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Paul L. Boley Law Library

Legal Research Tip: Use Westlaw’s Built-In Search Feature

November 02, 2016

Ctrl-f can be the researcher’s best friend when trying to find a word or phrase in a long document. But the built-in search feature in Westlaw is the better bet for locating your search term or phrase. 

Searching in Westlaw

If you use ctrl-f to find a certain word or phrase in Westlaw, you won’t always return accurate results. The reason? Westlaw sometimes separates documents, especially long ones, into parts. That means if you did a ctrl-f search in Part 1 of a document, your ctrl-f search would not search for or return results for anything in Part 2.

When you see Part 1 on the top left-hand side of the screen, don’t rely on the ctrl-f function search for a word or phrase.


What should you do instead? Use Westlaw’s built-in search function to guarantee the best search results.


Questions? Reference librarians are happy to help! Contact us today. 

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