book has 2 pages on creating a table of authorities but none
works through all the issues that I was able to find. It makes me
wonder if anyone has used thing feature for real work.

(I add that even if everything on the TOA feature worked, it would
only be capable of doing the absolutely simplest of TOAs.Oug guys
showed me real TOAs that they and their opponents have done and the
Word TOA would not work for any of these corporate types of tables.)


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