Creating a Production Protocol

For more information on productions in Everlaw, please see the help articles in our Productions section.

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A production protocol specifies the rules for a production. Protocols can be created either (i) independent of a production or (ii) during the process of creating a production. You can store any number of protocols for future use, allowing you to reuse previously created protocols. 


We strongly recommend that you create a protocol in Everlaw as soon as you know what the agreed upon settings are, as opposed to when you need to run your first production. Creating protocols early will give you a chance to see whether or not you need Everlaw to set up custom settings or fields. For example, a production protocol might require you to produce a field that is not in your database. In that event, Everlaw can add custom metadata fields to your database.

If you have questions about creating a protocol, adding custom fields, or non-standard production requests, please reach out to

Otherwise, follow these 10 steps to create or edit a protocol:

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Step 1: Navigate to the productions page

If you have Admin permissions on Productions, navigate to the Productions page by clicking the Project Navigation menu and choosing Productions. Please note that if you only have Share permissions on Productions, you will be able to navigate to the Productions page and download/share completed productions, but you will not be able to initiate or edit them yourself.  


Once you reach the production page, there are three paths depending on what you want to do:

  • To create a protocol without running a production: Click the “Saved Protocols” button in the upper right. Then, click the “Create a protocol” button in the left panel. The protocol wizard will appear.


  • To edit an existing protocol without running a production: Click the “Saved Protocols” button in the upper right. Then, select the protocol you want to edit from the list, click the menu icon in the upper right, and select 'edit'. The protocol wizard, with your chosen protocol’s settings prefilled, will appear. 


  • To create a new protocol and run a production: Click “Create a production”. You must first create a search to identify the documents you want to produce. Once you click “Next”, you’ll be brought to the protocol wizard.  




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Step 2: Document settings

If you are accessing the protocol wizard as part of the process of creating a production, this step will give you the ability to prefill protocol settings from a drop-down list of existing protocols, or create a new protocol.

You will be required to name the production you are creating, and can optionally provide a description. Toward the left of the page, you will be able to see the total number of documents you’re producing, as well as the number of documents in that set that contain redactions.

Next, you have the option to select the sort order of your produced documents. By default, Everlaw uses filepath as the sort order for a production. This means that for families, a parent document will be immediately followed by its attachments in the Production Bates range, as child attachments are extracted from their parent. 

You can adjust the sort order of your produced documents and choose additional sub-sorts. The selected fields will be applied in the order that you choose them, but families will be kept together regardless of sort order. In the example below, produced documents will be grouped by family and then sorted by custodian. Should multiple documents have the same custodian, the documents will then be sorted by their Date field:


If you do not select a particular sort preference, your documents will be sorted by their original file path.

There are a number of Bates options that you can modify:


  • Other Bates: If you have assigned Other Bates numbers to your documents, you can choose to use these values for your documents' Bates values upon production. 
  • Use page numbering: Checking this box will Bates stamp your documents such that each page of a given document will receive a different page number. You can also specify whether or not to display page numbers on the first page of your documents, the number of digits padding your page numbers, and the page number separator character (period, dash, or underscore). A three-page document with page numbers on the first page, six digits of page number padding, and a period separator character would have the following Bates stamps on its first, second, and third pages, respectively: ABC000001.000001, ABC000001.000002, ABC000001.000003. 
  • The Bates Prefix: You can use an existing prefix by selecting from the drop-down list, or create a new prefix by typing into the input box (new prefixes will be highlighted in yellow as you type). Please note that if you have added any spaces before or after your Bates prefix, these will be deleted upon production. However, documents grouped by produced versions will account for spaces in the Bates prefix.


