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Like it or not, Microsoft Word is one of the two de facto word processing applications lawyers have to make peace with. (The other, WordPerfect, continues to enjoy widespread use, in spite of itself.)

Many practitioners, though, don't unlock the true power of Microsoft Word. Instead, they treat it as more or less a text-based word processor, which it is, but it's also desktop publishing software. Take a look at these tips to see if you're using Word to its full potential.

"Analytics" is everywhere these days, from social media to baseball. It's the process of aggregating a bunch of data and then using those data to formulate trends or come to conclusions.

The legal world is embracing analytics, too -- and in some interesting ways. A startup company called Ravel Law just debuted a platform called Judge Analytics, which seeks to aggregate data about state and federal judges so that litigants can fine-tune their strategies for specific judges.

Google announced last week the creation of a "Google Scholar" button for Chrome. The button sits in your tool bar and allows you to search for terms on a Web page in Google Scholar without actually going to the Google Scholar website.

No less an authority than Professor Orin Kerr of George Washington University Law School lauded the button last week -- because Google Scholar also searches case law. That it does, but for practitioners, a legal research database is still the best solution.

Unless you're some fancy Senator, you've got to use email. Maybe all day long. It can be easy to get buried under hundreds of daily emails.

Google Inbox, the invite only app, tries to make email less of a chore. But, for lawyers, is it worth actually switching over to?

Hey, world: Clean out your inbox!

I subscribe to, and routinely evangelize about, Merlin Mann's "Inbox Zero" technique of email filing. It's a simple way of organizing your email that results in fewer headaches. Basically, if you can't get something done in two minutes, file it for later. Once you read an email and there's no further action to be taken, delete it or archive it. Then use the time you save to look smugly down at all those people who use their Inbox to store all their emails.

I was an IT Guy once. In college, I worked as a student technician, responsible for helping other students troubleshoot computer and network connectivity issues. Internet Explorer was the bane of my existence.

The time was 2002-05, the height of Internet Explorer 6's popularity. IE6 used a plugin technology called ActiveX that basically gave ActiveX controls unfettered access to the operating system. This was, as you might expect, a terrible idea that led to horrible security problems at worst, and headache-inducing annoyance at best.

Is it 2010 already? That's the last time Microsoft Office for Mac, the ugly stepchild of the Microsoft Office family, got a whole-number update. Well, you can throw away your Ke$ha album and upgrade to something more modern, because Microsoft has announced that Office for Mac 2016 is coming in the second half of 2015.

And what's the best part? There's a free preview available right now! We spent some time with the Office for Mac 2016 preview, and here are our first impressions:

FindLaw's 10 Most Popular Gadget Posts of 2014

It's no secret that FindLaw's Technologist is my favorite of our Legal Professional blogs. Tech + Law = Geek happiness. But this is a surprisingly broad blog: national security, cybercrime, online legal marketing, software, hardware, and gadgets are all fair game.

And out of all that, the gadget review posts are my favorite. Why? It's my chance to play with a new toy and to tell you how that toy might be somewhat, arguably, useful to your practice. (At least if the tax man is asking -- gotta love deductions.)

Anyway, I love gadgets and apparently y'all do too, as our gadget review posts were among our most popular, traffic-wise. Here were our Top 10 legal tech reviews for 2014:

Using Windows 8.1 on a 7-Inch $59 Tablet Is Interesting, Worth It

It's not much of a secret around here that I despise Windows 8.1. I'm not the only one -- its market share is in single-digit territory -- but I haven't exactly been shy about my feelings: It was a terrible mistake by Microsoft to push a touch-first operating system on everyone, especially corporate, legal, and other business users whose keyboard-and-mouse setups did not play well with the OS.

On Friday, I bought my first Windows 8.1 device: a $59 WinBook TW70CA17 tablet from Micro Center. And while it may not be fair to evaluate the OS in such a less-than-ideal environment, I really was curious to see how it would fare on a tiny 7-inch screen with bare minimum specs: a quad-core Intel Atom Z3735G processor with 1 GB RAM and 16 GB flash storage.

Why did I engage in the tech equivalent of self-flagellation with a spiked leather belt? The tablet, however useful or not it may be, came bundled with Office 365 Personal ($70 from Microsoft), which meant I saved $10 on Office 365 and got the tablet for free.

WordPress 3.x Security Warning: Malicious Code Hidden in Comments

That annoying comment might be more than spam telling visitors how to solve their intimacy issues, or how to make easy money at home. Instead, it may be malicious code that could hijack your site, lock you out completely, and even take over your server as a whole -- a nightmare for larger companies that store more than a simple webpage on their servers.

Fortunately, the bug, discovered by Finnish IT security company Klikki Oy, was reported to WordPress months before being made public, and security patches are already being automatically (no pun intended) deployed. The bug affects an estimated 86 percent of WordPress sites (those running any unpatched version of WordPress 3 -- version 4.0, which was released in September, are not affected). The exploit uses text input fields, such as the enabled-by-default blog comments feature, to deploy malicious code.