Persistent highlight sets

With persistent highlight sets you can configure and apply term highlighting to assist with document review in the viewer. In the Persistent Highlight Pane of the viewer, you can see all sets saved in a workspace and apply or hide term highlights in the document you're reviewing.

If a document you're reviewing contains any of the terms specified in a set, the list of terms and the number of times they appear in the document appear under the set. If a document contains no terms from the set, you can't expand or collapse the set in the tree. If the document contains some terms in the set, only the terms that exist in the document appear below the set name.

Persistent Highlights Pane example data

System admins can control which highlight sets different users see when working within a document. See Workspace security.

Persistent highlight sets are independent of markup sets. See Markup sets.

This page contains the following sections:

See these related pages:

Getting started with persistent highlight sets

You create persistent highlight sets in the Persistent Highlight Sets tab of a workspace. Each set includes a list of terms populated manually or from a source field in the set configuration. After you create a persistent highlight set, the set and its terms are available in the Persistent Highlight Pane of the viewer.

The following persistent highlight set includes several terms with highlight color-coding. See Color-coding persistent highlights for more information.

This set is available when a user opens the viewer and any edits made to this set are reflected immediately.

Pre-existing Persistent Highlight Set

Showing and hiding persistent highlight sets in the viewer

To view the list of available persistent highlights sets and related terms in the Persistent Highlight pane, click the Show/Hide Persistent Highlight Pane icon Persistent Highlight Pane icon on Viewer toolbar on the left side of the toolbar. To hide the pane, click Persistent Highlight Pane icon on Viewer toolbar again.

Show/Hide Persistent Highlight Pane icon on Viewer toolbar

Click the + sign next to a persistent highlight set to expand it and show the list of terms from that set found in the document. By default, all persistent highlight sets are enabled in the viewer, and terms found in a document are selected in the Persistent Highlight Pane and highlighted in the document. Click a persistent highlight set's name or the Activated persistent highlight set icon icon to hide all term highlights from the set in the viewer. When a persistent highlight set's icon is Deactivated persistent highlight set icon and the terms appear partially transparent in the Persistent Highlight Pane, the term highlights for the set are hidden in the viewer.

A Persistent Highlight Set that has been turned off

Clear a term's check box to hide its highlights in the viewer. Select its check box to apply highlighting for the term in the viewer again.

If any of the set’s terms aren't present in the current document open in the viewer, they don't display in the Persistent Highlight Pane. For example, if you created a set named Investments that contains five highlight terms, and only three of the terms show in the pane for a particular document, the other two terms aren't present in the document.

When you select a persistent highlight term in the Persistent Highlight Pane, in addition to highlighting all instances of that term in the body of an email, the viewer also highlights instances of the term in the email header.

Persistent Highlight Pane in Viewer

If a document doesn't contain any terms found in a set, you won't have the + expand option for the set in the pane. It is possible to have many highlight sets enabled but no highlights appear in a document.

Selections made in the Persistent Highlight pane persist throughout a user's session in Relativity. This includes any of the following changes related to the Persistent Highlight Pane in the viewer:

  • Showing or hiding the Persistent Highlight Pane.
  • Enabling or disabling a persistent highlight set.
  • Expanding or collapsing the term list for a persistent highlight set.
  • Checking or clearing terms check boxes in a persistent highlight set.

Navigating highlighted terms in the viewer

To navigate between terms highlighted on a document in the viewer, use the Go to Previous Highlight Go to Previous Highlight button icon on Viewer toolbar and Go to Next Highlight Go to Next Highlight button icon on Viewer toolbar buttons on the viewer toolbar.

The Go to Previous Highlight and Go to Next Highlight buttons only navigate between terms enabled in the Persistent Highlight Pane.

When navigating through a document's highlighted terms, the following notification informs you when you reach the beginning or end of the document and there are no more highlights.

Persistent highlight navigation end of document notification

Active and inactive highlights

To support advanced highlights within persistent highlight sets, two types colors can be available in the viewer - active and inactive highlights. The colors are the same, but have a different level of opacity. Active highlights are the highlights that the viewer is focused on. Active highlights are at full opacity and inactive highlights are at a lower opacity level. See Color-coding persistent highlights for more information.

Note: The opacity level of the highlights for proximity searching and inactive terms can be adjusted by editing the value of the ViewerHighlightStyleDefault instance setting.

