I’ve put together a little demonstration video to explain what Citesmith is and show how it works. In this short demonstration, I let Citesmith clean up some excerpts from a recent opinion by the Supreme Court of the United States—it found a lot of things to work on!
Citesmith Legal Editing Software – Demonstration from Ed Cottrell on Vimeo.
We’re not quite ready to make this available to everyone… but that doesn’t mean you can’t be first in line! Sign up by clicking the button below, and we’ll make sure you know when Citesmith is available.
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Citesmith is a Microsoft Word add-on that will save you countless hours of editing time. It will do all of these things, automatically:
- Abbreviate words in case names, Bluebook-style. (You can even use a custom list of abbreviations!)
- Convert documents that use one space after sentences to use two and vice versa, with a single click of a button.
- Convert straight quotes (“…” and ‘…’) to smart quotes (“…” and ‘…’) or vice versa.
- Convert ellipsis characters (“…”) to spaced ellipses (“. . .”) or vice versa.
- Catch a number of “lawyerisms” and suggest better word choices (you can turn this off or specify your own trigger words and phrases).
- Fix weird formatting issues in text copied from online databases like Westlaw (for example, “(Mich.2000)” will be corrected to “(Mich. 2000)”).
- Fix lots of missing-space issues, such as “pp.19-20” (should be “pp. 19–20”).
- Fix misuses of hyphens (-), en dashes (–), and em dashes (—).
- Add non-breaking spaces where appropriate (for example, after the section § or paragraph ¶ symbols).
- Fix weird formatting issues with cases from the Texas Courts of Appeals, which result when copying text from online legal research databases (for example, Citesmith changes “Tex.Civ.App.-Austin” to “Tex. Civ. App.—Austin”).
- Fix the apostrophe direction in documents referring to patents in short form (for example, fixes “the ‘123 patent” to be “the ’123 patent”).
- And much more!
It can even use “tracked changes” for each of the above, so you can see exactly what changes were made!
You can even specify profiles to use for different purposes. For example, say you are working with a client or senior lawyer who prefers to use names in place of party descriptions like “defendant.” You can create a profile for that client or senior lawyer and have the software flag all of the places you have used the offending word or phrase. (Citesmith will even detect uses in a quotation and leave them alone!) If you have other clients or colleagues who have conflicting preferences, no problem: just save a profile for those preferences!
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