Fields store object information, document metadata, and coding choices within Relativity. You can use fields to display metadata on views and layouts. You can also use fields to create associations between different objects in Relativity.

Admin and Workspace Objects diagram

This page contains the following:

See these related pages:

System fields

All Relativity workspaces contain the following system fields:

  • Artifact ID - uniquely identifies all database objects in Relativity.
  • Batch, Batch::Assigned to, Batch::Batch Set, Batch::Status - stores values related to any document batches. For more information about batching, see Batches.
  • Document Compare - displays the Document Compare icon. Use Document Compare to compare the extracted text of one document to another.

    Note: Document Compare is particularly useful when working with groups of near duplicates or conceptually similar documents. See Document compare.

  • Control Number - the workspace identifier. You can rename this field.
  • Extracted Text - stores any full text or OCR text loaded into Relativity. It's available for searching and as a radio button in the viewer.
  • FileIcon - an icon representing the document’s Relativity Native File Type.
  • Folder Name - the name of the folder where the document resides.

    Note: This is just the location folder, not the full folder path.

  • Has Images - a single choice field indicating whether a document has images.
  • Has Natives - a yes/no field indicating whether a document has natives.
  • Has Inline Tags - a yes/no field indicating whether a document has a right-click tag markup.
  • Relativity Image Count - the number of non-production images associated with a document.
  • Relativity Native Time Zone Offset - a numeric field that offsets how header dates and times appear in the viewer for emails. If the value in this field is blank or 0 for a document, the date and time appears as Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) in the viewer.
    • If Relativity was used to process the documents, the Native Time Zone Offset field will be populated with the UTC offset value of the time zone chosen in the Relativity Processing profile. For example, documents processed to Central Standard Time (CST), would be populated with a value of "-6" because CST is UTC-6.
    • You can also manually update this field with a whole number, positive or negative, to offset the time from UTC to the desired time zone in the viewer.
    • For example, if you have documents that were processed in UTC and you wish to show the time in the viewer in Pacific Standard Time (PST), you would enter "-8" in the Native Time Zone Offset field because PST is UTC-8. Note that you can mass edit this field.
    • The Native Time Zone Offset field controls how the header dates and times for all email messages appear in the viewer. This does not apply to images or extracted text in the viewer. It doesn't modify the actual metadata fields associated with these values.
    • In the HTML5 viewer, note that the conversion agent applies the value of this field at the time that it converts and caches the document. Once the document is cached, the user needs to manually convert from the mass operations bar. After this action is complete, the adjusted time will appear in the viewer.
    • The legacy (ActiveX) viewer always applies the current value of this field to the document each time the viewer converts that document, which is each time the user views that document.

Note: Relativity doesn't automatically account for Daylight Savings Time. If you need the viewer to account for Daylight Savings Time, deploy the Set Native Timezone Offset with DST script from the Lists section of the Relativity Community. You must be a Relativity admin to deploy this script.

  • Relativity Native Type - the type of native file loaded into the system. The system assigns this value.
  • Supported by Viewer - a yes/no field indicating whether the viewer supports the native document.
  • System Last Modified On - the date and time at which the document was last modified.
  • System Last Modified By - identifies the user who last modified the document.
  • System Created On - the date and time when the document was created.
  • System Created By - identifies the user who created the document.
  • <Markup Set Name> - created when a user creates a markup set. Its values are:
    • Blank when the document has no highlighting or redactions for the markup set
    • Has Redactions when the document has redactions for the markup set.
    • Has Highlights when the document has highlights for the markup set.
    • Note: If a highlight or redaction is created using a third party application or script, this field may not be automatically updated.

  • <Production Name> - created when a user creates a production. This field stores how the document was added to a production. It's either blank, contains Images Only, Natives Only, or Images and Natives.
  • Production Alerts - a yes/no field to warn of any production execution problems

Note: You can't edit the Source value for processing fields that are system-mapped. For a list of processing system fields, see System-mapped processing fields.

Creating and editing fields

To create a new field or edit an existing one:

  1. Click the Fields tab in your workspace.
  2. Click New Field. To edit a field, click the Edit next to the field's name.

    Note: You can add an Edit link to your field list view if it doesn't already exist. See Views.

  3. Input and modify field information on the field details page. See Fields on field.

    Note: You can't change a field's type after creating the field. See Field types.