  • The Starting Bates Number: The starting Bates number is the number that will be applied to the first document in a given production. This will affect the numbering of subsequent documents/document pages in a production. By default, the ‘use next number for the prefix’ box is checked. This means that one greater than the highest number for a particular prefix will automatically be chosen as the starting number for a production. For example, let’s say you ran one production using the ‘Prod’ prefix. The last Bates number applied in that production was 4000. If you run a new production with a protocol that uses the ‘Prod’ prefix, 4001 will automatically be chosen as the starting Bates number for the new production. We recommend keeping this default setting as it will ensure that overlapping Bates numbers will not be applied. However, if you deselect this setting, you can set whatever starting Bates you want. 


  • Number Padding: The number padding is the minimum number of digits you want to reserve for your Bates number (pre-page separator). If the actual number has fewer digits than the number you input, the space between the Bates prefix and number is filled in with zeros. In other words, if you input “6”, and the Bates number is 4 digits long, there will be two zeros appended between the prefix and the number. If the actual number has more digits than the reserved number, there will be no zeros separating the prefix and the number. A preview of the Bates stamping is shown at the bottom.  

If there are concurrently running productions using the same Bates prefix, Everlaw will attempt to reserve the necessary Bates range for each production to prevent overlaps. If there are numbering overlaps, the affected productions will fail and register an error. You can delete failed productions from the productions page.

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Step 3: Configure Image Details

Many production protocols require you to provide the documents in image format. You can think of images as essentially digital snapshots equivalent to what the documents would look like if they were printed out. You can also modify these images during production. For example, you can redact privileged content, Bates number the pages, or apply other desired annotations. This step, and the two subsequent steps, all deal with how images should be generated.

  • Image format: By default, Everlaw produces images as PDFs, which can display color. However, you can choose to produce no images or images as black-and-white TIFF files. If you choose to produce images as TIFF files, you have the additional option to produce a subset of those images as color JPGs. To produce color JPGs in addition to TIFF, click the “Color JPG” box and create a search for the documents that should be produced in color. All documents in a production matching this search will have color JPG images instead of black-and-white TIFF images.  


  • Bates and endorsement text stamping: If you want to Bates-stamp the produced images, you can choose which corner of the document you want the Bates number to appear in. By default, they’ll be stamped in the lower right corner.


You can also add arbitrary text, otherwise known as ‘endorsements’, to any corner of the document. For example, you might want to stamp custodian information on documents in a production. 


Endorsement stamping can also be done programmatically (according to a set of rules). These rules are tied to the coding sheet, which means that documents must be coded for programmatic endorsement stamping to work. For example, you might want all of the documents in a production coded as ‘Confidential’ to be stamped with the phrase “Confidential’ in the upper right corner.

To create a rule, first select which corner the text stamping should appear in under the "Endorsement - By Code" section. In the dialogue that appears, choose a code from the dropdown list and input the desired text. All documents in the production that have the chosen code will be stamped with the inputted text in the selected corner of the document. You can add multiple rules or delete rules from the table. Using this method, you can stamp documents from the same production with different endorsement text. If a document matches more than one rule, all the applicable stamps will be applied.


  • Finally, you can include text stamping by metadata. Select which corner the text stamping should appear. Then, select which metadata field you’d like to endorse. The contents of that metadata field will be present on the document.

  • A preview of the Bates and endorsement stamping will be generated on the right. 

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Step 4: Redaction, native, and text/transcription settings


