How to Import a CSV Overlay


CSV Overlays

What is an overlay?  An overlay is an index file formatted as a CSV that, when applied to your Discovery or Litigation database via the Overlay workflow, can change the metadata or coding of a document which has been previously imported.  

Using the load file mapper, users will be provided the opportunity to easily match fields from your csv overlay file to the fields displayed in your Nextpoint database, from within the application. We’ve also included several instances of load file and field validation to ensure your overlay is successful.

Some notable highlights of this release:

  • Ability to perform CSV overlays via the new CSV Overlay Import Type.
  • Document mapping key, providing Nextpoint with instructions for locating documents in your database which will be updated with information during the overlay.
  • Effortless field matching with 'exact match' recommendations and the ability to search alternative existing fields or create new fields 'on the fly'.
  • Backup Overlay File makes reverting data prior to the overlay stress-free. 

This functionality is available for  Advanced users only.



Formatting Requirements for a CSV Overlay

Your Overlay file should be formatted so that the first row of the CSV contains column headers (field names) and any subsequent row reflects a specific document.


Coding overlay column headers fall into one of three categories:

  • Keys: Used to locate and target a specific document to which data will be applied
  • Nextpoint System Fields: always available in all databases, not configurable
  • Nextpoint Custom Fields: user-created fields which can be configured

We suggest supplying column headers as lowercase, underscore separated values. The system will do its best to coerce values like "Document Date" to "document_date", but we recommend formatting as much as possible before uploading to the File Room, as described in the steps below.

Document Keys System Fields Custom Fields

Each CSV row must contain at least one document key value.  The Document Key provides Nextpoint with instructions for locating documents in your database which will be updated with information during the overlay.  Available keys include:

CSV Header Description
npid The Nextpoint ID of a document. This can be exported in bulk from Nextpoint using the "Nextpoint ID" export field. For individual documents, this is listed under "System Data" as DocID. Tip: This is the most accurate and preferred key for an overlay; it is guaranteed to be unique and will result in the fastest execution speed.
bates_start The Bates value that corresponds with the first page of a document in Nextpoint. This can be exported in bulk from Nextpoint using the "Bates Range Start" export field.


Overlay Formatting Notes

Bates, Custodians, Native_File and Text_File cannot be overlaid.  Please contact the Nextpoint support team for assistance with this action.

Additionally, please ensure your load file is saved as a CSV with UTF-8 Encoding.


Importing a CSV Overlay with the Load File Mapper

Before initiating any Overlay, it’s important to note that the documents to which you would like to overlay data must already be imported into your Nextpoint database.

1 | Upload CSV Overlay load file to File Room

  1. Navigate to the File Room:  In Discovery databases, via DATA  File Room.  In Litigation via MORE    Data   File Room


  2. Upload your CSV Overlay load file(s) to the File Room via one of the four following options:

    Upload a folder of files via Drag & Drop

    Select the folder(s) on your desktop, thumb drive, or other location, and Drag & Drop into your File Room.  All contents and subdirectory information will be maintained.

    Upload loose file(s) via Drag & Drop

    Within the File Room, click the green Create Folder     name your folder and select OK. 

    Maintaining an organizational system for your data Overlay files will help ensure you can best track your various overlays as time progresses.

    Click into your newly created folder, and drag and drop your Overlay file into the folder location.


    Upload an individual file via Upload Files button

    Within the File Room, click the blue Upload Files button and select your Overlay file from the directory prompt. 

    Note: This option only allows upload of one CSV Overlay file at a time.


    Request file upload from third party

    If you are requesting a CSV Overlay file from a third party (e.g. counsel, etc.), you can securely Request Files from your Nextpoint File Room.

    It is a simple process in which you ("requestor") request files from a specified third-party, the "recipient" of that request receives a secure link to upload their respective file(s), and then you can access the uploaded files right away. 


    Read more on requesting from third parties here >>

Best Practices for Uploading

  • Overlay files must be in CSV format (no excel or .dat)
  • We recommend organizing your CSV Overlay files with the data set you are overlaying or in a specific Overlay Files folder in the File Room. The better organized you are here, the easier it will be to cross reference later, as needed.


2 | Initiate Overlay Workflow

Once your Overlay file has been uploaded to the File Room, navigate to the Overlays tab, also under the top-level DATA tab.  

Click the blue Start an Overlay button to initiate the overlay workflow.



3 | Confirm Overlay Settings

Once you initiate the overlay workflow, you will be navigated to the next step, Overlay Settings.  Here, you will verify and/or outline settings applicable to your current overlay.