  4. Click Save to save the field details.

Fields on field

The fields object includes the following field sections:


  • Object Type - determines which object Relativity uses to classify the field.
    • You create object types in the Object Type tab. See Editing Relativity Objects.
    • If you're not sure which Object Type to select, ask “What object do I want to add information to?” The answer is your object type. For example, if you want your new field to store information about a document, select Document.

    Note: You can create new objects within Relativity. These dynamic objects are securable, non-document objects within your workspace. By connecting objects to each other you can create powerful custom applications within your workspace. See Relativity objects overview.

Field information

Field information layout

  • Name - the field’s name. This must be between 1 and 50 characters.
  • Source - the list of fields that you can use when mapping processing fields. Click ellipsis button to access the Field Catalog, which contains all mappable processing fields, as well as the All Fields view, which contains all discovered metadata fields. The Field Catalog view provides the following fields:
    Field catalog launched from source field
    • Source Field Name - the name of the catalog field to which you're mapping the field you're creating or editing.
    • Field Type - the type of the catalog field to which you're mapping. This must match the type of the field you're creating or editing.
    • Description - the description of the catalog field.
    • Workspace Field Mapping(s) - the name of the Relativity field to which the catalog field is mapped. This is blank if the field has not yet been mapped. Note the following about the field catalog:
      • The Source field and Field Catalog were introduced in Relativity 9.4.
      • If you want to display every field available for mapping, switch to the All Fields view from the Field Catalog view. All fields are accessible in the All Fields view, but the Field Catalog only provides the processing-related fields.
      • The Source field is disabled if you don't select Document as the Object Type.
      • The Source field is disabled for processing fields that are system-mapped, meaning processing system fields that were automatically mapped when you installed or upgraded the Processing application.
      • For more information on using the field catalog to map processing fields, see Mapping processing fields.
  • Field Type - determines the field’s functionality and presentation. For example, a Yes/No field type indicates that the reviewer must choose a value of either yes or no to edit the field. See Field types.
  • Length - the length of a fixed-length text field.
    • Defaults to 255 characters.
    • Maximum length is 4,999 characters.
    • Maximum length is 4,000 if Unicode enabled.
  • Required - determines whether the user must populate the field on a layout with information in order to continue coding documents. This doesn't apply when loading workspace data.
  • Include in Text Index - adds the field values to the workspace’s SQL text index, making the field searchable via keyword search.
  • Unicode - special characters are permitted. This value must be set to Yes before you can load any Unicode data into the field. We recommend keeping this value set to Yes.
  • Note: If Unicode data is loaded into a non-Unicode enabled field, then the data becomes unreadable.

  • Identifier - indicates if the field is the object type’s unique identifier with a value of yes or no. You are unable to edit this field.

    Note: Relativity does not enforce uniqueness.

  • Available in Viewer - displays the field in the viewer. The user can then check text against the original document or image. This setting is only editable for long text fields with a Document object type. If set to Yes, the field is available in a drop-down menu on the Extracted Text setting in the viewer.

    Note: Copies of reflected fields aren't available in this drop-down menu. If you select an empty long text field in the viewer, the viewer displays a blank page.

  • Available in Field Tree - places the field and its choices in the Field Tree browser.
    • This field defaults to no.
    • This field is editable for Document object type fields when the field type is one of the following: single choice, multiple choice, single object, or multiple object.
    • This field is editable for non-Document object type fields when the field type is either single choice or multiple choice.
  • Field Tree View - determines the values and the order they appear in the field tree. It also determines the views that appear in the pickers when you set conditions for searches and views. To select a view, the field must be single object or multiple object.
    • When Available in Field Tree is No, this property is disabled. When Available in Field Tree is Yes, this property reflects the default value of <All Items>.
    • When you select a view for Field Tree View, Relativity respects the sort order of that view. If no sort order is defined, it sorts by Artifact ID.
    • If you choose search terms reports as the associated object type and you're adding the field to the Field Tree View, only search term report items with a status of Completed appear in the field tree.

    Note: For Field Tree View, you can select any view you have rights to see. However, a warning appears when you attempt to save the field, if the selected view is personal. If you edit the view selected as the Field Tree View, you receive a warning when you attempt to save it as a personal view.

