Law Firm Software Tip: How to use NetDocuments and its Advanced Search Sort Options

Advanced Search Sort Options in NetDocuments

When you run an advanced search in NetDocuments, you have probably noticed that the search results appear with the most recently modified documents at the top. We have always found that most people don’t need to run this type of search for their own recently modified documents.  While we may need to run it on someone else’s documents, we usually know how to find our own.  In many cases, we are searching for either a document that we created a long time ago or a document that has a higher percentage of the key phrases that we are looking for.

Modified date (which includes the email sent date) is the default sort on any advanced search.  However, you can change this on a search-by-search basis or set another sort as your default.  These sort options are hidden by default but are available by clicking on Show more options at the bottom of the advanced search page. NetDocuments Advanced Search Sort Options - Show More Options

 The available options are:
NetDocuments Advanced Search Sort Options - Sort by
Relevance.  Relevance sorts items higher based on your search keywords and how often they appear in the document.  While this selection is available when searching “name/subject” or “everything,” it is far more useful when searching everything because a name search is only looking for your keywords in the document name.

Modified / Sent Date.  This is the default sort and returns the most recently modified documents near the top.

Name / Subject.  This sort returns the documents alphabetically by name.

Personalized.  This sort returns results more relevant to the searching user.  The highest returns are those where the user is both the creator and the last modifier.  Next highest are documents where the user is the last modifier, but not the creator.  Results created by the user but last modified by someone else are third highest.  After displaying the results most relevant to the user, NetDocuments returns results based on relevance.

If you prefer one of the alternative sorts, you can make it your default by checking the box titled Make this my default sort.  Even better, because you may switch between them quite often, you can make the sort selector available to you on every search.  Open the advanced search dialog and select the “gear” in the upper right.  Find Sort by in the list of more options and drag it up into the list of fields that appear on every search.

If you'd like additional help with advanced searches or sorting in NetDocuments, just let us know. You can always reach us at or request a consultation. 

Jeff Krause

Written by Jeff Krause

Jeff is a Partner with Affinity. Jeff’s expertise ranges from case management, document management to billing and accounting. His career in legal technology has focused on not just helping other attorneys choose the right technology and use it the right way; but also, understanding how to apply it to their daily jobs in the context of their current work process and master business concepts that they can apply to their practice and achieve greater success. Jeff is a frequent author and speaker on a variety of legal technology subjects.

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