How to Code a Document in the Review Window and Use Coding Presets

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Apply a code or rating to a document

In the full screen review window, ratings and codes can be viewed and applied in the Codes tab on the sidebar. To learn more about how to customize this tab, or the sidebar as a whole, please see this article.


Depending on your permissions, you may see a dropdown icon in the header of the codes tab. Clicking this icon will allow you to:

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  • See any conditional coding rules, or
  • Open the codes settings page in another tab
    • You must be a Project or Codes Admin to see this option

Categories and codes can appear in two main forms, depending on the subsection you’re viewing in the Codes tab. 

  • Category Labels: In the Everything Else section, codes will be grouped into their categories. To see the codes in a given category, click the label corresponding to the category. In the panel that appears, you can view and apply any existing code. Depending on your permissions, you may also have the ability to add a new code to the category.  
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  • Individual Codes: In other sections of the Codes tab, codes will appear as individual labels. Within code category sections, the displayed name will just be the code itself. In sections that can contain a mixture of codes from different categories (like “Currently Applied”), the displayed name will also include the category name. Depending on your permissions, you may also see the option to add a new code to a given category. 
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Code and category labels have visual indicators to show the status of a code:

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  • A gray background means the code is not applied to the current document, or that there are no codes in a category applied to the document
  • A white background means that the code is applied to the current document, or that there is at least one code in the category applied to the document
  • A dotted outline means the code was modified by you during the current viewing session

To select or deselect a rating or code, simply click on the appropriate code label. The labels will update visually to reflect the current status of the code. In addition, the Currently Applied section – if you have it visible – will update dynamically to show only the applied rating and codes. 

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If there are autocode rules set up in your project, a wand icon will appear in the header of the coding tab. Autocode rules automatically apply certain coding decisions made in one document to other, related documents (e.g., exact duplicates, attachment families, email threads, document versions). 

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You can click on the wand icon to view the autocode rules in effect for your project, and modify autocode settings. To read more about reviewing documents according to auto-code rules, please see this article.

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Hiding categories and codes

To hide categories or codes that you might not use frequently, click “Show unpinned” for a given section of the Codes tab Then, drag and drop categories or codes that you’d like to hide below the dashed line These are per-user settings. 

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Saving review decisions

Rating and coding changes are saved when you move to the next document or close out of the review window. If your coding decisions cannot be saved because they violate a coding rule, you will receive a warning that you must acknowledge before you can move on to the next document.

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Freeform Codes

Everlaw’s codes allow you to apply a specific category and code to a document as set by project administrators, like applying the code “Responsive” in the category “Responsiveness.” This configuration might not work as well in cases where there are general categories you would like to apply but the “codes” are not immediately apparent. For example, you would like to record the meeting location in each document you review but there is no complete list of potential locations. In that case you could use a freeform code called “Meeting Location.” You and other reviewers will be able to fill in the field with any value and then search on those values.

Just like standard codes, you can apply freeform codes from the review window or from the Batch Actions panel.

In the review window, click on a freeform code, enter a value, and hit Enter on your keyboard. To remove a freeform code in the review window, click into the code, delete the text, and hit Enter.


From the Batch Actions panel, click on the freeform code you would like to apply, enter a value, and press Enter on your keyboard. Then click Apply on the panel to apply the code to all selected documents.



You can also batch remove freeform codes. To do so, click on a freeform code in the Batch Actions panel and then click again so that the outline on the badge becomes a dashed red line and appears in the Remove section. Then click Apply.



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Using the coding filter

The coding filter allows you to type to search for and apply codes and ratings, along with other work product: 

  • First, click the coding filter, or press “a” on your keyboard. A panel will appear below the filter displaying all the available work product. 
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  • Then, start typing. The items in the panel will be filtered based on your text input. To apply a rating or code that is visible in the panel, click on it with your mouse, or use the arrow keys to navigate to it and press enter. Ratings and codes that are already applied to the document will be indicated with a checkmark; selecting one of these options will remove the rating or code from the document.  
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  • Depending on your permissions, you may have the ability to add new codes. If so, a new code option will appear based on your inputted text. Selecting this option will open a modal where you can confirm or edit the new code’s name, and select the category the new code should belong to.  
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  • If you use the coding filter to apply freeform codes, a pop-up will appear upon selection where you can enter a value.
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Adding a document to a binder

You can also add the document to a binder, write a note, or create a new binder and add the document to it. Type a sequence of characters into the input box. If you have an existing binder that matches your search, you will see it as part of the filtered results. If you have typed a unique string of text, a new binder label will be automatically created in the binder section with a name corresponding to your input, and the “[new]” tag appended to it. You can unapply any highlighted item by clicking it or pressing enter.


To learn more about binders, and adding multiple documents to a binder at once, visit this help article. You can learn more about annotating documents in this help article.

