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Optimizing Document Search in AbacusLaw

AbacusLaw, Free Training Thursday, Webinars

In this free 20 minute webinar, learn how you can configure your AbacusLaw program to not only search linked documents, but also documents stored on the network that may or may not be already linked to Matters.

About Free Training Thursday: Since the start of 2017, we have been holding these free 20 minute trainings hosted by our industry-leading experts and innovators who will teach you about AbacusLaw, Amicus Attorney, ResultsCRM, OfficeTools, Abacus Private Cloud, and more. If you would like to request a topic, please

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Welcome everybody to another Free Training Thursday session. As Amanda just mentioned, we are going to cover optimizing document search in AbacusLaw. Just for a show of hands, on your viewing pane there, can you just click on the hand so that I can see that you actually can listen clearly, and the audio is good. Okay. Thank you very much. That will do it.

All right, so for today is the good old document search. We want to make sure that we're optimizing those capabilities within Abacus. Now some folks know how to go about searching for documents, especially those documents that are being linked, but I want to show you other features such as, maybe, searching for documents that are not necessarily being linked to Abacus. Okay.

The starter for that, and I don't know if you've seen this before or not, this feature is called the find feature. This icon, called find with a magnifying glass in the icons bar here at the top. Simply click on that, and you will get a global search pop-up window that comes along. As you can see you do have options here of what it can search through as far as specific words are concerned. We're going to focus just on documents this time. Okay?

If I uncheck search files, and uncheck advanced matters and notes, notice how in the portion of the documents you can see linked documents, as in linked to Abacus that you or anyone of your colleagues has linked over into Abacus, and then the option, of course, of all docs and you see it there as well. All docs meaning anything within your network. Okay? That's what we're going to focus on with regards to understanding the difference between what a linked document is, when you're doing a search versus all documents within your network.

You obviously enter the information here. Okay. You will then get a certain number depending on the keyword that you're searching for. If, you need to make sure that you're setting up the specific shared drives or additional drives for all docs, that set-up needs to be done under file, set-up, system options. One key thing that I'm going to point out here when it comes to your system options is that it's going to be under your features, and you'll notice that there's going to be a document search feature here at the top.

Those of you that are in APC will have this grayed out, meaning that you won't be able to change it. Why? Because everything in the APC environment obviously is in already one shared drive that's been created for you. This is more for those of you that don't have APC, and are able to then try to do searches among the different shared drives that you can put it in, as far as different letter drive that you might have.

When it comes to the Windows search here, if you don't have the Adobe Acrobat 8 or later, must be installed in order to have PDF files include in the Windows search. All it says here is, "Would you like to install it now?" Obviously you would say, "Yes," if you were to do that. So, keep that in mind when it comes to searching through documents in the Adobe Acrobat search, as the piece there to be able to recognize text searches. Right? If you don't have it installed you have to install it. I'm going to say, "No," to this right now for purpose of the training, and then of course, you don't have to run that right now, and then the PDF files might not be included in the search results until the corresponding filter is installed. Keep that in mind as well, and then we can proceed into this window.

When we get to the document search setup potion here, what we want to focus on is under document search part at the bottom. It clearly states here what the document search features is all about, and then it just walks you through, and pretty much lets you know that you went Abacus searches for the text in document it will always search the Abacus docs folder before path, plus, any other folders you designated below. Okay? Right now, what it's looking for is just one folder and this is by default the Abacus one that you would get.

If you wanted to include obviously a folder that you wanted to look up through, all you got to do is click on the add button here, and then go into the folder section, and look up the … on the look up arrow and then you will have your options. As you can see, if I was in my PC, you have different share drives here. I mean, different drives. You can also include … And amongst them, what you would want to do is obviously in the ones that are shared because for the most part that's where you want to be able to search through, right? The share drives where everybody's placing these documents in particular.

After you choose the folders that you like, you will then be able to, of course, now add it to the mix and then just list them here. Okay? So there's an option here that it says, "Also limit the search to folders already linked to that linked documents." If you want to obviously do more than just the linked documents you would have to uncheck this, so you can look through the different shared drives, or the different drives that are out there.

Now the person that has access to the system options will be more than likely the administrator within your firm. Okay? Not everyone I know is set-up as an administrator, therefore they won't … Not just anyone can walk in and make those changes. So that is the set-up that you should be focused on. Again, it is in the file, set-up, system options, right? So that will be across everyone, and everyone will be able to see.

