Sunday, June 19, 2011

Find Your Inner Harry Potter: Become a PDF Wizard

I love pdf; it's da butterz.  It has made my life so much easier and my work so much more efficient. And, most older people (if u r old, im not talking botu u, im talking about those older than u, unless im really talking about u, in which case, sorry stby (but as an aside, i wd note that as professional shit-hurling primates we tend to age much faster than others mentally and phsycially so i think even the youngns feel pretty old most days...must be thre rancid putridity that our work product exudes...)) don't really know their left butt cheek from a baboon's cock when it comes to basic technology (i saw one partner once in a silicon valley firm tapping away on his keybaord with his two index finger...much like a monkey proly wood...), so doing fancy things with pdf quickly and correctly makes your job easier and has the inadvertent side effect of making you look like a fucking rockstar (lots of ways to leverage both these things - like doing things fast and then chilling whiel ppl stil thnk u r doing stuff - makign it seem like u r spendng a lot more time doing work then u actually r etc).  Anyway, here are few of the basic things i use pdf for frequently and how it speeds shit up:
  1. Hot Keys: as a basic thing, get to kno ur hot keys for everything. it makes things like one billion trillion times faster and saves ur wrists. sure u know ctrl v and ctrl c. even the fuckng monkey typing partner proly knows that. maybe. but y do u think korean and taiwanese kids always kick ur ass in starcraft or warcraft? becaust heyr fucking typing their way thru the game while ur dragfgin gur lil mouse around looking for what to do next. hot keys - not just forr  pdf - but for word and other stuff make shit much easier a better, especialy if its like 2AM and u find urself wondering how on gods fucking green earuth u wound up at ajob where u have to figur out how to insert a cross reference without the word "section" in front of the number. right. so next.
  2. Signature pages: always best to make pdf sig pages so that your retarded signatories don't mess up the word document before they print it out. best way to do this is just convert the doc to pdf and the delete all the unneeded pages. use the hot keys for deleting (ctrl+shift+d) - and here's a tip, if you need to delete all the pages up until a certain page, say the signature page, you can scroll or jump to that page, then hit ctrl+shift+d and it will automatically have the page number filled in, so just change the first page to 1, and subtract one for the second, and then you can delete everything before that. paralegals can do this but ive had so many that leiterally suck. ever had a paralegal ask you: "i finished the signature pages...but i wasn't sure if they were right because there were so many blank spaces on them....so i put in footnotes on every page pointing out where these blanks were..." yes, dumbfuck, the blanks r where people sign on the SIGNATURE PAGE. anyway, sometiems they do it in word, mess up ur tagline or document refernce and it doesnt look all consistent. no one gives a shit about this btw except ur senior, who will ask u to do it again if he/she is controlling enough, and many lawyers, especiallyt he odl school ones, r. when u do ur own deal its much easier, but if u just make a pdf frm the actual doc and extract out the sig pages u dont have to wory abotu that shit.

  3. Execution versions: after a deal's closed and you want to make a closing set or have an execution copy, rather than scanning something in its entirety, just convert the final doc to pdf, then insert the sig pages. you can insert from a file using ctrl+shift+i, or if you have the pdfs open, if you click on the 'pages' button on the left side menu, you can just drag and drop individual or groups of pages between pdfs. this is retardedly helpful. even before a deal is closed or priced or signed or something, i may have things ready to go, and if there are minor changes after that, i'll just make a small change in the doc and reinsert the one changed page. if i'm making a purchase agreement with form opinions at the end and other schedules and crap, or some spa with disclosure schedules and other exhibits and stuff, i usually have one pdf file set up for all the butt-end crap, one for the body crap, and the signatures and just con-cat-enate at the right time. god i remember the first time i was doing a pricing and someone told me to have all the current drafts of the opinions printed out, the PA printed out, and the signatures printed when they came, so that i could rescan it all in together at 4 am or whatever after we priced so that we cd send it out. what.the.flying.fuck?? there's no reason u need to do this, nor even b in the office fors oemthing like this. if u cant teach a paralegal and need to do it urself, have the banker call u when they price, get up from bed, slap ur pdfs together and distribute. i rememebr one time was up for a pricing with a senior and when we finally wer ready to finalize all this shit he came over and askd if we werr eady and he watched me slapp all this shit together in about 30 seconds all from my keybord and h e saidy, half drunkenly (not bc he was drunk but bc of lack of sleep) 'holy shit that's magical'. u can be magical too harry potter

  4. Converting into pdf: so there are two ways to convert something to pdf. for a doc, it's really easy, assuming you have acrobat pro or some decent software at your shop, you should have a built in function for this from the tolbar menu. but you can also just print into pdf, it makes the same thing. this is helpful for turning anything you can print into a pdf - website, email, picture, deltaview blackline etc. without saving it first or doing anything fancy. its helpful to have shit in pdf, bc u can markup on the doc using the comments tools (see below), which means u can do a lot o shit remotely that a typical old fart monkey may believe u need a scanner or the 'office' for. just remembenr, anything u old farts cd do, we can do better, with technoloy.
     
