Metadata, Aliasing, and User Editable Fields


Table of Contents

Everlaw has three types of metadata: document metadata, aliases, and user metadata. For an overview of how metadata is defined on Everlaw, and how it is viewed in the review window, see this article.

All metadata types can be viewed under the Metadata tab in Project Settings.

Document Metadata

These metadata fields are associated with documents during upload, usually via a load file. Example fields are Custodian, From, Subject, etc. Because they are considered part of the production, these fields can never be edited or deleted. They are always stored in the system, and you do not need to worry about users overwriting them.

As an administrator, you can hide certain fields if they are irrelevant to the needs of the project. For instance, some productions contain a "pgcount" field that mirrors Everlaw's own "Num Pages" display. To hide any particular field from users, click on the eye icon for that field, and the eye will become crossed out; hidden fields are not visible to users in either the search interface or the document review window. To unhide a field, simply click on the eye icon again. In the example below, "Author" and "Application" fields are now hidden. 

Return to table of contents


Very often, there are multiple producing parties that produce the same data, but with different names (e.g. Custodian, CUSTDIAN, CUSTODIAN) that you would like to combine. You may hide or unhide fields at anytime by clicking on the eye icon. Additionally, you may want to use a single consolidated field to span conceptually related fields, e.g. "Author" to be a combination of the fields "From", "Author", or "Creator".

An alias is simply a view onto multiple fields. All the fields in an alias must be of the same type; for example, you cannot alias a TIME and TEXT field together.

Once you create an alias, you can search within that alias by selecting it as a metadata search term. If you search on an alias, Everlaw will return documents that match the search term on any of the aliased fields.

To create an alias, first select the metadata fields you want included from the Metadata and/or the User-Editable set of fields. The chosen fields will be highlighted in yellow.

Once you have chosen all the metadata fields to include, scroll to the "Alias" section of the page, and click "New Alias". A text box will appear prompting you to name a new Alias. After typing in a name, press enter, and an entry with your new Alias, and its included fields, will appear.


Once you hit the enter key, the alias will be created and visible to all users. By default, the alias and all of the fields within it default to being unhidden. You can click on the eye or crossed-out eye icons to hide or unhide the alias. For example, if you click the crossed-out eye icon next to the Party field, users will not be able to search for values in the Bcc field, nor will this field be visible in the review window.


If you want to hide/unhide one of the aliased fields from search or review, locate it in the left side Metadata list and click the crossed-out eye icon. 


If you would like to add another metadata field to an existing alias, simply check the box of the metadata field(s) you would like to add, and click on the alias to which you would like to add the field(s). To remove a field from an alias, click the red "x" next to the listed field. 

You can rename or delete an alias using the pencil and trash icons on the right side of the table.

If an alias has an identical name to one of the metadata fields, the field will automatically be added to the alias and you will be unable to remove that field from the alias to prevent the project from duplicating data. You cannot alias another alias field.

If the document has values for more than one of the aliased fields, the alias will show the first populated User-Editable field in alphabetical order, followed by non-User-Editable fields in alphabetical order.

Please note that user groups must have at least View permissions on any and all aliased user fields in order to view the alias. If the group does not have View permission on any underlying user field, they will not be able to view or search on the alias itself. 

If you delete an alias, any searches that reference that alias will return zero results. Thus, exercise caution when deleting aliases.

Return to table of contents

User Editable Fields

User editable fields can contain any information you would like your users to record about documents. You can change metadata values, like Custodian or Title, or correct incomplete or inaccurate document metadata by creating a user editable field. You can also create user editable fields to record information about documents that is not already present in document metadata.  

User editable fields can be searched and modified by any user with corresponding permissions. The fields also can be renamed or removed. To create a field, simply click "New User Field", select its type, and click "Add."

If you create a user field with the same name as a document field, the user field becomes "smart" on document display:

  1. If the document has no value for either the user or document field, nothing is displayed
  2. If the document has a value for the document field, but not the user field, the document field value is displayed
  3. If the document has a user-entered value for the field, it is displayed. The value for the document field is effectively hidden. (However, it is displayed if the user hovers the mouse over the field.)

The same applies for search. If a user searches for value "foo" on the field, the search finds all documents that either a) have a user-entered value "foo" for that field or b) have *no* user value for the field but do have a document value of "foo " for that field. Crucially, if a document has user field value "bar" and document value "foo", it will *not* come up in the search results: the system ensures that the user values take precedence over the document values.

Please note that changing a document's File Path value by creating a user field named "File Path," while searchable, will not change the folder structure shown in the file path explorer

If you delete a user field, ALL of the user data that has been entered on all the documents in the project for that field will be removed. In addition, any searches that referenced that field will return zero results. Thus, exercise caution when deleting user fields.

You can grant permissions for each user editable field in the Permissions tab. By default, all Project Administrators can view and edit user fields. For more detail on permissions, visit this article

You can edit user editable fields by clicking the pencil icon next to the field. By default, empty user editable fields are hidden from view. Information on how to view and edit user editable fields can be found in this article.

Return to table of contents

Family Ranges

Many productions include metadata fields that can be used for grouping emails and their attachments together. Setting the Attachment Group here enables a reviewer on the Review Page to automatically see the number of documents in the Attachment Group of the document they are currently viewing.

In order to set the Attachment Groups, select the Metadata fields at the top that represent an attachment or family group. These will often have names like "Family Range," "Attachment Range," "Begin Attachment," or some related abbreviation (e.g., "FmlyRng," "BEGATT"). After you've selected the relevant appropriate fields, click on Attachment Group under the project settings. The fields will be added to the Family Range field, and the Family Range functionality will be enabled on the Document Review page.

Note: When a field like BEGATTACH is present, there is often a corresponding ENDATTACH. Because we simply search for documents with matching values in their Attachment Group fields, it is not necessary to put both BEGATTACH and ENDATTACH in the group. Using just one of them is enough.

Once an attachment group has been set up, please click the 'Reindex' button to ensure that your data is now searchable throughout the project. Should you need any assistance setting up any project settings, please reach out to

Return to table of contents

Exact Duplicates

Everlaw calculates exact duplicates based on the OCR text because productions may not include - or have multiple different - metadata fields. However, if the OCR text is identical, but the metadata is different (eg. an email that just reads 'Thanks'), the documents will be returned as false duplicates.

Admins can now specify additional metadata fields with which to match documents. To return an exact duplicate document, the OCR text AND all the fields in the Exact Metadata Duplicates grouping must match for the document to be considered an exact duplicate.

Adding metadata fields to narrow down the exact duplicates is the same process as adding documents to the Attachment Grouping described above. Select the fields you wish to match on and click 'Exact Duplicates' in the project settings . You will see the selected fields listed. If you want to remove the metadata field from the duplicate matching process, click the "x" next to a metadata field name. 

Return to table of contents

Have more questions? Submit a request


Article is closed for comments.