Searching NetDocuments Profile Values for "Anything" or "Nothing"

Searching NetDocuments Profile Values forAnything or Nothing

NetDocuments includes very powerful search tools to search document names and content as well as profile fields set up when you configure your system.  These searches are all straightforward including the ability to use wildcards when searching text.  Here is a trick that combines the asterisk wildcard “*” with profile values. Your first thought when reading this may be that you will not need to do this type of search.  Trust me, you will.

The asterisk wildcard is normally used when searching either “Name/Subject” or “Everything.”  Placing the asterisk before or after any four characters will substitute any text for the asterisk.  For example, searching for “simp*” would find the words simple, simplistic, Simpson, simper or any other word beginning with the text string “simp.”  When searching profile values, you would typically not use an asterisk.  Many profile value searches resolve back to a key value that may or may not match your four characters plus the wildcard.  In other cases, you might be picking from a very short list and have no need for a wildcard.

However, perhaps you have a profile field that is supposed to be completed but often isn’t.  How would you search for every document where the value was left blank?  The answer is a variation of the wildcard search.  Searching the profile field for “NOT ({*})” will return a list of documents where the field is not completed or is NULL.  Enclosing the asterisk in braces tells NetDocuments to search for exactly anything and adding NOT searches for values where this is not true.  Keep in mind that searching for NOT ({*}) is not the same as leaving a field blank when you search.  Leaving a field blank in the advanced search does not search the field at all.

Want to search for every instance where a field is completed with any value?  Just leave out the “NOT” and search for ({*}).  Leaving out the “NOT” will return a list of documents where the profile value is completed with any value.  You might use this search when you have a field that is completed only in specific circumstances and you want to search for every document where the field was completed with any value.Searching NetDocuments Profile Values for NOTHING

If you'd like additional help with advanced searching or any other feature 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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