Persistent Highlights

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What are persistent highlights?

Persistent highlights are content highlights that appear for all users in a project. They are used to draw attention to important words or phrases. Highlights appear both on the document and in the right-hand panel in the review window. Reviewers can also easily redact any persistent highlight that appears in the document.


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Set up persistent highlights

Highlights can be created on the Project Settings page, under the General header.


Persistent highlights can either be categorized or uncategorized. New categories can be added through the Add New Category button.


Terms in the same category will share the same color when rendered in the review window, and will be listed together in the hit highlighting panel. In general, conceptually-related highlights should be grouped together, as this will make it easier on your reviewers to navigate through, distinguish, and make sense of the different content hits that might appear in a document. For example, you can group all the relevant people in one category, entities in another, and privileged terms in a third.  


Each label under a category represents a distinct content search. Generally, each search follows the rules of content searching and advanced content searches. As with normal content searching, phrases without quotation marks will be treated as an OR search.


This hit highlight will look for either “Andrew” or “Fastow” within a document. If you want to only highlight the exact phrase “Andrew Fastow”, put the name in quotes:


Similar to normal content searching are the NOT and AND operators can be used. For example, this hit highlight will highlight documents with "andrew" that do not also have the word “fastow”. If the document has any instances of “fastow”, “andrew will not be highlighted.


In addition, AND operators will require that terms on both the left and right be present for any of the terms to be highlighted. For example, the following search term will only highlight instances of “andrew” and/or “fastow” when both terms are present in a document.


Finally, you can use parentheses to indicate the order that logical expressions are evaluated.

The following hit highlight “andrew AND (fastow OR enron)” will highlight “andrew” only if either “fastow” or “enron” are also present, and highlight instances of “fastow” or “enron” in the document.

The hit highlight “(andrew AND fastow) OR “enron” will highlight “andrew” and “fastow” only if both terms are present. Any instances of “enron” will be highlighted.

To add a new highlight, click on the green “+” icon in the category you wish to add the highlight to. You can also hit “enter” after completing a term to automatically create a new term within the same category.


If you want to change the color associated with a highlight, click on the appropriate color circle, and choose from the palette. The color for uncategorized highlights can be adjusted at an individual level; the color for categorized highlights can only be set at the category level.


Once created, hit highlights can be moved between categories through a simple drag-and-drop action.


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Import persistent highlight terms

You can also import a list of highlights by clicking Import List . The dialog that appears, there are three options for importing highlights: 

Option A: Upload a CSV or categories and terms

You can upload a CSV that you previously exported from another project in Everlaw. You can also create your own CSV, as long as it includes two columns: Category and Term. Any duplicates will be skipped upon import. You can click Download CSV template to ensure that you're using the proper CSV configuration for import. You should create exactly two columns in your CSV, titled Category and Term. 


Option B: Transfer from Search Term Reports

You can also import terms from your search term report and create persistent highlights. Select a search term report(s) from the dropdown menu. Each report title will become the persistent highlight category name. All search term report terms will be added, except ones that use logical containers (such as NOT) or metadata.


Note that the date the search term report was last updated. It is not included as part of the original report title; therefore, it will not be included as part of the category name.

Option C: Input text to a persistent highlight category

Finally, you can select a category to add highlights to (including the uncategorized group). You can either copy/paste in the desired terms (one per line) into the window or type them manually. Searches are subject to the general rules of content searching and advanced content searches.



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Create a search from persistent highlights

You can create content searches for categories of persistent highlights directly from the persistent highlights tab. At the bottom of the page, there is a search box titled Create search from persistent highlights. Upon clicking the box, a drop-down menu will appear listing all of the categories of persistent highlights that have been created for the project. You can select as many categories as you’d like to construct your search. Clicking Create Search will open the results of the search in a results table. The search will be saved to the homepage as a card and can be assigned, exported, and shared like any other search.



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Add personal information highlights

Special content searches to find common patterns of personally identifying information (SSNs, phone numbers, etc.) are grouped together under the “unused” category. You must select them from the dropdown and drag them to another category (including the 'uncategorized' category) if you want them to appear as persistent highlights.

You can use smart expressions for PII in persistent highlights to further customize the patterns of PII to be highlighted.

When redacting using these using hit highlights, Everlaw has partial redaction options to redact part of these terms to differentiate PII without exposing terms in full. Hit highlight terms that match these PII formats will also have the partial redactions made available. Learn more about how to use partial redactions.


Supported PII formats

United Kingdom

  • National Insurance (AB123456C)
  • Bank Account Numbers (12345678)
  • Bank Sort Codes (12-34-56)
  • National Health Service Numbers (123-456-7890)
  • Passport Numbers (123456789)


  • Bank Account Numbers (123-456)
  • Tax File Numbers (123-456-789)
  • Medical Numbers (12345678901)
  • Passport Numbers (AB123456)


  • Social Insurance Numbers (123-456-789)
  • Bank Account Numbers (00123456789)
  • Health Service Numbers (1234567890)
  • Passport Numbers (AB123456)
  • Personal Health Information Numbers (123456789)

United States

  • Bank Account Numbers (000123456789)
  • Passport Numbers (123456789)
  • Employer Identification Numbers (12-3456789)
  • ITINs (123-45-6789)
  • Social Security Numbers (123-45-6789)
  • Phone Numbers (123-456-7890)


  • IBAN numbers 
  • IP Addresses
  • Email Addresses
  • Credit Card Numbers

Available PII and partial redaction formats

Personally identifiable information Partial redaction formats and examples
Email Addresses (

Preceding domain: *******

Preceding domain, leave first char p******

Redact domain: person@********

Social Security Numbers (123-45-6789) All but last 4 digits: ***-**-6789
IP Addresses ( All but the last byte: ***.***.**.*255

Names and addresses (“John Doe”, “57 Applewood Blvd”)

Any alphanumeric string

All but first character: J*** D**, 5* A******** B****
Other numerical PII available as persistent hits above (e.g. IBAN, bank account numbers, ITIN, NHS numbers) All but last 4 digits: ***-**-6789

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Remove highlights and categories

In order to remove individual highlights and entire categories, you must enter the delete mode. Once in delete mode, select the highlights and categories you wish to delete (they will be bordered in red). Select yes to confirm the deletions.


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