The Westlaw Case Notebook Portable E-Transcript iPad app makes reading transcripts much easier

October 10, 2012

ipad_app_iconIf you have ever had to review transcripts from a deposition, you know that it isn’t a pleasant experience.

They are monotonous, hard to read, and it’s easy to lose your place.

In addition, you sometimes have to read over the parts that make you mad at yourself because you wish, looking back, that you would have asked something differently.

Thomson Reuters Westlaw has a new iPad and iPhone app that can help with all of those things – well, except for the last one: the Westlaw Case Notebook Portable E-Transcript app.

However, don’t let the “Case Notebook” part make you think that you need to have a subscription to that service to use the app.

It’s 100% free and you can use it completely independently from any other application or service.

On the other hand, if you do happen to use Case Notebook, this app is even better, since it interacts fluidly with the desktop application.

For instance, if you regularly use Case Notebook, you’ll, in all likelihood, have at least a few deposition transcripts stored within the app.

With Portable E-Transcript, you can make new or additional notes in the transcript on your iPad and easily transfer those annotations back to Case Notebook via email (or to someone who uses Case Notebook).

As mentioned earlier, you can make annotations in the transcript – meaning, you can highlight portions of text and add notes to each specific highlighted section.

etranscript screenshotAnd, instead of having to scroll through the entire document to find these highlighted portions, there’s a menu that gives you quick access to all of your annotations.

Just to the right of that menu is another that also provides easy access to specific sections of the transcript: the Word Index.

This menu lists virtually every word used within the transcript along with the frequency of its usage.

Thankfully, the app doesn’t make you scroll through the entire list of words; instead, the Word Index includes a search option to let you jump to exactly what you’re searching for.

And selecting a word in the index brings you to an index of every instance that the specific word is used in the transcript; selecting any of those instances brings you directly to that section of the transcript.

These features do more than make reviewing transcripts easier; they make it faster, so you can get more done (i.e. review more transcripts) in less time.

If you ever need to review a transcript and you have the electronic version, you need to get Portable E-Transcript – especially if you have or ever plan on receiving transcripts from a court reporter “PTX” file format.

Reading anything on your iPad is easier than sitting at your desk staring at a monitor, and the ability to bring it anywhere just adds to its usefulness.

If you use Case Notebook, Portable E-Transcript is an even bigger must – it allows you to share annotations and transcripts between the two platforms.

Either way, you should pick it up; after all, it’s free, and that’s a price you can’t argue with.