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Optimizing the Codes tab

You can customize your Codes tab to optimize review workflow. For example, you can choose to display only the categories you need frequently, or rearrange components within the tab. You can remove any of the three sections previously discussed - the coding filter, currently applied, and everything else - and replace it with other components or add to them.

Click Edit. Select the Codes tab and then click the gear icon. From here, you can drag individual coding categories into your tab. For example, let’s say you typically only use two coding categories, Accounting and Confidentiality, as well as binders. You can drag and drop those individual components in and remove “Everything else” by clicking the red x next to its name.

When you’re done, click the gear icon again, or click Back to Tab Layout, then click Done Editing. Your coding categories will exist as separate components in your Codes tab.


If you close the review window and open it again, your most previously viewed layout will load. The one exception is with assignments: when you open an assignment through an assignment card, the first time you do so, the layout associated with the assignment will load. If you have a different layout that you prefer, you can select from the project default layout, layouts shared with you, and layouts that you have saved, using the menu at the bottom of the panel. Remember, you can always save your current layout by clicking Save at the bottom of the panel.

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Coding presets

To speed up your review, you can create coding presets. Presets are custom hotkeys (and keyboard shortcuts) that you can use to quickly apply review work product. You can view, edit, and share coding presets from the Coding Preset tab in your full screen panel. 


You can also create and edit coding presets by clicking the pencil icon in Quick Review mode in the results table.

Each user can create up to nine presets. To edit or create a preset, click on the pencil icon then select the number you’d like to edit. If you click the number of an existing preset, you'll be editing that existing preset.

Once you've selected the number of the preset you'd like to edit, choose which codes, ratings, binders, or notes to associate with your preset. Clicking a label once will turn it green, indicating that it will be added to the document when the preset is applied. If you wish to remove a code, rating, or binder as part of your preset, click twice on a label. A red outline will appear, indicating that the label will be removed when the preset is applied. The selected labels will appear in the correct category in the summary at the top of the edit coding presets menu. For example, labels in the “add” category will be applied to the document when the preset is used while labels in the “remove” category will be removed from the document when the preset is used. Note: If you include a code from a mutually exclusive category in your preset, the other codes will be automatically removed from the document when that preset is applied. 

When you’re done creating your preset, name it and then click Save.


By pressing the preset's number on your keyboard, or clicking the associated button in the Coding Presets tab, the preset will be applied. Press “shift+x” (where x is the number of your preset) on your keyboard to apply the preset and navigate you to the next document.

To share a preset, click on the share icon in the Coding Presets tab.


Choose which preset you wish to share. Empty presets will be greyed out. Then, select who you wish to share the preset with. You can share with entire groups of users or individual users on your project. Type in an optional message then click send. The recipients can access the shared preset in Project Messages. Recipients will have the option to choose which numbered slot they want the preset to go in. If the recipient does not have access to content(s) included in the preset, they will not be able to add it to their review window. 


Labels contained in a preset are added to the document without overriding any pre-existing labels. The only exceptions to this rule are for (i) explicitly subtractive labels included in a preset, and (ii) labels in the preset that come from mutually-exclusive categories.

For example, imagine that you are planning to apply a preset to a document that is:

  • Rated “Warm” (this rating is a mutually exclusive category)
  • Coded “Accounting: Fraud”
  • Coded “Government: Internal” (the “Government” category is mutually exclusive)
  • Coded “Region: Midwest”
  • In the “Second Look” binder

The preset you apply has the following labels:

  • “Hot” rating
  • “Accounting: Liabilities” code
  • “Region: Northeast” code
  • “Region: Midwest” subtractive code
  • "Government: External" code

After the preset is applied, the document will have the following labels applied to it:

  • “Hot” rating
  • “Accounting: Fraud” and “Accounting: Liabilities”
  • “Region: Northeast”
  • “Second Look” binder
  • "Government: External"

Notice how “Accounting: Liabilities” was not removed even though “Accounting: Fraud” was added. Also notice that the only labels that were removed were ones that were either mutually exclusive (you can’t have more than one “mutually exclusive label” in your code) or subtractive.