    The Field Tree View property includes two icons:

    • Edit icon edits the view by opening Conditions (Step 3 of 4) in the view wizard.
    •  Create view icon creates a new view from Basic Information (Step 1 of 4) of the view wizard. See Views.
  • Allow HTML - indicates whether or not to allow HTML code to execute within the field.
    • Yes - executes the code when the layout displays the field.
    • No - displays the field as plain text.

      Note: Using allow HTML, you can configure Relativity to throw an alert when the field appears in a layout. HTML will always be displayed as plain text in a view.

      Note: The AllowHTMLVisible instance settings table value controls whether or not the Allow HTML value is displayed on the Field page. To modify this default setting, see Instance settings' descriptions.

  • Formatting - determines the field’s format and only applies to the following fields:
    • Date - Date displays only the date. Date Time displays the date and time.
    • Whole Number - None displays the value as a string of numbers. Integer displays the value with commas separating each group of three digits.
  • Open to Associations - determines whether an object field can display its information on an associated object field. Fields that are open to association are sometimes referred to as reflected fields. Reflected fields can be re-named and exported via the Export to File mass action.
    • When you open a field to association, that field’s information is viewable and editable on an associative list found on the object with which you associate it.
    • For example, you have two associated objects: Entity and Company. You want to add a field called Address to hold addresses on the Company object and to display addresses on an Entity. To do this, create a new field with an object type of Company and set the Open to Associations field to Yes. This creates two fields: a Company object field called Address and a Company::Address field on the Entity object.

      Beginning in November 2017, if the generated reflected field name exceeds the maximum length of 100 characters, it is handled as follows:

      • Each field is allocated 50 characters, anything over that 50 character limit is truncated.
      • The field's ArtifactID is appended to the field's name part.
      • Additional space is truncated to allow room for the field's ArtifactID to become part of the new name.
      • The two field name parts are joined with "::", for example: "AAAAAAAAA BBBBBBBBB CCCCCCCCC DDDDDDDDD EEEEEEE (1000012)::GGGGGGGGG HHHHHHHHH IIIIIIIII JJJJJJJJJ KKKKKKK (1000013)".
  • Overlay Behavior - defines how Relativity handles multiple choice or multiple object fields when importing a load file.
    • Replace Values removes previous values and replaces them with the values in the load file.
    • Merge Values merges previous values with load file values.

    This field defaults to Merge Values and is only available for multiple choice and multiple object fields.

  • Enable Data Grid - this field is only available if you have a valid endpoint URL configured to store Long Text fields in Relativity Data Grid. For more information, see Relativity Data Grid.
    • No - saves all data imported into this field to the SQL Server.
    • Yes - saves all data imported into this field to the Data Grid.

      Note: Once you enable a field for Data Grid, you can't disable it. The option to edit the field is unavailable. after you've saved.


The Propagate to property forces a coding value to a specified group of related items. See Applying propagation to documents.

Field propagation options

To enable propagation, select one or more of the Propagate to check boxes. The available options depend on the relational fields set for the workspace.

List properties

List properties control how an item appears in a view. Views are lists of items in Relativity. See Views.

Field list properties section

  • Linked - sets the field as a hyperlink.

    In the example below, the Date Sent field was set to Linked: Yes. As a result, Date Sent appears as a hyperlink in the view. Clicking the date launches the related document in the viewer. Similarly, clicking any link in the document record also launches the document in the viewer.

    Documents list showing linked Date Sent field

  • Filter Type - determines type of filter available for the field.

    Note: When using the new UI framework, Filter Type is not used except for the following scenarios: disabling filtering on the field by selecting None, selecting List filters for Fixed Length fields, or selecting a custom popup picker view for a multiple and single object fields.

    • None - disables filtering on the field.
    • List - displays a drop-down list of all the field’s values in the workspace. Users can select only one of the values.
      • Fields that contain a large number of items may also cause the List filter to take longer to populate. We recommend you only select the List filter type for Single Choice and Yes/No fields. For fields that may contain a large number of choices, you can designate a Popup filter instead.
      • Fixed Length Text fields - if the field contains more than 255 items, the List filter type you specify for the field will revert to the Textbox filter type and an error will be written to the Error Log when you visit a Document list view containing the field.
      • Single Choice / Single Object fields - if the field contains more than 255 items, the List filter type you specify for the field will revert to None (disabled) and an error will be written to the Error Log when you visit a Document list view containing the field.
    • TextBox - displays a textbox that a user can query for text. You can use search operators in the filter box. See Filters.
    • Multi-list - displays a list for a user to select one or more fields to filter.
    • Boolean - displays Boolean choices for the field. Users can select one option.
    • CustomOnly (Advanced) - searches with multiple search terms and operators. When you use this filter in a view, the operators that display are dependent upon the field type. The CustomOnly filter type is available for the following field types:
      • Fixed Length
      • Long Text
      • Decimal
      • Whole Number
      • Currency
      • Date

      For more information on how the CustomOnly filter works, see Filters.

