Searching Categories, Codes, and Annotations (notes, highlights, redactions)

Table of Contents

Codes and Categories

Codes are designations set up by project admins that reviewers can use to categorize or tag documents. Everlaw has a two-tier coding system: there are categories and codes within categories. For example, “Accounting” is a category, and within accounting there are four codes: “Arthur Anderson”, “Financial reports”, “Mark-to-market”, and “Risk management”.

The “Coded” search term allows you to search across an entire code category, or by individual codes themselves.


To search across all the codes in a specific category, select the category name (ex. “Accounting”). To search by a specific code, select the code (ex. “Accounting: Arthur Anderson”). To search across all categories and codes, select the “(Any Code)” option. To search for documents that have no codes, select the "(Any Code)" option, then negate the term (by pressing "n" on your keyboard, or clicking the term name) which will turn the term red. 

Additional Parameters

The coded search term has three parameters: codes and categories, person, and time. You can search by a combination of any three of the parameters. For example, you can search for all the documents coded by a particular person within the last week, all the documents coded a particular way by anyone in the case at any time in the case, all the documents coded with codes in a particular category by anyone in the case within the last day, etc.

The person parameter allows you to narrow your search to the review actions of a particular reviewer or user group on the team. By default, the value is set to “Anyone”. To select a specific group or individual, click on the parameter, and select from the list.


The time parameter allows you to narrow your search to coding decisions that took place during a specific time. There are a number of options for the time parameter:

  • At any time: At any time means that the document was coded with the specified code parameter at any time in the lifetime of the project, regardless of the current status of the document. For example, a document that was once coded with the code “Accounting: Arthur Anderson”, but subsequently had that code removed, will be returned by the search below, along with documents that currently have the code applied.


  • Current: Current means that the document is currently coded with the specified code parameter. For example, the search below will only return documents that are currently coded "Accounting: Arthur Anderson".


  • Additional time parameters: The additional time parameters are “in the last hour”, “in the last day”, “in the last week”, “in the last month”, and “custom range”.

Searching redactions 

You can search for a document that has redactions through using the redactions search term. You can refine your search to show all redactions, only redactions with a stamp applied, or redactions with a specific stamp applied. Other options to refine your search are to include metadata redactions, exclude metadata redactions, or only show metadata redactions. Additionally, when building your search, you can select which user applied the redaction and when it was applied. 


Keep in mind that this term searches for redactions applied to pre-production documents in Everlaw. If you are instead looking to search for produced documents with burned in redactions, you have three options:

  • If you are looking for documents produced in Everlaw, you can search:
    • Using the redactions search term, then group the results by versions. This will fetch all the pre-produced documents that have redactions applied and the associated produced versions that have the applied redactions burned in. If you want only the produced versions, you can remove the parent documents from your search results. This will remove the pre-produced documents from your search results, leaving only the produced versions. Screen_Shot_2022-06-10_at_8.46.49_AM.png
    • If the "Redacted" metadata field was included in the production protocol used to produce the documents, you can also search for redacted, produced documents using the "Redacted" metadata search term. You can learn more about the "Redacted" production metadata field here
  • If you are looking for documents produced outside of Everlaw, you must rely on your counterparty to produce a metadata field that indicates the presence of redactions on a document. If such a field is produced, you can search for produced documents with redactions using the appropriate metadata search term. 

Searching notes and highlights

During review, you can apply a note to a highlight or redaction. The Notes search term allows you to search for note contents across all notes, including those applied to highlights or redactions, by person and time parameter.


To search for any document with notes, simply add the term to the builder, then click away from the term.

By using the Notes and Highlights searches together, you have quite a bit of flexibility and granularity in your searches. To clarify the interaction between the two search terms, here are some examples of things you can search for and how to build the search: 

“Standalone notes not attached to redactions or highlights”


“Standalone highlights with no notes”


“Standalone redactions with no notes” 


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