Contract Negotiation Technology

I’ve talked before about contract management systems. That’s probably the single biggest “new” technology in the last several years that assists us with our daily lives.

But there’s a more well-known, yet unsung, bit of technology that I use daily as well. Can you guess what it is? If you said a word processor, you’d be close.

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a huge Macintosh fan. In fact, “fan” might not be strong enough of a term to use. Which means, that by default, I am not exactly full of excitement for Microsoft.

I suppose this started a long time ago, in a galaxy known as DOS. Back in the day, I used a word processor that was the dominant force in the marketplace: WordPerfect. I started in version 4.2, went to 5.0 (then quickly to 5.1). I simply loved the white courier monospaced font on the blue background. WordPerfect was my buddy. I used it faithfully for years – even when other folks started using a new product called Word. (Remember function key combinations and the function key overlay?)

The irony is that Word for Macintosh was much better than WordPerfect 3 for Mac. I also couldn’t control what my employers were giving me to use, either. So it was with great reluctance that I learned how to use Word. But I never understood how a piece of software that could originally fit on a single 400K floppy disc now need a DVD for the regular installation.

Anyways, in the middle of law school, I was turned on to a feature which assisted in document editing and versioning. It’s called “Track Changes” and it, more than anything, is that daily technology which helps me with contract redlining. I teach everyone with which I exchange documents about Track Changes. Lawyers, contract negotiators, business owners, senior executives. Everyone! If you’re not using it… let me know and I’ll teach you how (without Balloons, though).

So it comes as no shock to me that Microsoft knows statistics on EVERY Word feature, along with the propensity for use. Wanna’ guess at the top 5, which together accounted for about 32% of ALL feature use?

1. Paste: 11%
2. Save (WordPerfect FunctionKey: F10)
3. Copy (WordPerfect FunctionKey: F12 – block, Ctrl+F4 – Move)
4. Undo (WordPerfect FunctionKey: F1 – undelete)
5. Bold (WordPerfect FunctionKey: F6)

In fact, paste is so popular (especially the toolbar icon), that Microsoft moved it to prime real estate on the default toolbar! And “Accept Change” is at #100 – so folks are using Track Changes to some level of popularity. Good for them!

Which leads me to an interesting observation. WordPerfect didn’t have a simple Paste function (it was a part of the “Ctrl+F4-then-select-from-a-menu” set of options). I wonder if that is why no one uses it anymore. 😉


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