Limit Keyword Search to Beginning or End of the Document

In a previous article, I discussed “stop words” and within the free resource at the bottom of the article, I mentioned a search engine called dtSearch.

You may not be aware that you are using dtSearch because it is “baked in” to many of the legal industry database systems we use. To increase the success of your search queries, you should ask what the search engine is because the syntax (the search query  design) may be slightly different depending on the search engine being used.

There is a lesser known search feature in dtSearch that I want to make you aware of.

dtSearch includes the following built-in search words:

xfirstword – Marks the beginning of a file, or put another way, it matches the first word of a document

xlastword – Marks the end of a file, or put another way, it matches the last word of a document

The really cool thing is that these built-in search words can be used to limit a search query to the beginning or end of a file. I'm sure you can imagine how this might be helpful for searching against consistent file types within your client's documents, such as contracts, agreements or forms.

This search query can be used to search the beginning of an agreement. It would look for the phrase “coal mining” within the first 500 words of each document.

“coal mining” w/500 xfirstword

This search query can be used to search the ending of an agreement. It would look for the phrase “CEO Company Name” within the last 500 words of each document.

“CEO Company Name” w/500 xlastword

Every search engine has a bunch of search operators and syntax parameters that can help make our search queries more efficient. Be sure to check them out in the documentation for your database systems.

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