I could really use a low-cost legal research tool. What are my options?

Conor Jensen

The State Bar of Texas is the first and only bar association to offer its members free access to both Casemaker and Fastcase. Get access to Texas Supreme Court opinions, Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals opinions, U.S. Supreme Court opinions, and additional information. Access both Fastcase and Casemaker through your My Bar Page account here or your TexasBarCLE account.

How do I effectively search in my Online manual?

Texas Bar Books Staff

If you are searching for one term in the Online manual, just type it in the manual’s search field. If you would like search results for a precise phrase or string of words, use quotation marks (e.g., “Statutes of Limitations”). If you want search results that include “Statutes” but not “Limitations,” use the term “NOT” (e.g., Statutes NOT Limitations). The Boolean terms AND and OR also apply.

What forms are included in the manual?

Texas Bar Books Staff

The Online manuals contain all of the content of the printed books as web pages accessible via any Internet browser on any device able to access the Internet, and the digital downloads contain all of the books’ content in PDF. This content includes all of the books’ forms in both cases. Forms in Word, Excel, and PDF Online manuals and most digital downloads also include State Bar of Texas–copyrighted forms from the books as downloadable, editable text files in MS Word and, in some cases, Excel. Some products also include the full text of selected CLE articles from the TexasBarCLE Online Library or forms available from state and federal agencies as individual PDF files. Digital downloads of the Texas Pattern Jury Charges series (both civil and criminal) contain charge language/instruction files in Word. Texas Bar Books toolbar Although all of the products’ Word files are compatible with both Word on Windows and Word for Macintosh, the Texas Bar Books toolbar is specifically designed for use with Word on Windows systems only. Instructional language is included in the Word forms as hidden text. Be aware that this language will be included in your completed forms unless you specifically delete it.

How do I install the Texas Bar Books toolbar?

Texas Bar Books Staff

Note: The Texas Bar Books toolbar is compatible with Word on Windows systems only. If you have a different operating system or word processor, learn how to manipulate forms content without the toolbar here. Online subscription products All Texas Bar Practice Online subscription products contain Word forms designed for use with the toolbar. To install the toolbar, go here. Digital downloads Digital downloads with Word forms designed to use the toolbar already include the toolbar installation files inside a “Navigational Toolbar” subfolder, but the toolbar must still be manually installed. To install the toolbar, navigate to and open the digital download subfolder that corresponds with your Microsoft Word version (for example, at C:\Texas Collections Manual 2020\Forms\Navigational Toolbar\Word_2013_and_later\) and double-click the command file named “TBB_toolbar_install.” Once you relaunch Word, a new tab named “TBB Forms” should sit in the far right position of your top menu. Having trouble with the toolbar? To learn how to use the toolbar, watch the tutorial video here. If you experience any difficulty downloading, installing, or using the toolbar, please don’t hesitate to call us for assistance at 512-427-1499, M-F 8:30 am – 4:30 pm. Or click the “Contact” button or the chat icon in the …

What devices are Texas Bar Practice products compatible with?

Texas Bar Books Staff

Online manual You may use the Online manuals with any device that has Internet access and browser software or a browser app, including desktops, laptops, tablets, and mobile phones. The layout of the site will respond to whatever device you are using for an optimal user experience. Digital download Software for viewing PDF files is required to view the digital download’s main PDF file. Although any PDF file software or app will be able to display that file’s content, to use the bookmarks, links, and other advanced features, we recommend the free Adobe Reader software (available at http://get.adobe.com/reader/) installed on a desktop or laptop. Downloaded forms To download forms in MS Word, Excel, or PDF from the online subscription or with the digital download, the device must be one that can download and save files, and to manipulate the forms, the device must be able to use those types of files. Texas Bar Books toolbar The Texas Bar Books toolbar is compatible with Word on Windows only and must have been installed locally to function. Although the toolbar can be extremely beneficial when manipulating the Word forms, it is not required. Learn how to install the toolbar here, or watch …

Is my work in an online manual saved when I log out?

Texas Bar Books Staff

Yes. Customer feedback convinced us that storing your work in previous sessions for reference at any time on any device would provide vital information in many situations, such as in court, in meetings with judges or opposing counsel, or when working from home.