Color name Active Color Inactive Color Number
[Default]     0
Black     1
Dark red     2
Dark green     3
Dark yellow     4
Dark blue     5
Dark magenta     6
Dark cyan     7
Light gray     8
Gray     9
Red     10
Green     11
Yellow     12
Blue     13
Magenta     14
Cyan     15
White     16

Persistent highlight set behavior across viewer modes

Note the following regarding persistent highlight set behavior as the reviewer moves from document to document, changes viewer modes, and uses pane toggles:

  • Any changes made to a persistent highlight set tree in the panel when the viewer is undocked, such as terms selected or unselected, will display when the viewer is docked again.
  • A synced standalone viewer won't display changes made to a persistent highlight set, such as terms selected or unselected, in the pane of the main viewer. However, Persistent Highlight Pane settings remain the same in the standalone viewer as the reviewer goes from doc to doc within the standalone viewer.
  • The Persistent Highlight Pane maintains its current state when you swap viewer panes.
  • The Persistent Highlight Pane in Extracted Text mode and Viewer mode are independent of each other. A change made to the pane in Extracted Text mode is not automatically reflected when the reviewer switches to Viewer mode and vice versa.
  • Advanced persistent highlighting, available when using a search term report as a highlight field source, is only available in the primary viewer mode. See Using the highlight fields source.

See Viewer for more information.

Persistent highlight behavior

When using a search term report that includes search syntax as a highlights source field, the highlight behavior is more inclusive than using persistent highlight terms. See Using the highlight fields source.

The different levels of opacity occur on a key term and interval term level. The key terms in the search are high opacity level highlights. The other interval terms picked up with search syntax are highlighted at a lower opacity level. For example, if you use the search "account w/5 cap" the words "account" and "cap" are highlighted with the full opacity highlight. The words between "account" and "cap" will have the lower opacity level highlight.

(Click to expand)

Viewer that has highlights with different opacity

Using multiple persistent highlight sets

During the course of a review, the number of terms can grow as legal teams learn more about the case and the documents in it. In these cases, it may be beneficial to create multiple highlight sets.

With multiple highlight sets you'll have better organization and control over highlighted terms. For example, you may want to create highlight sets for:

  • Key Terms
  • Privilege Terms
  • Specific Issue Terms (unique terms)

You can visually group related terms by assigning a different highlight color to the terms in each highlight set.

Example of using multiple persistent highlight sets

Beginning in, when multiple highlight sets include the same term the colors used in each set will mix together. For example, if a highlight set includes the term "apple" highlighted in blue and another highlight set includes the term "apple" highlighted in red, the highlight color will combine and display as purple in the Viewer. This only applies if both highlight sets are active for the same term.

Persistent highlighting sets and individual terms can be toggled on or off depending on reviewers’ preferences or needs. A reviewer can control which sets or terms they have highlighted during review.

Clicking on the light bulb icon for a persistent highlight set enables or disables highlighting for the entire set. The Activated persistent highlight set icon icon indicates a persistent highlight set is enabled in the Persistent Highlight Pane. The Deactivated persistent highlight set icon icon indicates a persistent highlight set is disabled in the Persistent Highlight pane. When disabling a persistent highlight set in the viewer, terms included in the set aren't highlighted in documents until the set is enabled again.

Clicking a check box activates or deactivates highlighting for an individual term.

Example of Persistent Highlight Sets

Security is another way to control persistent highlight sets. System admins can use object-level security to display only the persistent highlights sets necessary for users to complete their reviews. Limiting the visibility of persistent highlight sets also provides a cleaner interface for reviewers. See Adding the Security field to a view and Relativity object security for more information.

Performance considerations

Several factors can affect the performance of persistent highlight sets. These factors include individual document size, the number of terms, the types of operators used, and the performance of the local machine. For more information about how to create high performance searches, visit Creating efficient searches for persisten highlighting.

Individual document size

The size of individual documents affects persistent highlighting performance, not the workspace's document count. The larger the document, the longer it takes for persistent highlighting to compare and highlight each term in the document against the term list.

For example, Excel files with many tabs require more time to load. Persistent highlighting searches the contents of each tab, compares each term against the term list, highlights any term matches, then moves to the next tab until it has gone through the entire document. A 500-page document takes much longer to render highlights than a one-page email.

Number of terms

When using the Terms Search option as your source for persistent highlighting, performance can slow down as the list of terms grows. Performance degradation can occur once the list reaches 100 terms, and significant slowness occurs at 500 terms depending on the resources of your local machine. If you have a large list of terms, using Highlight Fields through search terms reports is a better solution.

Types of operators used

Creating efficient searches improves the performance of persistent highlighting whether working with a Terms Search or Highlight Fields. See Creating efficient searches for persistent highlighting.

Local machine

Persistent highlighting is rendered by the local machine, not by the Relativity server. If the resources for the local machine are strained, it will also affect performance.