So the idea is that when you come back to your find, when you do look up, let's say a particular invoice. Let me just say you put in the word basketball you can see how I don't have any documents as of right now that are being linked that are basketball, but in my drive I have some invoices with regards to a basketball league that we belong to. So that's why it's looking through all my drives, and it's giving me all that documents that aren't even linked that have the word basketball in it. So it's telling me exactly what I intended.

The other good thing about this is, let's say that you had linked a document, okay, and then you eventually, and let's just go into a … Sorry not here, but let's say into your documents, browse documents manager. This is going to go through every single one of your documents that exist. Okay? Whether they are linked. Now for the most part that are being linked, that are showcased here.

So let’s say in one case or matter you did some linking to some cases, but then eventually you don't remember whether you unlinked them or not. Let's say when you unlinked them you deleted them. In other words, they were deleted from that particular case, but you then proceeded to not delete the document itself. Well Abacus can actually remember, as you can see, because it creates that folder and document it's already within the system. So it won't completely delete it unless you tell it to do so. You can look for documents that you had already linked, and then unlinked and it will still remain within your search. Again, I will go back to basketball as in my example. I can then see that these documents are no longer within … See how it says, "Failure of search"? Nothing is being linked. However, if I look closely into my other options here, and I can see how it says, "Document search results includes four non-linked documents," then you'll be able to see those wherever those are within any one of your shared drives.

Ultimately, not only is it searching for anything that you would linked within any one of your drives, but if you happen to unlink them, you can always make sure to see, if you didn't delete the actual document itself, you can still see that you had linked them in the past. So, it gives you that ability as well. So, it's really a pretty straight forward other than knowing a very typical way of searching for documents. A lot of folks like to go into their cases and then go into a document step, and then they can search on any given document for a particular word within any one of your files. Okay? That one, global search, allows you to not only look through the ones that exist that are linked, but also the ones that are not linked to Abacus. Within the case or a matter, like this one, if I wanted to search, okay, do a document search, what it does is it pulls up, it reads through the articles, through every one of the documents, and then just the text recognition as far as the words within the content of that document.

So, here it found the word accounting, hence wise pulling this PDF accounting. It looks through the text, obviously within the document, as well as the name of the document. Okay? It doesn't look for any specific folders that you have listed within Abacus in this section. It just looks through the document name as well as a context, if that particular document has either been OCR'd or it's a text recognizable. If it's not text recognizable, and it's not set-up in those parameters, then of course you won't be able to search through the content of those documents. Okay.

The only other aspect that I wanted to make sure I covered here, is within the global search, information and the icon and the find here, if you haven't used this before it can not only search for particular documents as specified, but you can obviously look through emails, and all these other names, events, matters, and notes section as well. Let's see. Are there any questions? You can start forming any of your questions. That's pretty much all I had for the document search portion of the day. Are there any questions that we can answer and tally?


"Is it possible to search a list of documents, and then link the ones I want to a particular matter?"

Well, if you're talking about the document search as far as within your file structure that you might have in File Explorer, you can search for the documents there. Once you get those documents, then you can link them over to Abacus to one particular case or matter. So, let's say that I did … Okay, I'm just going to put in here any engagement letter within, let's see, within one of my shared drives here, and just wanted … You're looking for one particular, the folder's name after you search for, let's say it was just thank you letters, within my folder, then I can obviously then just drag those over into my matter. As long as you have the matter in the background open, that would be one easy way of doing it. So if you have Adrianna Sanchez here, let's say opened up, and you went to your file structure, then yes, you can just simply after you found the documents that you want, you can just simply click, drag, drop it, and it will drop it into the documents tab.

It will ask you if you want to add that particular document into your case called Adrianna Sanchez and you're going to say, "Yes." Once you do that, you're going to get this pop-up window, which is your document details pop-up window that assists you, and how you want to categorize and organize within any one of the cases. So if you leave this as a thank you letter, you might want to put in the admin folder within your Abacus. Then maybe your thank you letter folder, if you were to have one. So you can have a thank you letter to the client, and then you just hit done. Once you do that, if you go back to your documents folder you can then see in there that you have just linked it over. Where is my thank you letter? I believe … Hold on, give me a second. It should be popping up.

There is your thank you letter. Sometimes you have to get out of it and then come back in so it refreshed. This is one way of linking any particular documents that you searched for. Then once you find it you can then link it over to this particular case or matter. Okay, next question.