    • Popup - displays a popup picker where you can select values to use while filtering a list, or modifying criteria in a saved search or view.

      You can access these popup pickers from layouts, field filters (through a Select... button), view conditions, advanced search conditions, and the mass edit window. You can access this picker via the Check and Uncheck buttons next to the field name. For more information, see Mass edit.

      Note: In the popup picker view drop-down field, you can select any view you have rights to see. However, a warning appears when you attempt to save the field, if the selected view is personal. If you edit the view selected as the Field Tree View, you receive a warning when you attempt to save it as a personal view.

    Depending on the type of field you're creating, only certain filters are available.

    FilterField types
    ListFixed-length text, single choice, single object, user
    TextBoxFixed-length text, long text, date, whole number, decimal, currency, object
    Multi-listSingle choice, multiple choice, multiple object
    Custom OnlyFixed-length text, date, whole number, decimal, and currency
    PopupSingle object, multiple object, single choice, and multiple choice
  • Popup Picker View - defines the items available in the popup picker view. You can enable this property when you select Popup as the filter type and a single or multiple object as the field type. By default, <All Items> is the popup picker view condition.
  • Allow Sort/Tally - sorts document lists based on the field.
  • Width - the width (in pixels) of the column in the view. To accept Relativity’s default, leave this field blank.

    Note: When you create a Yes or No field, set the width to 30 pixels for the optimum column size.

  • Wrapping - toggles text wrapping for the field.
    • Yes - wraps all of a field’s text, displaying the contents on multiple lines.
    • No - the field extends as far right as necessary within the screen to display the text.
  • Allow Group By - if set to yes, makes the field available to group by when using Pivot. Relativity does not recommend Allow Group By for Long Text fields due to the performance impact.
  • Allow Pivot - if set to yes, makes the field available to pivot on. Relativity does not recommend Pivot On for Long Text fields due to the performance impact. For more information, see Pivot.

Yes/No field display values

Displays different values for Yes/No fields in the database.

You can edit these display values on any Yes/No field type. Previously-tagged items update to the new value.

Relational field properties

You can make a fixed-length text field relational. A relational field is used to identify a group of related documents, such as families, duplicates, or near duplicates. For example, MD5 Hash is commonly used to identify duplicates.

The relational fields includes the following properties:

  • Relational - if set to Yes, identifies the field as relational. Once set to Yes, the Friendly Name, Import Behavior, and Order fields become required in order to save the field.

Note: You can only set relational field properties on fixed-length text fields that don't exceed 450 characters.

  • Friendly Name - a label for the relational field that users can easily understand. For example, you could change the relational MD5 Hash field to Duplicates, since it's used to group copies of the same document. This name displays in the Include Related Documents menu in workspaces and in the Related Items pane.
  • Import Behavior - controls how blank values are handled when importing through the Relativity Desktop Client. Depending on how your vendor processes these group identifiers, the relational field on the parent document may be blank. Select an option to determine how blank fields are imported:
    • Leave blank values unchanged - Relativity imports the fields with blank values.
    • Replace blank values with identifier - Relativity updates the blank relational field with the document identifier.
    • Note: When you append documents through the Relativity Desktop Client, with a relational field’s Import Behavior set to Replace blank values with identifier, blank values are replaced on that relational field even if it's not mapped to a load file field. The same action occurs when you import blank values mapped to the relational value using an overlay.

