Notes and Highlights

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What are notes?

Notes are free-form comments that reviewers can apply to documents during review. Notes can be applied to the document as a whole or associated with highlights applied to different passages within a document. The content of notes, who wrote the note, and when the note was written are all searchable via the query builder.

To view notes, you must be a project admin or have at least View permissions for Notes and Highlights. A project admin can give you access on the Permissions tab in Project Settings. There are varying levels of permissions: view, create, and admin. 


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Applying document-wide notes

To apply attorney notes, you must have the Annotations tab included in the right side panel. If you need to include the tab, click Edit at the bottom of the panel and select Annotations from the left side, under Tab Layout. You can drag and drop to rearrange your tabs within the panel. Then, click Done Editing. Adding the Annotations tab will automatically change your project layout to (Custom Layout); if you want to apply your change to a specific layout, click Save at the bottom of the panel to apply your changes to an existing or new layout.


To apply a note to your document, click the Annotations tab (or press "n" on your keyboard), then click the text input box that says “Add a new note…” and type its content. If you type an existing Bates or Control number, the platform will also automatically convert the text to a hyperlinked reference to that document.

Then, click away from the window, or click Save. Your note is applied to the document, published by you, and timestamped for anyone with Notes permissions to view on that document.


You can format note text using the options provided in the note window. For example, you can bold, italicize, underline, and create bulleted lists. 


To delete a note, click the saved note, then click the trash can icon. 


You can also create a note in the Codes tab by using the coding filter. To learn how to do this, visit this article on coding documents. 

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Note templates

You can also create a template from your note. This is particularly useful if you find yourself applying the same note to multiple documents. To create a note template, select the note you’d like to create your template from and click the T icon. Then, choose which template slot to save your note to.


To apply a templated note to your document, select the T icon to the left of the “Add a new note…” bar. Then, choose which note template you’d like to apply to your document.


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Applying a highlight to a document 

There are two ways you can apply highlights to your document: text selection and click-and-drag.

Please keep in mind that the highlighter tool only works on the PDF/Image version of your documents. 

If you are looking to highlight keywords or phrases throughout a document, you might want to try hit highlighting, which you can read about in this article.

Text Selection

To highlight your document via text selection, toggle the Text Selector tool in the review window toolbar and select the text you would like to highlight. Then, click the highlighter icon that appears. To change the color of the text selector highlighter, click the arrow next to the highlighter icon. Note that text selection highlights have the added benefit when adding the highlight to Storybuilder because the highlighted text will be viewable and exportable throughout Storybuilder. 



To apply a highlight to the document using the click-and-drag highlighter tool, first toggle the highlighter tool on by clicking the icon or pressing "h" on your keyboard. Once the highlighter tool is selected, click and drag over an area of the image view of the document. You can resize preexisting highlights by hovering over the corner until the double arrow icon appears. Then, click and drag the highlight to your desired shape and size. 

To select a different highlight color, click the caret next to the highlighter icon and select a color from the dropdown menu. 


When you add a highlight to a document, a highlight indicator will be added to the Highlights section of the Annotations panel. The indicator will include the color of the highlight, and the page on which the highlight is applied. You can click the highlight indicator to jump to pages/areas of the document that have been indicated to be relevant.


You can continue adding highlights until you toggle the highlight tool off (either by clicking the icon or pressing "h" again on your keyboard). Lastly, using the highlight pop-up, you can also add a highlight to Storybuilder as evidence, just click “+ Add highlight to project Story” or select your Story from the drop-down if you have multiple Stories. 


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Export text highlights

You can export highlighted text on a set of documents using CSV export. This lets you choose to export only specific, highlighted information from a document, rather than the entire document.

Note that only highlights applied over text via text selection can be exported. Text underneath drawn area highlights or notes associated with any highlights will not be extracted into the CSV. 

To export text highlights, go to the results table, and select Export > CSV to open the Export to CSV dialog.Then, choose  Text Highlights as a Selected field.

Applying notes to a highlight

To add a note to a highlight, click on the appropriate highlight (you must be toggled out of text selection mode), and select “Add a new note” to begin typing. Any existing note associated with the highlight will also be visible here. You can also format your note in rich text.


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Notes panel (Classic mode)

In Classic mode, you can open the notes panel either by clicking the notes icon in the toolbar, or by pressing “n” on your keyboard. Then, click the “Add Note” button. A text editor will open where you can write and format your note in rich text. Remember to click “Save” to save your note. You can also view any notes that have been previously applied to the document from the panel.

You cannot control who sees the notes you apply; anyone who has the ability to view notes will be able to see any and all notes applied to a document.

To edit a pre-existing note that you’ve applied, click the pencil icon in the lower right. To delete a note, click the trashcan icon next to the pencil icon. Most users can only delete notes that they applied themselves.

To apply a note by typing in the coding filter, use the keyboard shortcut, a, or click the input box that says “start typing to add…”  Then, type the note that you want to apply to the document.  When you’ve finished, hit “enter” on your keyboard.  You will see a notification indicating that your note has been applied and saved.

Finally, you can add a note directly from the coding panel. Expand the coding panel by clicking the spacebar on your computer, or by clicking the arrow at the bottom center of the screen.  Similar to a binder, you add a note in the coding panel by clicking on the “add a new note” badge.  Then, you can begin to write and edit your note. When you’ve finished, click “add note.”  

Similarly, you can add a note when updating batches of documents in the context panel.  This makes it easy to add a note to a series of duplicates, email threads, attachment families, and versions. For more on batch updating from the context panel, see this article.



Notes preview (classic mode)
If you have notes previews turned on, you will see a preview for the first note in the bottom right of the screen.  Even if you have multiple notes applied to the document, the original, first note will be the one that appears.  To view all notes, click on the sticky note icon in the preview, which will open the notes panel.   When you open the notes panel, the preview will close.  When moving to the next document with a note applied, the notes preview will appear again.

You can specify whether you’d like to view notes previews in classic mode. By default, notes preview is turned “on.”  You can toggle this preference to “off” to prevent the notes preview popup from displaying on any document you view in the classic review window.


Batch apply or remove document-wide notes

If you want to add or remove notes from multiple documents at the same time, you can do this from the batch coding panel of the results table. Learn more about batch adding and removing notes.


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