  • Redactions: Everlaw automatically detects which documents in your production have image and native redactions applied. If you do not want to apply redactions during production, click the ‘Do not include redactions’ button.
    • During production, Everlaw will burn the image redactions into the produced images, and re-OCR the new image to ensure redacted text will not appear in the produced text file. If you want to control how redactions appear (as a black or white box, with or without text stamped on the redacted area), click the customize button and make your selections in the dialogue that appears. If custom redaction stamps are being used in your project, the custom stamps will appear on the completed redactions, overriding any text you may specify here. Generally, native documents will not be included for image-redacted documents.
    • For native redactions, redacted text is removed from the document at the time of production and the document text is then extracted to ensure redacted text will not appear in the produced text file. Generally, images will not be included for natively-redacted documents. If a document has both image and native redactions, the native redactions will take precedent.
    • If you chose to exclude images from your production on the previous step, include redactions, and your production set includes image-redacted documents, you will be presented with an option to select what format, either PDF or TIFF, to produce your redacted images in.
  • Native documents: You can choose if you want to include native documents in your production. Native documents are the files in the format of their originating application, such as .xlsx and .docx. You can choose to produce natives for all documents in a production, no documents in a production, or a subset of documents in a production. If you choose the last option, you’ll be required to create a search to identify the subset of documents that should have natives included. Regardless of your selection, Everlaw will never produce natives for documents that are redacted or that you’ve chosen to withhold.  
  • Transcription: Everlaw automatically creates transcripts for all media files with extractable voice text that are uploaded to the site. You can choose to include these transcripts as text files in the ZIP folder that results from your production. To do so, check the “Include transcription text from media files” box. Text files will not be produced for privileged media files that are withheld from production, regardless of whether or not the box is checked.


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Step 5: Privilege Settings

  • In this step, you have the ability to define for the system what constitutes a privileged document and customize what text appears in place of those documents. These selected withheld documents can also be automatically added to a privilege log (see step 8, below). Because the system allows you to identify privileged documents by any set of codes, it does not automatically withhold privileged documents until you specify how to identify them. You can do this in the privileged document step of the production wizard. 


  • If you want to withhold documents, click the “withhold privileged documents” button. Then, click "add a rule" to create a search that the system will use to identify documents to withhold.  Note that all documents in a production that match the search will be withheld. This means that the images, text, and natives of these documents will not be included in the production. Instead, Everlaw will create a placeholder image for the withheld documents. You can modify the text that will be stamped on these placeholders in the “placeholder text” input box. 


  • Placeholder images for withheld documents usually result in a single Bates number gap per placeholder in a production. However, you can also choose to reserve the full bates range for each withheld document. For example, if you are withholding a 20 page document, a 20 Bates number gap will be in your production instead of a single Bates number gap. One advantage of this is that if you do happen to produce a withheld document at a later time, Everlaw can allocate the document its full Bates range without any overlaps. 

A note about creating disclosure lists: Some of our clients need the ability to create disclosure lists. Our privilege log functionality allows you to do this. Remember, because Everlaw cannot automatically detect privileged documents, you can specify whatever criteria you need for your list of withheld documents. This allows you to select whatever criteria you need for documents to be withheld in step 5 (Privileged Documents) and exported in step 8 (Privilege log).


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Step 6: Placeholder settings

Placeholders are automatically created for withheld documents in lieu of the actual documents. These placeholders are generated under the default 'Privileged' rule that appears at the top of the table. However, you can also create image placeholders for other documents as well. Unlike placeholders for withheld documents, image placeholders created in this step will only replace the image file. Remember that you chose which files to produce natives for in the previous step. We cannot produce natives for documents that you’re creating placeholders for in this step unless they are already captured by your native production settings from the previous step.

Placeholders are generated according to rules which govern which documents to produce placeholders for, and what text to stamp on the placeholders. To create a rule:

  • Click "Add a Rule"


  • In the dialogue that appears, name the rule and specify the text that you want stamped on the placeholder.
  • Create a search for documents you want to apply this particular rule to. If Include Families is toggled on, this rule will propagate to all family members of documents captured by the search. Toggle this setting off if you don't want the rule to affect family members. The total number of documents matching your search in the production will be shown right below the query builder.
  • If you are creating a protocol independent of a production, the number shown corresponds to the total number of documents in the database that would receive the placeholder. If you are creating a production, the number corresponds to the number of documents within your production set that would receive the placeholder.


  • Click Save when you’re done

Multiple placeholder rules can be in effect simultaneously in a single production protocol. Rules at the top of the table take precedence over rules below. As a result, documents matching the search criteria of multiple rules only contribute to the document count of the top rule. Similarly, documents already withheld at the Privileged step do not contribute to the document count of placeholder rules.

