StoryBuilder Outlines

For a complete overview of Outlines in Everlaw, please see the Outlines help section.

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For a video tutorial, click the below: 


StoryBuilder Outlines is a collaborative tool that allows you to create formatted text outlines with document references in-line. Some common use cases include creating depositions, arguments, or case strategy outlines. You can import an existing outline into an Outline as long as it's in the .docx format. Once in an Outline, you can use relevant evidence identified over the course of review as citations. Multiple users on your project can edit the document in real-time at the same time.

You can use keyboard shortcuts to navigate through your Outline. To access the full list, press the "?" (shift + /) key. 

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Creating or Opening an Outline

To create an Outline, click the plus sign next to the StoryBuilder column header on the homepage. Enter the desired name for your Outline in the popup menu that appears. If you have multiple Chronologies in your case, you can also select which Chronology the Outline belongs to. You can read more about the relationship between Chronology and Outlines in this introductory article.


To open an Outline, click on the associated card under the StoryBuilder column on the homepage. Depending on your permission level, you may be able to view Outlines, view and edit Outlines, or also have full sharing and deleting permissions on top of viewing and editing. Please note, users subject to document access management may not be able to access chronologies.


You can also access an existing Outline from the Chronology it's connected to. Open the Chronology, click Outlines, then select it from the drawer. 


If you want to rename the Outline, click on the existing name, type in a new name, and press enter. To favorite an Outline, click the star icon by the name right above the toolbar.

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A major benefit of using Outlines is that multiple users can simultaneously work in an Outline. The badges on the far right, above the toolbar, show you which users are currently in a given Outline. The badge will have their initials, and a color corresponding to their cursor color in the Outline. You can hover over a badge to see the user’s full name, or to message them. 

If another user is editing, say text for example, a node will appear and will be highlighted with a color corresponding to the user's badge color. The node will not be accessible until the user is done editing, or when the user clicks away from the node.

You can invite collaborators by sharing the Outline. By default, all Outlines are private to the creator, unless affirmatively shared out. If you are the creator of an Outline, you can set the permission levels for those receiving your invitation. Recipients can either only view the Outline, view and edit the Outline, or view, edit, share, and delete the Outline. If you want to see existing permissions, click the "View/Edit existing permissions" option on the sharing menu to see a list of users and their permission levels. Make sure that your recipients also have read privilege on the associated Chronology if you want them to be able to add documents to the Outline.


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Document List

To the right of an Outline is a list of documents identified as being relevant to a given Outline. Each item in the list corresponds to a separate document that you added to the Outline. The document card displays the document's title (defaulting to the Bates or control number) and the file type. By clicking a card, you will expand to see more information: description, relevance, date metadata, Chronology labels applied, Outlines associated with the document, and page bookmarks.


Documents currently used in the body of the Outline are colored blue, while those that are not currently used are colored gray. Click the card to see more information about the document, or to edit the name, annotations, and Chronology labels applied to the document. Any information you see here reflects the document’s status in the Chronology, and any change you make will also change the document entry's information in the Chronology.


If you want to review the content and metadata of the document itself, click document card and then click the eye icon to preview the document. Then, select Open for Review in the bottom toolbar.


To remove a document from use in an Outline, click "Remove from Outline Completely" or the associated trashcan icon next to the text. This will remove it from use in your Outline and any references if it was included in your Outline. It will not remove it from your associated Chronology. 


Sorting and Filtering the Document List

There are a number of sorting and filtering options to help you locate the appropriate document to cite. You can sort by Bates number, date added to the Outline, document name, and Chronology date (the date assigned to the document in your Chronology and/or Outline).


You can filter by whether or not the document has been used within the body of the Outline, and whether or not a document has been renamed from its default Bates number name. You can also perform a text filter. Type a string into the input box at the top of the document section of the page, and the cards will filter to show only the cards that contain the string.


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Adding content and documents to an Outline

To add new content to an Outline, select the appropriate location and indentation level in the body to begin your work. Then, type your content.

To add a document to the Outline, select the desired document from the list, and drag and drop it to the appropriate place in the Outline. You can also focus your cursor in the Outline to the desired location, and then click the + sign in the document panel.

Only the name of the document is displayed in the body. You can click the document itself to reveal information about the document in the right side panel. 


Once a document has been added to your Outline, you can add bookmarks to multi-page documents to draw attention to the most important pages. To add a bookmark, open a multi-page document in preview mode by clicking the document name to reveal the panel on the right. Then, you can preview the document by clicking the eye icon.

If your document has more than one page, you can navigate to the top right corner of the document, where you will see a bookmark icon appear. Click it to apply a bookmark to any page of your document. You can also add a bookmark from the right side panel. To learn more about bookmarks in Outlines, please refer to the bookmarks help article.


