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Bookmarks can also be nested underneath
other bookmarks to create a tiered
structure of bookmarks, as in the
illustration. Notice that the Argument and
Authorities bookmark has three nested
bookmarks underneath. These bookmarks
link to different argument headings in
that section of the brief. Clicking on the
minus sign next to the Argument and
Authorities bookmarks collapses these
bookmarks so that they are not visible. A
plus sign then appears next to the
Arguments and Authorities bookmark,
which will expand the nested bookmarks
and make them visible again when
To nest a bookmark underneath another bookmark, move the bookmark as described above. But
this time, move the bookmark up and over underneath the bookmark where you want it nested. In
other words, select the bookmark by left clicking and holding the mouse button down. Then
move it up and to the right without releasing the mouse button. Release the mouse button once
the bookmark appears to be indented. Once you have the bookmarks the way you want them, be
sure to save your document in order to save your changes!
Step 6: Redacting sensitive information
You must redact the following information from your briefs, appendix materials, records in
original proceedings and any other electronic documents that you send to the court: (1) social
security numbers; (2) a birth date; (3) a home address; (4) the name of any person who was
a minor when the underlying suit was filed; (5) a driver’s license number; (6) a passport
number; (7) a tax identification number; (8) any similar government-issued personal
identification number; (9) bank account numbers; (10) credit card numbers; and (11) any
other financial account number.
The best way to avoid having to redact your brief is to not use any of the above information in
your brief. This information will seldom be of use to an appellate court or its staff.
The most important thing to remember about redacting documents is that you must do so in a
way that permanently removes the information from the document. Do not use a black
highlighter in Adobe Acrobat to cover up the information! Highlighter marks can be
removed by anyone with Adobe Acrobat. And anyone can search the text of the document to find
the text that is beneath the highlighter mark.
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If you have Adobe Acrobat Pro, you can use the redaction features of the program to redact
documents electronically (see instructions below). Please note that Adobe Acrobat Standard
does not have redaction features.
If you do not have Adobe Acrobat Pro, then you should edit the text of any document that you
have in the original text files (e.g. a Word document) to remove the information. Replace any
characters that you remove with the letter x and then save the edited document as a new
document. This is the method recommended by the National Security Agency (see Supreme
Court Clerk’s Redaction Guidelines and NSA article below). Here is an example:
Original text document:
Mike Brown’s social security number is 357-57-7372. His home address is 1510
Maple Avenue, New York, 201292. His credit card number is 2138 2912 2938
Mike Brown’s social security number is xxxxxxxxxx. His home address is xxxx xxxxx xxxxxxx
xxx xxxxx xxxxxxx. His credit card number is xxxx xxxx xxxx xxxx.
As you can see, depending on the font you are using, editing the document in this way may
slightly alter the layout of your document. Be sure to check the page layout to see if your page
numbering has been altered. If you do not have Adobe Acrobat Pro and you only have the
documents in paper format, you will need to copy the documents, redact them manually, and
then scan the redacted documents.
Redacting Using Adobe Acrobat Pro
1. In Adobe Acrobat Pro 9, choose Advanced > Redaction > Mark for Redaction. In
Adobe Acrobat X, choose the Tools side panel > Protection > Mark for Redaction.
2. Mark words for redaction by selecting the text you want to redact. To select text, click
and drag across the text using the redaction tool. You can also double click a word to
mark it for redaction.
3. Preview what the text will look like when redacted by placing the cursor over the word
marked for redaction.
4. Once you are satisfied with the appearance, choose Apply Redactions.
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Beyond the Basics: Creating a hyperlinked brief
Once you have combined your document and appendix materials into one compute file, you are
ready to create a hyperlinked brief. The rules do not require that your brief contain hyperlinks,
but justices and their staff appreciate hyperlinked briefs.
The number of hyperlinks you provide is entirely up to you. It is possible to hyperlink every
citation in your brief, including your Table of Authorities, to the case or other authority in your
appendix , or to an online resource like Westlaw or Lexis-Nexis (but the majority of justices
prefer that you hyperlink to authorities contained in the appendix because they travel and often
do not have internet access). But you may also choose to hyperlink only key authorities and
record citations. Some advocate this minimalist approach to hyperlinking because it serves to
emphasize important authorities and materials.
