A day or two ago, I was asked to review a draft brief. I was on the road, with a laptop but without a printer, so I reviewed the brief on the computer screen. Today I printed out a copy of the same brief, and noticed some areas where the formatting could be improved—areas that I did not notice when reviewing on the computer screen.
One of these days, all of our legal writing will be designed for reading on the computer screen. But today, much of it is still designed for reading on paper. As was this brief, which will be filed on paper. So if the intended audience will be reading it on paper, then at some point in the editing, you must print it out. This is the only way that you will see exactly what the reader will see. And if you don’t see exactly what the reader will see, you may miss something.
p.s. For prior posts on formatting and typography, click here.