To edit the name of a rule, click on the name so that it is highlighted. Then, input the new name. You can do the same to edit the display text associated with a rule. If you want to edit the search used to identify which documents to apply a rule to, click on the total number of matching documents corresponding to the rule you want to edit. Note that you cannot change the search for the privilege rule in this view as these documents were identified in the previous step of the production wizard. You can, however, change the display text associated with the privilege rule.

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Step 7: Metadata settings

You are given a lot of control over which metadata fields to produce, and the naming of the chosen fields. You can even group fields together for production.

At the top of the page, you can specify how you would like your date-related metadata to be produced. For example, you may want your Date field to show up as DD/MM/YYYY instead of MM/DD/YYYY.

There are two primary components in the metadata step of the production wizard: the left panel shows available metadata fields; the right panel shows the fields that you’ve selected to produce.


To select individual fields to produce, click them in the left panel and they will be added to the right panel. Fields with the blue information icon are either custom fields or production fields. All other fields are originally part of the documents in your database. You can use the filter box at the top of the left panel to find fields by name. If you want to use Everlaw’s recommended fields, click the ‘load default’ button.

If you want to remove a field that you’ve chosen to produce, simply click on the red ‘x’ associated with the appropriate field in the right panel.


You can also combine fields together into a single field. To combine fields, click and hold a metadata field, then start dragging it. Boxes will appear next to the selected fields in the right panel. If you want to group the field you’re holding with a selected field, simply drag your cursor to the box of the field that you want to group it with. A green plus icon will appear in the box. Once you let go of the mouse, the fields will become grouped. The names of the fields included in the grouped field will be added in gray, and a pencil icon will appear in the far right that you can use to remove fields from the group. The name of the grouped field will be the name of the first field in the group. However, it is very easy to rename fields.

To rename any field, click on the name of the field in the right panel so that it is highlighted. Then, input the desired name. Note that the renamed metadata field will not be found in metadata search, or available as a results table column. 


You can also add metadata fields that only show either the date or the time value for a specific field, e.g. "Time Sent". To do this, drag a "Date Only" or "Time Only" metadata field to the right panel. Then enter the name of the original metadata field that you would like this value to come from e.g. "Date Sent". You can then rename this field as described above.


Below is a table of metadata fields for which you can specify how the metadata is structured: 

Field Function
FAMILY VALUE If there are attachments to the document, uses the parent value for the selected field for children documents (ex: a parent email's date sent value used for child attachments). 


If a field contains both date and time values, uses only the date portion of the selected field.
TIME ONLY If a field contains both date and time values, uses only the time portion of the selected field. 
ATTACHMENT COUNT The number of documents attached to the given document. 

Some production protocols require the inclusion of fields that might not appear by default in your database when the documents are uploaded. If you don’t see a field that you need in order to abide by a production protocol, please reach out to We’d be happy to add a custom field to your database. Custom fields can often be added the same day as the request.

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Step 8: Additional Options

In this step, you are able to configure additional settings for your production.


  • Encryption: If you want to password-protect the enclosing Zip file for the production, input the desired password in the password box. You can also use an Everlaw-generated password for your production by clicking "Generate password." Your password will be saved in the production configuration. Once you enter a password, there are two different types of encryption for password-protected files that you can choose from: AES-256 or ZipCrypto. AES-256 is more secure than ZipCrypto, but can only be extracted by applications that support AES-256 encryption, such as 7-Zip or WinZip. If you choose to encrypt using AES-256, remember to notify the receiving parties.

  • Packaging: Everlaw’s productions have a set file structure that cannot be changed. There is one top-level folder that contains sub-folders for image folders/files, text folders/files, native folders/files, and load files. You can, however, change the name of the folders. To rename a folder, select the default name and type in your new desired name.