  • Pane Icon - select and upload an icon for display in the Related Items pane of the core reviewer interface. Users can click on the icon to display a list of items grouped by this relational field. You can download the Relativity-provided Relational Field, or you can upload a custom icon. Icons shouldn't exceed 16 x 16 pixels.
  • Order - controls the pane icon order on the bottom of the Related Items pane. Use the following guidelines:
    • Icons with low order numbers appear to the left.
    • Icons with the same order number are sorted alphanumerically.
    • The order number can be any positive or negative integer. We recommend using groups of 10 (such as 10, 20, and 30), so you can easily insert a new icon without having to reorder existing ones.
  • You can use the View Order button to see how icons are currently ordered in the Related Items pane. The Order Reference window displays the leftmost icon at the top of the list.

  • Relational View - controls the view that appears in the Related Items pane. Shared values in this field determine the documents the view displays. This field contains Edit icon and Create view icon icons you can use to edit the selected view or create a new view.

    Note: You can't select a view that contains conditions or add/edit conditions to a view referenced by a relational field. You also can't make a relational view personal.

Keyboard shortcut

You can define a keyboard shortcut for the document field you're editing or creating with keyboard shortcuts. You can then use this shortcut to code and edit documents in the core reviewer interface. This setting is available only for document fields.

You can use the following key options to define the shortcut trigger. You must use Ctrl and/or Alt, and the workspace can't have duplicate keyboard shortcuts.

  • Ctrl - designates the Control key to work in combination any other keys you specify.
  • Alt - designates the Alt key to work in combination with the key you specify.
  • Shift - designates the Shift key to work in combination with the key you specify.
  • Key - designates the letter or number to use in combination with the other specified keys.

Keyboard shortcut options for fields

For a list of browser shortcuts see Keyboard shortcuts.

Note: You can modify the key combinations for system keyboard shortcuts if you have the Modify System Keyboard Shortcuts security permission. For more information, see Creating keyboard shortcuts.

Relativity Applications

  • Relativity Applications - associates the field with a Relativity application. Click ellipsis button to select an existing application. This option is only available for those who have the Manage Relativity Applications permission.

    Relativity Applications options on fields

  • Auto Add Choices - adds all choices associated with a single or multiple choice field to an application. This property only applies to single and multiple choice fields.

    Note: If you're changing this property from No to Yes and the field has already been added to applications in your workspace, the choices aren't added until you re-add the field to each application. The Relativity Applications property in this section lists each application to which this field is currently assigned.

Field types

Relativity supports the following field types:

Fixed-length text

The fixed-length text field type is a text field with a limited length. You can use up to 4,999 characters. Unicode-enabled fixed-length text fields cannot exceed 4,000 characters.

  • The sum of all fixed-length text fields for any individual object should be no larger than 8,060 bytes. To see how many of your 8,060 bytes remain, go to object you are checking. The control panel section displays remaining bytes in the usage field.
  • Examples: Email from, Email subject, Conversation, Document extension, File Name, Parent Document ID, Subject.

Long text

You can add more than 4,999 characters in a long text field.

  • The technical limitation of a long text field is 2 GB. Relativity usually defaults to streaming only files smaller than 50 MB. To modify this default setting, see Instance settings' descriptions.
  • Examples: Full text, Conversation ID, Email BCC, Email To, Source File, Title


The date field type stores the date or date and time. Dates must be in a valid format. For example, 01/00/2000 isn't valid. Attempting to load an invalid date produces an error.

  • Relativity accepts many formats, including SQL-accepted formats that match your SQL Server’s regional settings. However, the date displays as mm/dd/yyyy for the US or dd/mm/yyyy for the UK.

    When entering a date field, you can use the picker to choose from a calendar or enter a date directly in the field.

  • Example: Email sent date, Date Created, Date Last Modified, Date Received, Date Sent.

Note: When you search on a user-created date field using a relative date (ex. Last 7 Days), you may see different results between a saved search and a search from the search panel if you aren't in the same timezone as your Relativity instance.

Whole number

The whole number field type stores any natural numbers or their negatives.

  • This value can't exceed 2,147,483,647. In other words, 2,147,483,648 and higher is invalid.
  • Example: Page count, Number of Attachments.


The decimal field type stores numeric values that may include decimals.

  • With this field you can have a maximum of 15 digits before the decimal and two digits after the decimal.
  • Example: Percentage, File Size.


The currency field type stores numeric values in a currency format. 10 digits is the maximum for this field.

