Feature Focus: Filtering Regular Expressions with Saved Searches

Claire Williams | April 22, 2020

Heretik is shipped with tons of customizable features. We’ve talked about many of them before and highlighted them in use cases and other series. What we want to do is start showcasing some of the features that we haven’t talked about as much, or that just deserve a little more time in the spotlight!

This week, we’re focusing in on filtering regular expressions with saved searches.

You might be thinking to yourself, “What is a regular expression?” Regular expressions (sometimes called regex) are strings of characters that humans write to quickly find patterns in text. Here’s a great definition we found on Wikipedia

A regular expression is a sequence of characters that define a search pattern. Usually such patterns are used by string searching algorithms for “find” or “find and replace” operations on strings, or for input validation. It is a technique developed in theoretical computer science and formal language theory.

You might now be thinking to yourself, “Okay great, but I still don’t know what a saved search is.” A saved search is a Relativity feature that saves set a of criteria and, when run, returns the latest documents in your workspace that meet the criteria you set.

Now that we’ve got the lingo down, let’s dive into how we use them. 

Regular expressions are an extremely useful and flexible part of Heretik. They allow you to customize your Heretik Viewer results to quickly locate and filter information based on your unique project’s requirements. Heretik has a built-in library of regular expressions that can be used to find specific information like dates, monetary amounts, countries, names, consent and more.

However, did you know can customize regular expressions to be even more precise?

Not only can you create your own regular expressions to search what you want, you can filter those expressions to run on saved searches.

Here’s a familiar scenario

You just finished uploading several hundred documents to your Relativity workspace. You now need to be able to find some specific data points within those documents, like the dates for Term, Termination, and Renewal. While there are many different types of documents in your set, you know there are a handful of leases that have the sections that include the dates you need.

Using Heretik’s date regular expression to find these dates would be useful. But if you run that regular expression over all the documents, you will get a lot of dates back and it might take a bit of time to find the ones you want from those leases.

So what’s the solution?

Think of regular expressions as different lenses on a microscope. Applying the library of generalized regular expressions across your entire project is the widest lens. It has the scope of all the documents, and you can see all of the individual pieces. And there are MANY pieces. You want to see more specific items, in this case, data points. How do you locate the smaller points under your microscope? Adding a magnified lens.

You’re interested in extracting the termination date from some contracts using Heretik’s out-of-the box date regular expression. Instead of searching the entire project or document, you can use regular expressions to search only through a designated section. In the example above, we’ve isolated all Term, Termination, and renewal clauses after running Heretik Segmentation and then modified the date regular expression to only search within those sections

By creating another saved search, specifically around those sections of Term, Termination, and Renewal, you’re able to then run the Heretik date regular expression to find the date you’re looking for without having all other dates in the entire batch of documents come back to you. It’s a quicker, more effective way to find the data you’re looking for!

After Heretik Analysis has been run, you are ready to search through your documents to see the auto-extraction results. Here we see that the Termination Date Field has been populated for all our documents that had a date within the Term, Termination, and Renewal Section. When you open the document in the Heretik Viewer, you can click on the field you had auto-populated to see where in the document Heretik found the information.

Ready to start filtering your regular expressions with saved searches? Here’s a link to our documentation that walks you through it step-by-step. If you’re interested in seeing a demo of Heretik, get in touch with our team below!



Claire is a Marketing Coordinator at Heretik. She recently graduated from Miami University Ohio with a double major in Journalism and Mandarin Chinese. Prior to Heretik, Claire worked at Amdur Productions and for Miami University College of Arts and Science.​