    Additionally, our folders have a soft max document size of 1000. For example, if your document production results in 2000 tiff files, they’ll be split into two sub-folders within the top-level image folder, with 1000 files in each sub-folder. By default, we keep files from the same document together, even if the max size has been reached. This means that some sub-folders can exceed 1000 files. If you want to strictly enforce the max folder size of 1000 files, check the ‘split’ option. Enforcing the max folder size might result in files related to the same document appearing in multiple sub-folders. Some ediscovery platforms cannot handle processing sub-folders that exceed 1000 files, so please coordinate with the parties that will receive the production.


  • Migration: This step allows you to copy the review work (e.g., ratings, codes, notes, etc.) of your source documents to your produced documents. If migration is disabled, no review work will be copied to your produced documents, with the exception of redactions as determined by your redaction settings. Clicking Enable will open the migration dialog.


    From the migration dialogue, you can choose to copy over Notes and Highlights, Ratings, as well as specific coding categories. Any review work that you migrate will appear on the produced documents in Everlaw; however, review work will not appear on your downloaded produced documents, nor will it appear on documents that you send via shareable link. Redactions will always be applied to your documents based on your production’s redaction settings, regardless of migration settings. 

Privilege Log: In this section, you can create a privilege log listing the documents you’ve withheld or redacted in your production. If you would like to create a privilege log, click Enable on the Privilege Log card, and then click View/Edit.

From there, you can choose to export your privilege log as an Excel (CSV) file or a Concordance (DAT) file.

Next, select which documents you would like included in your privilege log.


You can choose to include only privileged documents in your privilege log by leaving the “Non-privileged documents” and “Redacted documents” checkboxes unchecked. You include both privileged and redacted documents in your privilege log by checking the “Redacted documents” checkbox. If you have chosen not to withhold any documents in your production, this selection will result in your privilege log containing only redacted documents. Finally, if you check the “Non-privileged documents” checkbox, redacted documents will automatically be included in your privilege log. This is because, by choosing to include all privileged and non-privileged documents in your privilege log, redacted documents will necessarily be included.

Once you have decided which documents to include in your privilege log, you will need to decide how to configure your metadata for your log. You can drag and drop metadata fields from the left side to the right side panel. Once they are included, you can rearrange them by using the up and down arrows to the left of each field. You can also click Load Preset to load a set of commonly configured metadata fields. 


The mechanics of the builder are the same as the load file metadata settings in the previous step, with additional field options to include in your privilege log. Notably, you can select fields such as category, code, endorsed text, privileged type, and placeholder from the left panel into the right panel. If you include the Privilege Type field in your privilege log, any privileged documents will receive type values, and any redacted documents included in your privilege log will receive the value “Redacted.”

Sometimes, privilege logs must include different metadata fields for documents depending on the reason they were withheld. This is especially relevant for disclosure lists in the UK, but is also useful for some protocols in the US. You can customize metadata for each privilege rule, for non-privileged, or for redacted documents. 

If you selected to include non-privileged or redacted documents, and/or you created more than one privilege rule, you will see a dropdown menu that says Default in the metadata configuration dialog. If you do not need to differentiate metadata fields by document type, simply populate the Default configuration in the same way as described above, and the metadata will apply to all documents.


However, if you'd like to differentiate the metadata between these various document types, click the word Default to see a dropdown menu of your other document categories. Select the one you'd like to configure. Then, configure the metadata for that category in the same way that you did for the Default. 



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Step 9: Saving a protocol

The last step of the wizard will have different options depending on whether or not you are creating a protocol independent of generating a production:

  • If you are creating/editing a protocol independent of a production:The last step of the protocol wizard summarizes the settings you’ve chosen. Save the protocol by clicking “save”. 
  • If you are creating/editing a protocol as part of a production: The last step will summarize the protocol settings. You can save the protocol by inputting a name into the “protocol name” box. Clicking “submit” will save the protocol (if the name field is filled), and start the production process.

To read more about creating productions in Everlaw using protocols, please refer to the productions help article.

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