  5. Converting from pdf: And, if you want to convert pdf into a doc, there's a way to do that decently too.  You won't preserve everything, but if i'm in a time crunch or i just want to run a quick blackline to see if the text is different and don't have time to outsource this to word processing or a secretary or something, this is important.  If the pdf is not text readable already, go to Document -> OCR Text Recognition, and then scan thing using OCR. Now it's text readable. Then, go to Advanced -> Accessibility -> Add Tags to Document (this step is important because it will take all of the funny line breaks in your pdf when you normally copy and paste readable text).  Then highlight the text you want and paste into a doc. You can either paste straight and try your luck with the formatting. If it is disastrous, then use ctrl+7 to paste the text as unformatted text - good for just running blacklines etc. (There are other paste special options too if you need to explore - use the file menus to explore.) you'll catch all the page numebrs and random footers and headers, but those will be easy to ignore in a simple blackline (also, depdnngin on ur blacking program, u can probably presrve formatting int he blackline dpeending on what u use as the original and modifived versions - so play round with that too).

  6. Editing/Typing: ever need to fill in a date on a signed document? fix a tagline or something else? you can use the typewriter tool to directly type text on any part of the pdf and you can even customize the text too.  If you ever need to 'erase' or block out some part of a document, you can just create a blank box or text box to cover the area up. the typewriter lets u type in a basic font to fill in forms and write in dates sand stuff. but u can acces the properties bar to change some of the aspects and for toher object - like the text box, and commenter tools (below) - like the color, shading, opacity etc. all v helpful. and, just for a finishing touch, if i dont want peopel to know i typed this stuff in on pdf rather than hand-writing it or whatever for whatever reason, or more importantly, if i want to make sure that people cannot edit the text boxes or stuff i've typed in when they receive the pdf, rather than physically printing and rescanning, u can just print to pdf to basicaly flatten the image (think photoshop).  all these little things help circumvent the waste of time and energy to print something out and then re-scan it, especially if you are not in the office and don't have a scanner.

  7. Commenting: this is by far the most useful feature of pdf for me, and few people realize you can do this.  just make sure you are showing the comment and markup toolbar and you can use the tools to easily markup a document on screen.  This is exceedingly helpful when you don't want to run to the office to scan something, whether late at night, on the weekend, or if you're just playing hooky.  I typically just use the callout tool to write comments, then draw the arrows to where they should be inserted, and then little pencil marks for deletions. You can even copy and paste text from other documents (e.g., riders) into callout boxes. Even when i'm in the office, it's just become faster and easier for me to do this for quick comments. saves paper too. I use any number of the tips above in concert - say i have a prospectus that i have some minor comments on, i'll just extract the pages (or delete the unwanted pages), comment on screen, save, and off they go.  no printing. no illegible hand markups.  printers, subordinates, etc. will appreciate it alike.  and if u can teach this to ur old fart monkeys, maybe theyll start using it too and save u some ridiculoulsy stupid assignment whree u get a hand markup of something they could have done faster by themsefl or whatever. then u can just pass taht shit on to ur word processor. here's a like explaining all of the things you can do with it: pdf guide

  8. PrntScrn: This really isn't a pdf thing, but it can be and helps me out a lot too.  whenever i need or want to capture something i see on screen, whether it be a picture, a snippet of a blackline, some DD document i can't print or save, i use a program called fullshot that can capture screen shots of any region window, etc.  if you don't have a similar program, you can also use the prntscrn button which copies the whole screen to the clipboard - you just then need to crop it to what you want using ms paint or photoshop. depends on what ur firm has for prgrams.
anyway there's a shitload more u can prolly do with pdf, even some unwholesome stuff....but uh will let u figure that stuff out. harry potter didnt get everything handed to him.

    8 comments:

    1. AnonymousJune 21, 2011

      "pass taht shit on to ur word processor"

      Why I love this blog

      ReplyDelete
    2. AnonymousJune 25, 2011

      CML...does your firm do litigation also? Do you think litigators have it as bad as corporate lawyers or is one a better gig?

      ReplyDelete
    3. AnonymousJune 29, 2011

      Anyone home?

      ReplyDelete
    4. sorry about the delay in responding; have not been that busy lately; so have been spending most of my time on beaches golf courses and tennis courts....

