Thanks for your response, I've actually figured it out! A couple of things though:
1) Just something I discovered, I would like to have all the checkboxes unchecked initially, which I've been able to do, but on my page I still would like the results box to be autopopulated with content.
The way I have it right now, the search and results are in two columns. When the user loads the page, content should show in the results box even though no check boxes are clicked. Then when a user clicks a checkbox, the results box should update accordingly. When I looked at the settings, I saw that the autopopulate option DOES look at the front end options, which means that if I set the boxes to be unchecked, the results box will be empty. Is there a work around for this?
2) When I do check the boxes so that the results box is populated, the entire content of the post shows up as well. When I changed the settings in Layout Options -> Results layout -> Show description (content) in results? to True, and changed the length to 100, it still displayed the entire description. This behaviour was weird as it was working normally before.. :/
And last thing (hopefully):
3) I currently have many categories and sub-categories for a post type, and right now it seems as if they are being registered all as one taxonomy. So, if I include all of the categories and subcategories to be included in the filter, they will all be checkable and in heirarchical format. However, what I would like is to have the category just be a heading and the subcategories be clickable. Is there a way to do this, or will I have to create custom taxonomy?
Thank you so much, and sorry for all the text!