The next question was from Trisha, but I believe it was sort of covered. How do you link a document to Abacus?

Yeah. I can go over the steps again. Simply put, that's one way of linking the document, right? The good old click drag and drop. Okay, there are other options. Let's say you were working on a Word document, okay? I'm just going to pull up my Word up here so you can see, and you just finished let's say creating that document. So I can say, "Creating a document," right? And I'm just going to save it. So, let's just make this a little larger so you can see it. Okay. I'm creating this document. I finished writing this document. I'm going to go into my file. There's going to be what we call the Microsoft Word ad-in. Think of this as a tool that's going to allow you to link up anything from Word over into Abacus. If you have not had this actually set up, you can call our support line and if you don't have that number, that is a 800 number. It's actually 800-488-3334.

They can actually have this tool added on. So when you go to Word, and you try to save it, if you don't have this add-in's portion, that means you don't have the Microsoft Word add-in anyhow. The Microsoft Word add-in, what it lets you do again is save it right away. Once they start saving it, you'll notice that it comes up and it tells me right away where do I want to save it? So if it's a new document that I'm doing, let's say, and I want to put on my shared drives where you then have with any one of your colleagues, right? You can go to, let's say, the F drive, I'm going to go into my specific folder that I'm going to enter it in. Right? I'm going to put Ben Fuu, and I'm just going to go document five, as an example, right? I'm simply just going to save it there.

I am saving it in whatever shared drive or whatever letter drive you want. However, when I'm linking over into Abacus, I'm going to get this pop-up window. So, now let's just say that was an example again. I'm linking it to my matter. You can see in my level. You can put in a specific folder again, and say, "It's admin," but let's say this time around I'm just going to say another … Whatever it was, an example. So I'm just going to do training. Let's see what they're saying … yeah, training example. So I have a training example folder. So I put an admin training example, and I'm going to hit done.

What's important here to note is you're saving it in your shared drive in any specific place that you want, but then you can within Abacus have a different kind of structure, as in the first folder that you're putting it in versus the second folder. We have this view here, which is called the list view. Some folks like it. There's different levels of where you can store it. If you get the folder view, which was actually requested by most of our clients because they like the whole Microsoft Outlook folder structure, as you can see, then you can easily see the admin folders being created here. This is a thank you letter client that was just created. I just created another one. The Adrianna one. I just put it in here. So you have different options. You have different ways, but at the end of the day they're all going to showcase what you saved. Whether it's the list view, whether it's folder view. The interface depends on the client and how they want to see it, but just like that, I just linked over a Word document.

By the same token, there's another thing called the forms, and the forms after you complete them, you can then automatically add them over into the case that you are working on so you can save it under that case. Any other questions?

The next question is, once you found a set of documents in Abacus, how do I transfer multiple documents to a different matter?

Well, you would have to relink them from the place that you … I mean, normally the documents are within one specific matter. If you're trying to link the same documents to a different case or a matter, I've actually … Let me see, yeah. The only way to transfer is if you relink them from its original place to the matter. So, whatever share drives are on, you're going to then have to link it to a new case the same way you did it to the previous case. You can't just grab all of these, right? Let's say that's what your intentions are, and down here we don't have an option to do it all at once. I mean, what you can do is do one at a time if that's what you want, but it will then just move it from one case to another. So if I highlight this one, I edit, I can then move it to the matter that I want.

Okay? So, if I wanted to then change this to, of course, a different matter I can go Stefan Belle, select it. Now it will move this document from here, AbacusLaw basic on 4/12 to my new one. So if I go back out, and I go into bill, then I go to my documents, if I go to my dates, 4/12 should be down here. There it is. But you can't do a mass edit, transfer. Try it just for fun, which I don't think you can. So, if I grab all these three. Let's say I grab those too, and then I go edit. This is a full path, there's Stefan Belle. I'm going to put in Adrianna Sanchez. Okay, these are my AbacusLaw records. Okay, I'm going to hit select. I'm going to hit done. Actually, I might be stand corrected. I've never tried that before. So, let's see. If I go back to Adrianna Sanchez, and I go to my docs, AbacusLaw transferred back here, and the other one was my thank you letter, this one. I guess you can. Next question.

It doesn't look like we have any other questions. We can just give it a moment, and if nobody has anything else then we will conclude the webinar. Okay, that appears to be it. Thank you so much to Ben. As a reminder, this webinar will be available on our website at AbacusNext/Webinar, and we'll also be emailed to all participants.

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