The Microsoft Word integration is a core functionality of Smokeball. Generating documents from the Precedent Library saves time and ensures accuracy for your firm’s drafted documents.
The integration adds helpful Smokeball buttons to Word. This article walks through the basics of leveraging Smokeball’s Word features. Precedent and document automation features also use this integration to seamlessly pull matter data from Smokeball.
Keep both Smokeball and Word applications open on your computer to provide a seamless experience.
There are many ways to use Word with Smokeball:
Navigating the Smokeball Toolbar
Expand the toolbar on the right panel of the document to access matter details and additional automation options.
The first buttons in the toolbar allow you to create new precedents or letters from Word itself:
- Letter: Generates a letter to a contact. Learn more about creating letters.
- Form: Generates a cover letter.
- Precedent: Opens the Precedent Library.
- Matters: This creates a blank document and allows you to attach it to another existing matter.
The toolbar pulls matter details into Word and allows you to amend the data.
Double-click the arrow on the relevant field to amend the data.
Right-click on a field for further data amendment options.
When you make changes to these fields, those changes will sync back to Smokeball.
If you update matter data and then open an existing document, you have the option to update the data in the saved document from the toolbar.
Navigating the Smokeball Ribbon
- Save & Close icon: Allows you to save the document in the Smokeball matter file and close the document.
- Save & Close drop-down menu:
- Save: Allows you to instantly save the document in Smokeball without closing it.
- Save As: Allows you to rename and save the document without closing it.
- Billable?: By default (when blue), the button charges the time spent on the document to the client. Switch off the button if you do not want to charge the client for the document.
- Message: Sends the document via secure message with Communicate.
- Click Message.
- Require the recipient to go through Multi-Factor Authentication to gain access to the document.
- Click the Add button to send the document to the parties or staff members.
- Type a Message in the box to accompany the document.
- Rename the document in the File name field if required.
- Click Share to send the document.
- Click Message.
- Email: Allows you to send the document in an email via Outlook.
- Sign: Allows you to insert Electronic Signatures with InfoTrack: DocuSign.
- Close: Closes the document without saving.
Create envelopes and labels
- Go to Mailings and click the Smokeball Envelopes button.
- The Delivery Address box prefills with Addressee information. You can update the precedent’s addressee if required.
Good to Know
Grey shading on your precedent denotes a text form field. Double-click the shading and amend the text in the subsequent dialogue window.
If you want to remove the text form field and type directly on the document: Highlight the text form field and hold down Ctrl + Shift + F9.
Run questions for this form: Appears on precedents with Ask automations. Click this option to regenerate automated questions.
Replace references: This allows you to replace an automated precedent field with another matter field or contact. It is useful when:
- You want to duplicate the entire edited document but change the contact's name (make sure to use Save & Close dropdown > Save As option to duplicate the existing document in Smokeball).
- You are working on a precedent from a separate matter type with different fields.
To use this:
- Click Replace References.
- In the dialogue window, select the automated precedent field in the Replace dropdown menu.
- Select the field or contact to insert into the precedent in the With menu.
- Click OK.
Matter settings: Allows you to add uncommon fields or contact the matter in Word. You can also view matter changes in Matter History.
Change the matter: Continue working with an empty version of the precedent for a different matter. It is useful when you need to draft multiple copies of the same precedent for different matters. Make sure to use the Save & Close dropdown > Save or Save As option before changing the matter.
Provide feedback on this form: Appears on Court & Authority Forms or Marketplace Precedents. It allows you to provide a quick suggestion to the Product team about the precedent. The product team may contact you for further discussion about the feedback.
Smokeball can handle the automation of multiple copies of the same precedent to multiple addressees. For example, you need to automate multiple copies of a litigation precedent for multiple plaintiffs.
To set up the automation:
Add a Party Ask to the precedent template
- Right-click the precedent in the Precedent Library.
- Select Modify.
- Expand the Details section in the Smokeball toolbar.
- Select the relevant contact type(s) to automate from the Addressee drop-down menu.
- Click the Save & Close icon in the Smokeball Ribbon.
Automate the precedent to multiple addresses
- Open the precedent from the Precedent Library.
- Tick the multiple contacts in the new dialogue window.
- Select the preferred layout option:
- One document per addressee: Opens a separate precedent for each selected contact.
- One document with all addressees listed: Opens one precedent with all the selected contacts appearing in the Addressee section.
- Click the Create … Document(s) button to open the precedent in Word.
Learn more about automating multiple addressees.
Working with the "One document per addressee" layout in Word
When creating documents with the One document per addressee layout option, Word opens one precedent copy at a time. For example, only the precedent for Plaintiff 1 appears at first.
Once you complete working on the precedent for Contact 1, the Smokeball Ribbon becomes crucial to access the next contact’s precedent copy.
- Save & Next icon: Saves the precedent copy to Smokeball and opens the next precedent copy. By default, the precedent saves with the name [Precedent name] – [Contact name].
- Save & Next drop-down menu:
- Save: Saves the precedent to Smokeball without closing.
- Save As: This allows you to save the precedent to Smokeball with a custom name, without closing the precedent.
- Close & Cancel: Closes the precedent without saving and cancels the automation process. If you saved documents to Smokeball earlier in the automation process, they remain intact.
- If you want to start the automation process again: Open the precedent in the Precedent Library and tick the remaining contacts.
The Smokeball toolbar and ribbon display when you open Word outside of Smokeball. It allows you to integrate the document into Smokeball. Once you associate the document with a matter, the standard integration features appear in Word.
Note: It is best practice to open precedents or letters from within Smokeball.
Navigating the Smokeball Toolbar
You can associate the word document with a matter using the toolbar. Either select from the list of recently viewed matters or type in the search bar.
Navigating the Smokeball Ribbon
- Save to Smokeball: Opens the Matter list so you can save the document to a matter or lead in Smokeball.
- Search for a matter or lead using the search bar.
- Filter the list by status with the Show drop-down.
- Create Template: Click the button to turn the document into a precedent template.
- Opens the matter list as above. Select any matter with the relevant matter type.
- Smokeball requires the matter type to create a precedent template.
- The Add a Precedent dialogue window pops up. Select the relevant options and click Create.
- Learn more about creating a precedent template.
- Close: Closes the document without closing Word.
A .PDF format precedent opens in Smokeball’s PDF viewer. Smokeball automates available data to text form fields. Otherwise, click each field to input information.
Learn more about PDF precedents.