The Overlay Settings you will need to set are as follows:

  1. Type of Import: Verify Overlay is selected.  Click the pencil icon ImportWizard_pencil.png to edit, as needed.
  2. Overlay File Selection: Click the folder icon ImportWizard_fileselect.png to access the File Room contents and select your overlay file.
  3. Overlay Name: Recommended for most efficient tracking once the overlay is complete. 
  4. Backup restored data: On by default, this setting will ensure existing field values are preserved in a separate CSV file before any information is overlaid.  The resulting CSV file will be helpful if you ever need to revert an overlay to the previous state of coding/metadata.


4 | Review & Set Overlay Mappings

Load File Mapper at a Glance

When the Overlay Import Type is selected, the third step in the guided workflow is where you review and set your overlay file mapping specifications in the load file mapper.

The key objective of the load file mapper is to ensure the fields from your overlay file are mapping to the appropriate Nextpoint database fields.  If the mapping is not made, Nextpoint will not know where to send the load file information during processing.

Once in the load file mapper, you will be presented with four core columns which provide you with data from your overlay file, a list of database fields to which load file data can be mapped, and a status indicator of your field mapping.  These four columns are described in detail below.


A | The first column, Field from your load file, will be populated with a list of the fields contained in the header row of your selected overlay file.  

B | The second column, Destination field, contains a list of available fields in your Nextpoint database to which corresponding overlay file field data can be mapped. Nextpoint will attempt to auto-map exact matches. You can also edit the auto-mapped recommendation, create a new destination field 'on the fly', or choose to skip the field within the field drop-down.

C | The third column, Load file preview, contains a three row preview of the data within the load file for each field.  This information can provide assurance the appropriate values correspond with a particular field.

D | The fourth column, Field status, provides confirmation if a load file field has been successfully mapped to a destination field or if additional user action is required prior to import.


A Closer Look at the Destination Field Column

Now that you have an overview of four columns within the mapper, let’s take a closer look at the Destination field column and the different opportunities for mapping information from your Overlay load file to your Nextpoint database.

Document Mapping Field Mapping Skip Fields

The first row in your Destination field column will be populated with document mapping key.  The Document mapping key provides Nextpoint with instructions for locating documents in your database which will be updated with information during the overlay.  See Formatting Requirements for a CSV Overlay above for further information on document mapping keys.

Click on the gear icon to validate the load file field which Nextpoint should use to locate the documents for your overlay.


Note: In the above visualization, you will note the duplicative ProdBeg (Bates_start) is skipped by the user.  Bates cannot be overlaid, so there is no need to map that field beyond the document mapping key selection.


5 | Initiate Your Overlay

Once all load file mappings are complete, click the blue Overlay button at the bottom right and processing will begin.  Nextpoint will take your original overlay file, make a copy with any mapping requirements, and make any necessary conversions on the back-end during processing.



All fields provided will be entirely overwritten by what is in the provided CSV. This means that if a field has an empty value in the CSV, that field will have its existing data removed in Nextpoint.

Before initiating your Overlay, we recommend ensuring Backup restored data is Enabled in when confirming your overlay settings.  Doing so will ensure you are able to revert your overlay changes, if needed.


6 | Review Overlay Results

After your overlay is complete, we recommend reviewing your overlay results to ensure your overlay mapped as expected. You can review any overlay batch details via DATA > Overlays > click on the name of the overlay in the overlay batch list.

Several reports/files are generate during processing which will be helpful in your review:

  • The overlay file used for processing will be added to your original folder selected from the File Room for import. Any selections made in the load file mapper will be reflected in this resulting file.
  • Field Mapping Report: Fields used for mapping will be stored as a report in the individual overlay details page.
  • Processing Results Report: Outlines the document mapping key utilized, which Nextpoint DocIDs the key matched, and the associated coding/metadata applied during overlay.
  • Backup Overlay Load File: An CSV export of documents in your overlay batch and the coding/metadata in place prior to processing the overlay.  Helpful in the event you need to revert your overlay for any reason. 


7 | Family Link

Note: This step is only applicable if you were overlaying email family relationships via the combination of Bates_start document mapping key and BegAttach field. 

The very last step once processing is complete is to Family Link your overlay batch.  Family linking is the process which visually links imported (produced) emails and attachments using a set of two fields: "Unique ID" and "Family ID".

This takes place after import processing is complete and via DATA  Overlays click on the overlay name to view Batch Details.  At the bottom right of your Batch Summary page, click  . A sliding menu will appear with checkboxes & headers for Batch, User, Uploaded, Docs (batch number, importing user, upload date, batch document count), and a selection drop-down for your Linking Options.

  1. Select the overlay batch(es) you would like to Family Link.
  2. Select the fields Nextpoint should use to link parent emails to their attachments via the Linking Options drop-down.
  3. Click Family Link Documents
  4. Confirm your selection by clicking Run Family Linking.

Read more on family linking here >>


After processing is complete, you will receive a green Complete, yellow Complete With Errors, or red Error status.  Read more on Common Overlay Errors and Solutions here >>

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