Creating a fully hyperlinked brief, one that hyperlinks every authority, is a lot of work. If you
want to provide a fully hyperlinked brief to the court, but do not want to do all of the work, there
are many companies that provide this service for a fee. Be sure to make sure that the company is
familiar with the court’s rules before hiring them.
To create hyperlinks in Adobe Acrobat, follow these steps:
1. Select the text or graphic element, such as a photo, with the Select tool (the arrow in
the toolbar). Click and drag over the text you want to use for the link in order to
highlight the text (e.g. case citation).
2. Right click (Windows) or CTRL-click (Apple), and then choose Create Link from the
menu. The Create Link dialog box appears.
3. In the Link Appearance area of the Create Link dialog box, click on the Link Type
drop-down arrow and choose one of the following: (1) Visible Rectangle (creates a
link with a visible rectangle); (2) Invisible Rectangle (create a link that is not visible).
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4. If you choose to make your hyperlink visible, click on the Line Thickness drop-down
arrow and choose, Thin, Medium, or Thick. This option defines the thickness of the
hyperlink border. Most people use Thin.
5. Click the Line-Style drop-down arrow and choose, Solid, Dashed, or Underline.
Choose Underline as this will create a line underneath the highlighted text (Solid
creates a rectangle and Dashed creates a rectangle with dashes).
6. Click the Color Swatch and choose the color of your line. Most people choose a light
blue line, although gray is sometimes used.
7. Choose one of the following from the Link Action area to specify the action that is
taken when the hyperlink is clicked:
a. If you are creating a link to a web page, choose “Open a Web Page.” The Edit
URL dialog box appears, enabling you to enter the URL of the web page that
opens when the hyperlink is clicked.
b. If you are creating a link to a page in your PDF file (e.g. you combined your
petition and appendix together as one file and you want to add a hyperlink in
your petition or brief to a page in your appendix), choose “Go to Page View.”
This allows you to specify which page will appear and to what zoom level
when the hyperlink is clicked.
c. If you are creating a CD containing your brief and the materials cited in your
brief, choose “Open a File.” This will load the file when the hyperlink is
clicked. The files you are linking to must be on the same CD as the brief and
the file path must remain the same.
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To delete a hyperlink,
click on Tools > Link.
This will enable you to
Then click on the
hyperlink you want to
delete. Right click,
then choose Edit >
If you want change the
appearance of the
hyperlink or the action
performed when the
hyperlink is selected,
select the hyperlink,
right click and select
Properties instead of
Properties brings up
the Link Properties
dialog box. You can
now change the
appearance or action
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The Edit Document Text tool
It is not unusual to get to the end of the process of creating an electronic brief and discover that
you have made a typographical error. This can be especially frustrating and stressful when you
are trying to meet a deadline. Your first inclination might be that you have to fix any mistakes in
your brief in Word or WordPerfect and then convert everything to PDF again. But you may be
able to fix some simple typographical errors using Adobe Acrobat. The Edit Document Text
tool allows you to erase and type in a PDF as though it were a word processing document. Adobe
Acrobat automatically recognizes the font type and size, and you can backspace to remove text
and then retype. To use the tool, select Tools > Content > Edit Document Text. Then place
your cursor where you want to edit and type as you would with a word processor.
The tool has some serious limitations. First, not all fonts are available in Adobe Acrobat. If you
used an unusual font you may get the following message:
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The Edit Document Text tool also cannot reflow all of the text in your document like a word
processor, so you may be able to fix a simple typographical error, but you cannot use the tool to
retype sizeable portions of your brief.
If the mistake cannot be fixed with the Edit Document Text tool, you may be able to fix the
error by deleting the offending page and replacing it with a corrected page. To replace a page,
first fix the mistake in your word processing program. Then convert the corrected word
processing document to PDF. Now Extract the corrected page from your corrected PDF and
save it as a separate PDF document. Then Delete the page with the error from your original PDF.
Now Insert the corrected page into the proper place in the original PDF.
Depending on the mistake, it may just be easier to start over and recombine all your files after
fixing the error in your brief. But if you have done a lot of manual bookmarking and
hyperlinking, replacing the page using Adobe Acrobat may be easier than starting all over again.
Documents you may be interested
Documents you may be interested