Searching Through the Content of Documents

Content searches are among the most common searches used to find documents. You can build content searches out of single terms or multi-word phrases. You can also link terms and phrases together with “AND” and “OR” logical operators. Note that when we index documents, we ignore capitalization (except in the case of logical operators). As a result, content searches are not case-sensitive. Additionally, there are no stop or noise words; Everlaw content search indexes all words. 

1. Single Term Searches: To create a single term search, simply type the desired term into the content search term. The search below will return the documents that contain the word "energy".

2. Phrase Searches: To create a phrase search, surround the phrase you want to search for with quotation marks. The search below will return documents that contain the phrase “california summer”.

3. Linking Terms or Phrases: You can link terms or phrases within a single content search term by utilizing the “AND” and “OR” logical operators.

  • OR: There are three ways to OR terms or phrases together. First, separating terms or phrases by a comma or space automatically defaults to an “OR” search. If you want to use an explicit “OR” logical operator, you can either type “OR” (in all caps), or use the “||” symbol. The three searches shown below are all equivalent. They will return documents that contain either the word “energy”, the phrase “california summer”, or the phrase “enron audit”.           
  • AND: There are two ways to AND terms or phrases together: you can either use “AND” (in all caps) to separate the words/phrases, or use “&&”. The two searches shown below are equivalent. They will return documents that contain both the word “blackout” and the phrase “california summer”.
  • Grouping: You can use parentheses to form subqueries within searches. This is useful if you want to control which terms or phrases a logical operator applies to. For example, if you want to create a search that will return documents that contain either the word “juice” or “orange” and the word “organic”, you would build the following search:

4. Other operators: Aside from “AND” and “OR” operators, Everlaw also supports “NOT”, “+”,  and “-”.

  • The “NOT” operator allows you to exclude documents that contain the word or phrase that follows the operator. For example, if you want to find all documents that contain the phrase “cumulative risk” but not the word “regulation”, you would build the following search:                          
  • The “+” operator allows you to designate terms that must appear in the documents that are retrieved via a search. For example, if you want to look for documents that must contain “cumulative” and, optionally, might contain “risk”, you would build the following search:                          
  • The “-” operator allows you to designate terms that cannot appear in the documents that are retrieved via a search. For example, if you want to look for documents that contain the phrase “cumulative risk” but not the word “government”, you would build the following search:

5. Has any textYou can search for all documents that have any searchable text by checking the "Has any text" box. For example, a document with an empty text file would not be returned here.

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5. Special charactersYou can also create a content search for the following special characters:  "$", "#", "@", "&", and "%". Other special characters, like "(" or "/", are treated as spaces. 
Everlaw can also index diacritics (for example, é or ñ). Searching for "fiancée" will yield separate results than searching for "fiancee." 

 

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