Importing documents into Outlines: 

You can also import text by clicking Import in the toolbar. The document you import must be in Docx format. If your Word document includes formatting that is available in Outlines, that formatting will be preserved upon import. For example, bolded, italicized, and underlined text will be preserved. You can edit your imported text within Outlines.



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Formatting Text

The format bar allows you to apply the following formatting options to your text: headers, text size, bold, italicize, underline, highlights, hyperlinks, lists, indentation, and paragraph alignment. These operate like any standard word processing tool. You can also indent, unindent, and align text within your outline.


To format text, click anywhere in the Outline body and click any of the formatting options in the format toolbar. All subsequent text will include that formatting. You can also highlight a string of text and then select a format option to apply to the highlighted text. To remove formatting, highlight a portion of text and click the remove formatting button.


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Click the highlighter icon to turn it on. Then, click and drag to highlight existing text or start typing to create a highlight on the text you type. The highlighter will stay toggled on until you click the highlighter icon again, allowing you to easily select and highlight multiple portions of text in your Outline. By default, the highlighter is yellow. You can choose one of five highlight colors by clicking the dropdown menu next to the highlighter icon.


To remove a highlight color, select “None” and click and drag over the highlight you wish to remove. You can also toggle the highlighter and select previously highlighted text, which will remove the highlight (as long as the highlighter is the same color as the selected text)


Highlights will be exported along with your Outline.


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A hyperlink is text that, when clicked, directs you to an external source, such as a website or a web PDF.

To create a hyperlink, click the link icon or press “ctrl+k” on your keyboard. A small dialog will appear, where you can copy-paste a URL into the input box. Then, enter the text that you would like to hyperlink. Click apply, and the text you entered will be blue. Upon clicking, the text will redirect you to the external source. To add a hyperlink to existing text by clicking and dragging to select text, then click the hyperlink icon or press “ctrl+k” on your keyboard.hyperlink.gif

To edit the hyperlink, or its associated text, click anywhere in the hyperlinked text and then click the pencil icon. Edit the text or URL, then click Apply. To remove a hyperlink, click anywhere in the hyperlinked text and click the red “x.” The text will remain, but the associated URL will be removed. You can select a portion of text from which to remove a hyperlink by clicking and dragging, then clicking the red “x.”


Hyperlinks will be exported along with your Outline and can be clicked on and accessed outside of Everlaw.

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Headers and Lists

Headers and lists are special types of formatting because they allow you to create automatic entries in the navigation panel. These entries serve as document checkpoints, like a table of contents for your document, and allow you to easily jump to specific portions of your document. Let’s walk through both formatting options, as well as the navigation panel.

There are three types of lists: numbered, bulleted, and outline.


Click to toggle the list format you’d like to use and start typing. Press enter to create the next number in the list. (To add a new line within the same list entry, press shift + enter.) Press tab or click the indent button to create a sub bullet. You can also hold shift and press tab to unindent, or click the unindent button. Each list format is slightly different. The outline list uses a combination of roman numerals, numbers, letters, or bullets at each indentation level.

Example of Numbered List: 


Example of a Bulleted List:


Example of an Outline List: 


Headers allow you to organize and format the Outline even further. There are four header types. If you do not apply a header, your text will default to “normal.” To apply a header, select it from the dropdown menu and all subsequent text will include that header. You can also highlight a portion of text and then select a header to apply to it. 


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Navigation Panel

The navigation panel allows you to jump to various points of your document that have list formatting or headers applied. Click the navigation button to open the navigation panel, which is effectively an automatically generated table of contents. You will see that headers and list items from the outline are automatically added as a line in the navigation panel.  Click the caret icon to expand, locate, and select sub-bullets, which are associated with indented list items or a sub header. Click anything in the navigation panel to jump to it the body of the outline. If you adjust your outline by adding or removing headers or lists, the navigation panel will update automatically, indicated by the status “Pending." When the update is complete, the status will disappear.



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Document History

To view a full history of the document, click the history icon in the toolbar. You can see the date and time information of the previous saved versions of the Outline, as well as the name of the user responsible for the saved changes.

To see what the Outline looked like at a previous time, click the version you want to see. From there, you can choose to copy that version of the Outline, or revert to that version. Reverting to a previous version will port the content of that version of the Outline to the current version of the Outline. The overwritten version will be saved in the history of the Outline. Copying an Outline will create a new Outline with the contents of the Outline version you are copying. To return to the current version, press “close”.

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Exporting Outlines

There are a number of options for exporting the Outline. You can choose to export the Outline as a Word file, a PDF file, or a PDF file with images of the documents contained in the Outline. If you choose to export to PDF, the cited documents will appear as live Everlaw document links (see below example).


If you need an offline version of the Outline and cited documents, you should choose to export the Outline as a PDF with the images of the documents attached. Instead of live links back into Everlaw, the documents will be hyperlinked within the Outline. Exporting the Outline with images is an easy way to create a portable case file that can be carried forth into a deposition, courtroom, or meeting.  


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