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Coding presets and layouts

Coding presets are only fully preserved if they are saved to one of your available review window layouts. Furthermore, the coding preset slots are independent as between layouts. In the example below, you can save up to 9 different presets in "My Layout" and another set of 9 different presets in "Project default layout." Thus, the set of available presets is dependent on the current layout of your review window


Generally speaking, you must explicitly select the layout you want to use, and this choice persists until you explicitly choose to load a different layout. However, there are two instances where your current layout can be silently changed (ie. changed without your explicit selection or knowledge):

  • If there is a default layout associated with an assignment group and you access documents through an assignment card, your current layout will switch to the assignment layout. The assignment layout will persist even outside the assignment until you either (1) explicitly change the layout, (2) access a different assignment that has a different default layout attached, or (3) make layout edits (see below). For more information about default assignment layouts, see this article
  • If you make any edits to a layout, your current layout will be switched to a new, temporary "(custom)" layout. While the custom layout will persist as long as a new layout is not loaded, it is not automatically saved as an available layout. Thus, if a new layout is loaded, and you have not saved your "(custom)" layout, your layout edits (including presets) will be lost. Layout edits can either be saved to an entirely new layout, or saved to an existing layout. In the example below, the layout edits are being saved to the existing "My Layout" layout. save_layout.png

Therefore, to ensure that you do not lose any coding presets you've set up, remember to "save" after each addition of, or edit to, a preset. 


Finally, note that the layout toolbar -- which displays the current layout, available layouts, and save/edit functionality -- is only available in the full screen review window, not the classic review window. 

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Code as previous

Aside from presets, you also have access to the “code as previous” icon, which will apply the label(s) of the last document you viewed to the document you are currently viewing. Just like the preset slots, hovering over the Code as Previous icon (P) will display the associated labels. 

You can also edit the Code as Previous behavior by clicking the pencil icon, then selecting the P icon. Changes you make to Code as Previous behavior are user specific, and the behavior will apply to all documents in that project until you adjust it.

You can adjust the settings below for Code as Previous.


There are three different sections of permissions. The first determines what constitutes the previous document for the purposes of Code as Previous: the last viewed document or the last modified document. If you choose to define the previous document as the last modified document, you can additionally choose to apply only the review product you added to the last document you modified rather than applying the total amount of review product on the document.  For example, if your document has Code A and Code B already applied, and you add Code C then move to another document, then selecting Code as Previous with the Changes Only setting will only add Code C to your second document.

The second section allows you to specify how Code as Previous will affect your document’s rating. Apply Rating means that the previous document’s rating will always be applied. Apply Rating to Unrated means that the previous document’s rating will only be applied if the current document is unrated. Never Apply Rating will never apply the previous document’s rating. 

Finally, the Freeform code section allows you to specify whether you would like to apply freeform codes only when there aren’t values for those codes on the current document. Not selecting this will override and change the freeform code values on the document. You can also elect to never apply freeform codes via code as previous.


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Coding in Classic mode

You know that you're using Classic mode if your coding panel is at the bottom of your screen instead of the right. In Classic mode, the coding panel exists in two states: collapsed and expanded.

Just as with the full screen review window, the code and category labels have visual indicators of their status:

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  • A gray background means the code is not applied to the current document, or that there are no codes in a category applied to the document
  • A white background means that the code is applied to the current document, or that there is at least one code in the category applied to the document
  • A dotted outline means the code was modified by you during the current viewing session

Collapsed Coding Panel

By default, the coding panel is collapsed. While collapsed, the panel shows the current coding status of the document. You can see the current rating applied to the document, along with the total number of applied codes within particular categories, the total number of binders the document is part of, and the total number of individuals who have viewed the document.

To see more information (ie. the exact codes applied, the names of the binders, etc.) hover over the category. A panel will appear where you can select and deselect codes and binders. Depending on your permissions, you may also see the option to add a new code.  

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If the document is unrated/uncoded, the collapsed coding panel will display recommended coding categories, and/or any pinned coding categories that you have pinned in the expanded coding panel. 

Expanded Coding Panel

To expand the coding panel to see all available rating, coding, and binder labels, click the caret icon in the center of collapsed coding panel, or press the spacebar on your keyboard.

To add or remove a code or rating, simply click on it. The code’s label will update visually to show the current status: white for applied, gray for not applied, and a dotted outline to show change within the current viewing session. 

New binders and freeform code values can be applied by clicking the appropriate label (“Add a new binder” in the first case, the freeform code in the second) and inputting the desired name or value.

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To pin a category to the collapsed coding panel, hover your mouse to the left of the category. You will see a light gray pin icon appear. Click the icon to turn the pin from light gray to dark gray. That category will be moved to the top of the panel (with the exception of “rating” which will always appear at the top).  Subsequently pinned categories will fall beneath previously pinned ones. Click again to unpin. 

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When collapsing the panel, you will now be able to view your pinned categories. These categories will stay pinned within your project. New categories added to your coding sheet will be pinned by default. 

Filtering labels

You can filter the labels in the coding panel (whether expanded or collapsed) by keyword. This can make it easier to quickly locate and apply the appropriate work product. Input characters into the filter box in the upper left of the panel, and the labels will filter accordingly. Depending on your permissions, you may also see the option to add a new code. Selecting this option will open a modal where you can confirm or edit the code’s name and select the category it should belong to. 



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