How secure is the information I enter when using an online manual?

Texas Bar Books Staff

When you download a Word version of a form and enter client information, the editable form exists on your device. As long as you save the completed form on your device, it will be as secure as any other information you have stored. When you use the bookmarking, highlighting, or note-taking features of the Online manual, that information is stored on servers. Although your saved bookmarks, highlights, and notes will be accessible to only someone accessing the Online manual through your account, you are strongly advised against using these features to add information that might be considered confidential client information. The State Bar of Texas makes no representations concerning whether entering confidential client information would or would not constitute a breach of confidentiality.

How do I modify my downloaded forms?

Texas Bar Books Staff

You can modify your downloaded Word forms the same way you would any other document, or for greater efficiency, use the Texas Bar Books toolbar. “Edit Document” mode In Word, toggle between Read mode and Edit Document mode using the View tab. Read-only, compatibility mode Your downloaded Word forms are set as read-only so that after you make changes to one and try to save it, you’ll be prompted to Save As instead. That way, you’ll end up with both your modified version named whatever you want and saved wherever you want as well as the original downloaded form ready for use again with a different client. Hidden text Many forms include instructions as red-colored hidden text to help you prepare the form. These instructions should be deleted before printing a finished form or sharing it electronically. In Word, toggle between showing and hiding the instructions—or permanently delete the instructions—by clicking the appropriate button on the Texas Bar Books toolbar. If you don’t have the toolbar installed, to show or hide the instructions, use Word’s File tab. Select File > Options > Display and check or uncheck the “Hidden text” box. Choosing/replacing form variables Use the Texas Bar Books toolbar …

How do I manipulate forms content without the toolbar?

Texas Bar Books Staff

Although Word forms downloaded from the online subscription products and included with most digital downloads are designed to use the Texas Bar Books toolbar, they can be manipulated without the toolbar. Note that the toolbar is compatible with Word on Windows only. Hidden text Many Texas Bar Practice forms include instructions as red-colored hidden text to help you prepare the form. These instructions should not be printed with the finished form and should be deleted before sharing a finished form electronically. For Word on Windows, to show or hide the instructions without using the toolbar, use Word’s File tab. Select File > Options > Display and check or uncheck the “Hidden text” box. For Word for Macintosh, to show or hide the instructions, select Preferences > View > Nonprinting Characters and check or uncheck the “Hidden text” box. For WordPerfect, to show or hide the instructions, select Tools > Settings > Display and check or uncheck the “Hidden text” box. Deleting hidden text For Word on Windows, to permanently remove hidden text from a form without using the toolbar, you can use Word’s Inspect Document tool, accessible through Word’s File tab. Select File > Info > Check for Issues > …

How do I extract zip files on Windows?

Texas Bar Books Staff

To access downloaded content compressed in a zip file, follow the steps below. When downloading the zip file, save it to your preferred location on your computer (e.g., your desktop). When the zip file is finished downloading, navigate to the folder where you saved it and locate the zip file icon. Right-click the icon and select “Extract all.” Follow the dialog box prompts to complete the file extraction. When the extraction is complete, a folder will appear next to the zip file with the full digital download contents.

What software or apps are required to make full use of Texas Bar Practice products?

Texas Bar Books Staff

Internet browser The Online manuals contain all of the content of the printed books as web pages accessible via any Internet browser on any device able to access the Internet. The Online manuals also have a robust search feature and are fully hyperlinked for easy navigation. PDF file software The digital downloads contain all of the content of the printed books as PDF files that are hyperlinked for easy navigation. Although most software capable of viewing PDF files suffice for viewing the content, to fully take advantage of the advanced features included in these PDF files, we recommend Adobe Reader on a desktop or laptop. You may download a free copy of the Adobe Reader software at http://get.adobe.com/reader/. Some Online manuals and digital downloads also include the full text of selected CLE articles from the TexasBarCLE Online Library or forms available from state and federal agencies as individual PDF files. Word-processing software All Online manuals and most digital downloads include State Bar of Texas–copyrighted forms as downloadable, editable text files in MS Word. Word 2007 or later is recommended for Word forms specifically designed for use with the Texas Bar Books toolbar, which include the forms for the Online manuals …