      anyway, our firm does do litigation and i have had friends that have gone that route. the shrt answer is that the hrs can b abotu the same, and it seems the overal stress lvl is about the same too, but different. whether one is "better" really dpedns on ur own personality, career goals, etc. despit wat pppl may tell u, whethr u do one or other, or even wat area u specialize in will affect ur career path, where geographically can work, etc. maybe i can have a more fullsome post if i can get a litigatr friend to contribute a post. but for eg - corporates will largly have long, unpredicatble hours, with overall short time frames, doing many deals, getting short bursts of activity, little "legal" work i think with more focus on either execution or commercial points (talkin bout CM or MA - there r other corporate areas too that cd b of course just as differnt - FIG, products, credit, tax, ip). lits cd very well work on one case tehir whole career, or not even see it finish. they have milestones like motions to fight, summary jdgment, evidence hearings or whatever - and a lot of it i tink nvr goes to trial so its a lot of research, writing, reading. crunch tims come when u have to write briefs or motions or watever, but mostly i garner that the time is spent indpendently without as much client interaction or the felling of being at the beck n cal of the client. of crse there are different areas of lit too that differ - appellate, bankruptcy, etc. i thnk being in ctonrol of ur own time and more predictablity in lit is nice, but at a junior level, ull be da bitch to ur seniors in any place, so may not be that different, and i dont think this shld affect a decision to do one or th other as much as other factors - such as wher eu thkn u may want to end up, wat ur interested in, etc. litigators r relgated to the US mostly. litigators have futures in public policy, the publci sector politics, teaching, jthe court system, dispute resolution, in house litigation positions, academia, etc. corp types work everywhere, hav ea 'fast' pasced life that sees different deals (for bettr or worse), and have futures in finance, in house positions in general corporate work or in ur particular expertise, academia, business. i picked corp wrk becaus o geographical flexibility actually, but was trained as an ip lawyer, i even am a patent attorney...go figure. id suggest talkkng to people on both sides, but asking not about their work, but their lifestyle, what they do, their hobbis, their free time. find out which ppl tend to match ur personality, what they'vdecided to do and why, and if thy r happy. thas how i picked firms too. bottomline: wihtin a single firm, whtehr u do lit or corp, stress and hrs will undoubtedly be similar, otw a lot of poepl wd pick one over the other at the outset cuz everyone is green, its like natural selection, or osmosis. somthing like taht.

      ReplyDelete
    5. AnonymousJuly 02, 2011

      Does CML respond to comments?

      ReplyDelete
    6. sorry i responded earlier but i dunno whwat happened it got deleted. c below:
      ------
      sorry about the delay in responding; have not been that busy lately; so have been spending most of my time on beaches golf courses and tennis courts....

      anyway, our firm does do litigation and i have had friends that have gone that route. the shrt answer is that the hrs can b abotu the same, and it seems the overal stress lvl is about the same too, but different. whether one is "better" really dpedns on ur own personality, career goals, etc. despit wat pppl may tell u, whethr u do one or other, or even wat area u specialize in will affect ur career path, where geographically can work, etc. maybe i can have a more fullsome post if i can get a litigatr friend to contribute a post. but for eg - corporates will largly have long, unpredicatble hours, with overall short time frames, doing many deals, getting short bursts of activity, little "legal" work i think with more focus on either execution or commercial points (talkin bout CM or MA - there r other corporate areas too that cd b of course just as differnt - FIG, products, credit, tax, ip). lits cd very well work on one case tehir whole career, or not even see it finish. they have milestones like motions to fight, summary jdgment, evidence hearings or whatever - and a lot of it i tink nvr goes to trial so its a lot of research, writing, reading. crunch tims come when u have to write briefs or motions or watever, but mostly i garner that the time is spent indpendently without as much client interaction or the felling of being at the beck n cal of the client. of crse there are different areas of lit too that differ - appellate, bankruptcy, etc. i thnk being in ctonrol of ur own time and more predictablity in lit is nice, but at a junior level, ull be da bitch to ur seniors in any place, so may not be that different, and i dont think this shld affect a decision to do one or th other as much as other factors - such as wher eu thkn u may want to end up, wat ur interested in, etc. litigators r relgated to the US mostly. litigators have futures in public policy, the publci sector politics, teaching, jthe court system, dispute resolution, in house litigation positions, academia, etc. corp types work everywhere, hav ea 'fast' pasced life that sees different deals (for bettr or worse), and have futures in finance, in house positions in general corporate work or in ur particular expertise, academia, business. i picked corp wrk becaus o geographical flexibility actually, but was trained as an ip lawyer, i even am a patent attorney...go figure. id suggest talkkng to people on both sides, but asking not about their work, but their lifestyle, what they do, their hobbis, their free time. find out which ppl tend to match ur personality, what they'vdecided to do and why, and if thy r happy. thas how i picked firms too. bottomline: wihtin a single firm, whtehr u do lit or corp, stress and hrs will undoubtedly be similar, otw a lot of poepl wd pick one over the other at the outset cuz everyone is green, its like natural selection, or osmosis. somthing like taht.

      ReplyDelete
    7. AnonymousJuly 06, 2011

      ya u should get ur litigation friend to write a post...

      ReplyDelete
    8. i talked to a few more pople in lit recently and to go back on what i said before, it seems like lit generally IS better than corp just because its so much more predictble and timetables are driven less by intense banker types and more by easy going corp types or the court, which is even more easy going. however, id reiterate the point abotu not necessarily choosing a path based on hours. if all else is abotu thes ame or u dont care, have at it but otw think about ur interests, where u wanna be and where u may want to end up. ill get someone to write a post at some point.

      ReplyDelete

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