Need to insert a section symbol (§) into your brief? Have to input a paragraph symbol (¶) into a contract you’re drafting for a client? Look no further — this website contains all the information on how to type legal symbols you’ll ever need.
Without (very cheap) software like LawCuts, the easiest way to insert legal symbols in most applications is with alt codes. In Word, it’s with manually programmed shortcuts. We’ll go over both in this post.
Downsides of Usual Methods of Inserting Legal Symbols
That being said, there are a few distinct downsides to these methods of inserting legal symbols. For starters, it’s extraordinarily easy to mistype the alt codes when typing quickly (thus necessitating deletion and retyping). Memorizing alt codes is also a pain, as there’s no connection between the number for a particular alt code and the symbol that it represents.
Manually programmed shortcuts in Word are similarly mediocre. Here, you run into issues of shortcuts being deleted each time IT updates your computer. You also can’t use these shortcuts in any program outside of Word, so you have to end up reverting to alt codes anyway.
The solution to all this? LawCuts — a cheap ($1.99/month) keyboard shortcuts program designed for lawyers. With LawCuts, you can use the same, intuitive legal symbol in any application. All of the shortcuts use the same “Ctrl + Alt” prefix, accompanied by an easy-to-remember letter. For example, a section symbol (§) is “Ctrl + Alt + S” and a paragraph symbol is “Ctrl + Alt + P.” You can see all of the LawCuts shortcuts in this cheat sheet, which lists all of the legal symbols shortcuts using LawCuts (plus a number of relevant Microsoft Word shortcuts).
Still want to enter legal symbols the old-fashioned way? As we wrote above, there are two main methods: 1) alt codes; and 2) manual Microsoft Word shortcuts. We’ll teach you both.
First, here’s your list of alt codes. To enter them, hold down the “Alt” key, enter the numbers, and release everything — the desired symbol will appear.
Manually-Programmed Microsoft Word Shortcuts
To manually program shortcuts in Microsoft Word, go to the Insert ribbon and click on the Symbol button. Click “More Symbols.”
Find the symbol you would like to assign a shortcut key for, then press the Shortcut Key button near the bottom of the window.
Here, you can assign the desired shortcut to your symbol — but remember, unlike LawCuts shortcuts, this shortcut will only work in Microsoft Word.
We hope you’ve found this post helpful. If you have recommendations for content you’d like us to cover or legal tech products you’d like us to review, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. And, of course, we invite you to follow us on Twitter (@LawCuts), LinkedIn, and Facebook.
This post was written by the team at LawCuts — a productivity solution for lawyers. The LawCuts software allows legal professionals to enter legal symbols into any PC application with quick, easy-to-remember shortcuts. In addition, LawCuts includes a Microsoft Word ribbon for inserting common legal symbols. For a 14-day free trial, click here.