  • Your currency symbol is set based on Windows regional currency settings in the server hosting Relativity. The formatting, such as decimal, commas, negative number sign, the position of currency symbol, are based on the browser's language. When using RelativityOne, the settings of the regional server cannot be changed. They are set to the US currency symbol.
  • Example: Amount sold.


The Yes/No field type accepts one of two values. The default values are Yes and No.

  • You can edit the display values in the Yes/No display values section. See Fields on field.
  • Example: Reviewed.

Note: If you are exporting a Yes/No field type with Relativity Desktop Client or Relativity Integration Points, the values will display as True/False in the exported files.

Yes/No fields are useful, but consider the following caveat:

Searching for yes/no fields can be difficult, especially if the field displays as a check box. The check box only displays as checked or unchecked; however, a yes/no field has three potential values. These values include yes, no, or null. Because of the searching difficulties, you may want to display yes/no fields as dropdown menus.

Single choice

The single choice field type provides a predetermined set of values called choices.

  • You can choose only one value.
  • Example: Responsiveness, Custodian

Multiple choice

The multiple choice field type provides a predetermined set of values called choices.

  • You can choose multiple choices. You can also nest choices.
  • Example: Issues, Deponent

Note: If Overlay Behavior is set to Replace Values on this field, a warning message appears stating that on import that the current values for this field will be deleted and replaced with the values included in the load file. The Overlay Behavior setting must be set to Merge Values in order to merge the values from the load file with the field's current values.


The user field type contains users with rights to the current workspace. Depending on the function of the field, Relativity filters the list of users to display only members of certain groups.


  • On layout - displays non-admins.
  • On review batch - displays non-admins.
  • Owner of a saved search - displays system admins and other group members.
  • Saved search condition - displays system admins and other group members.


With the file field you can upload files for a non-document object. When you add a file field, Relativity automatically creates file size, file icon, and text fields for the object. The text field contains the extracted text of all files uploaded to the file field. The Text Extraction Manager agent must be running in the Relativity environment to populate the text field.

Note: Relativity prohibits users from uploading certain file types to file fields. The RestrictedNativeFileTypes instance setting value defines the prohibited file types. See Instance settings' descriptions.

Single object

The single object field type defines a one-to-many relationship between two objects. You add a single object field on the selected object under the Object Type option. You can then create a one-to-many relationship with the selected object using the Associative Object Type option.

  • For example, you could use a single object field called Sender Domain to create a relationship between email messages and the domains of their senders. You add the Sender Domain field to a Document object and associate it with a Domain object. By doing so, you used a single object field to create a one-to-many relationship, since each email message can originate from only one domain, but many different domain options are available.

Multiple object

The multiple object field type defines a many-to-many relationship between two objects. You add the Multiple Object field on the selected object under the Object Type option. You can then create a many-to-many relationship with the object selected in the Associative Object Type option.

For example, you could use a multiple object field called Recipient Domains to create a relationship between available domains and the email recipient domains from email messages.

Note: If Overlay Behavior is set to Replace Values on this field, you will be prompted with a warning message on import that the current values for this field will be deleted and replaced with the values included in the load file. The Overlay Behavior setting must be set to Merge Values in order to merge the values from the load file with the field's current values.

  • You add the Recipient Domains field on a Document object and associate it with a Domain object. By doing so:
    • You used a multiple object field to create a many-to-many relationship, since you can have multiple domains, and each recipient of an email message can have a different domain.
    • Relativity automatically creates two fields when you define Multiple Object field type. The first Recipient Domains field has a Document object type. The second Recipient Domains field represents the relationship between the Recipient Domains object type and the Domain associative object type.

      Fields tab showing multiple object Recipient Domains fields

      Note: The Assigned to field displays user information in the format "last name, first name." You must use the user's email address when loading this field in Relativity. For example, you would load a user named John Smith as

Associative Object Type

The associative object type is an object that the single object or multiple object field type uses to create a relationship. The objects selected in the Object Type and Field Type options determine the available associative object types.

Fields and performance

Field configuration can dramatically impact database performance. Use the following guidelines to improve field efficiency:

  • Set fixed-length text fields to the minimum size needed and to no more than 400 characters.
  • Store choice data in single or multiple choice fields if possible.
  • Use separate objects to store repetitive content when possible.
  • Set up fields as Unicode in advance because the system will have to re-index a field if the change is made following data load.
  • Only include fields in the text index when it's truly necessary to do so.