MS-Word / General Formatting

Tables of Authorities

In other words, this section shows you how to use Word's Table of Authorities feature. If you're a lawyer or legal secretary, you already know what a table of authorities is. If you aren't, turn to another chapter before it's too late.

Creating a table of authorities is much like creating an index. First you mark the citations where they appear within the document. Then you use the Insert Table of Authorities button (in the Table of Authorities group on the References tab) to compile the table of authorities based on the citations you marked. If necessary, you can then edit the table or adjust its formatting. You can also update the table to ensure that all entries are up-to-date.

Marking Citations

The first step in creating a table of authorities is reviewing the entire document and marking any citations you want to include in the table. Follow these steps:

  1. Find a citation you want to mark.
    Start at the beginning of the document and work through the whole thing, marking citations as you go.
  2. Highlight the citation with the mouse or keyboard and press Alt+Shift+I.
    The Mark Citation dialog box appears.
  3. Edit the Selected Text field so that it's exactly the way you want the citation to appear in the table of authorities.
    The Selected Text field initially contains the text you selected when you ressed Alt+Shift+I. If the citation in the document doesn't look the way you want it to appear in the table of authorities, click in the Selected Text field and type away. If you want to split the citation into two lines, just position the insertion point where you want the line to split and press Enter.
  4. Edit the Short Citation field so that it exactly matches the way the short version of the citation is used in subsequent references throughout the document.
  5. Select the type of authority being cited from the Category drop-down list.
    Word comes equipped with several common categories: Cases, Statutes, Other Authorities, Rules, Treatises, Regulations, and Constitutional Provisions. You can also create your own categories, as described later in this tutorial.
  6. Click the Mark button to mark the citation.
    Word inserts a hidden field code to mark the citation. The Mark Citation dialog box stays open onscreen so that you can mark additional citations.
  7. Click the Next Citation button to find the next citation.
    The Next Citation button searches for the next citation in the document by looking for text that's commonly found in legal citations, such as v.
  8. Highlight the complete text of the citation found by the Next Citation button.
    The Next Citation button doesn't highlight the complete citation - only the text it finds that convinces it to stop because a citation is probably nearby. Use the mouse to select the citation in the document. (The Mark Citation dialog box patiently stays onscreen while you mark the citation.)
  9. Repeat Steps 3 through 8 until you mark all the citations you can stand.
  10. After you finish marking citations, click the Close button.

Word marks citations with field codes formatted as hidden text so that they are normally invisible. These codes jump to life, however, when you compile a table of authorities. See the next section for the steps.

Another way to summon the Mark Citation dialog box is to click the Mark Citation button (shown in the margin). You can find this button located in the Table of Authorities group on the References tab.

Tip: If the screen suddenly changes to Print Preview mode when you try to mark a citation, don't panic. You probably pressed Ctrl+Alt+I rather than Alt+Shift+I. Ctrl+Alt+I is the keyboard shortcut for toggling Print Preview on and off. These two keyboard shortcuts are perilously close to one another. If you press the wrong keys, just press Esc to return to Normal view and then start over.

Every time you stumble over a citation that you know occurs later in your document, click the Mark All button. It creates a citation for not only the selected text but also any subsequent occurrences of the citation.

Every time you mark a citation, Word activates the Show All Formatting Marks option. To return your display to normal, click the Show/Hide button (shown in the margin) in the Paragraph group on the Home tab of the Ribbon.

The field codes for citations look like this example:

{ TA \l "Kringle v. New York
28 NY 2d 312 (1938)" \s "Kringle v. New York" \c 1 }

The preceding codes are formatted as hidden text, so you don't normally see them. You can edit the long citation text (the part between quotes following \l) or the short citation text (the quoted text that follows \s) if you want to change a citation after you create it.

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