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

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:

  • Anytime: Anytime means that the document was coded with the specified code parameter at anytime in the lifetime of the case, 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.


  • Now: Now 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 notes and highlights

During review, you can apply a note to a highlight to a portion of the document, as well as on a highlight or redaction. You can also  then associate a note with that highlight or a redaction. Both notes and highlights searching can be found within the same term, Notes. The notes search term allows you to search for note contents across all notes, including those attached to highlights or redactions. across the existence of highlights, as well as narrow down your notes content search to only notes that have been associated with a highlight.


To search for documents with certain note contents, type the contents into the first input box. As with codes, you can specify a person and time parameter. If you'd like to narrow the notes down by highlight, select it from the dropdown menu. You can even specify highlight colors, or select Any if you'd like to search across all highlight colors.

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

You can also search for highlights and narrow your search to highlights with specific note text. To run a search for documents with highlights, find the Highlights search term. Then, you can select “Any” highlight color, or pick a specific one in the dropdown menu. If you’d like to narrow your search to highlights with specific note text, enter note contents in the input box. simply ignore the first input box and select a highlight color (or "Any" for all highlight colors).


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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