Updated by Maarten Truyens
In ClauseBuddy, you can search clauses in three different ways: by keyword, by browsing through folders, or through similarity search.
Each of the three search types has its own strengths and weaknesses:
- Keyword search is what everybody is used to from everyday use in Google or other search engines. While most users will spontaneously gravitate towards keyword search initially, it is actually not the most relevant way to search clauses in a large database, as legal clauses tend to have many overlapping keywords. Still, it can be very useful when the clause you are searching has a few unique words in it.
- In our experience — both as former lawyers and from having witnessed other users — searching through folders in a taxonomy (tree) aligns most closely to how most legal professionals want to search for clauses.
- Similarity searches allow you to quickly navigate to a folder with clauses that are similar to the clause you have currently selected. This search allows you to very quickly retrieve relevant results, but relies on artificial intelligence (AI) and may therefore also lead to noisy results.
Whichever of the three search approaches you take, you will probably want to filter the search results, to quickly arrive at a small subselection of relevant clauses. You may also want to inspect a clause, to compare it to other clauses and check its legal metadata.
Colors in search results
Any search result will be shown either with a blue, green or purple background.
- Clauses with a green background are regular clauses that were prepared in ClauseBuddy. They do not contain any intelligence or dynamic parts — they merely contain text, placeholders, tables, footnotes, etc.
- Clauses with a purple background contain interactive elements, such as dynamic legal terminology, calculations and conditional text.
- Clauses with a blue background (and a cog icon) are the most interactive of all. They can be like sheer magic: by answering a few questions, the text of the clause will be changed — sometimes in subtle ways by hiding or altering a few words, sometimes very drastically by showing or hiding entire paragraphs.
Undo & redo
The rightmost buttons in ClauseBuddy's toolbar allow you to go back and forth in time — essentially a kind of undo & redo that bring you back to earlier search results, before you started to modify keywords or filtered down your search results. Do not underestimate the power of those buttons: they can make your search experience so much smoother!