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Excel Redaction: Best Redaction Tools for Excel Documents to Save Time and Money

excel-redaction

Introduction

Redaction is an online document modification solution that involves editing, but not necessarily removing, individual words, phrases, or whole paragraphs. The areas that must be redacted have just blacked out, making them unreadable.

This is frequently done in judicial or government papers when specific elements of records must be distributed to organizations or persons who need the necessary clearance or authority to know about particular pieces of data and have these sections blacked out. 

However, excel redaction merely implies the complete elimination of information rather than its masking when used for digital files. When redaction is done on actual printed papers rather than source data, it transforms into a post-edit.

For instance, suppose a legal agreement must be delivered to individuals. Yet, not all have the authority or permission to read certain information in the document, and the file must be retained undamaged for those who do. Instead of changing the original record, the content that non-privileged users are not accessible to is simply blacked out so that it becomes unreadable on the hard copies that go to them.

This is a widespread practice among government institutions, particularly those working with confidential material and legal papers, that must preserve specific information while revealing other data in the same file. This is done to keep interference with the source at a distance.

Necessary Redaction Features

Various programs are available to help with Excel document redaction. The finest ones have the following characteristics:

  • Auto-redaction capability

This can assist assessors in swiftly locating frequent or recognized information that has to be removed.

  • Components for monitoring and quality assurance

Whether the content is redacted manually or automatically, assessors must be able to readily re-check revisions for quality control.

  • Unhide the information 

When examining Excel documents, it is critical to check that all material is visible - that there are no concealed sections, columns, rows, notes, etc.

  • Redaction that is adaptable

All material forms inside the Excel spreadsheet viewer must redact, including rows, columns, whole cells, information within a cell, panel names, notes, graphs, and so forth.

  • There are several variants

Some document outputs may necessitate distinct redactions for various parties. Examiners should be able to produce several pairs of redactions using the redaction tool simply.

One of the most time-consuming activities in eDiscovery is redaction, which requires a human examination of files to black out sensitive data. However, technological instruments are available to help. 

These are particularly useful for Excel spreadsheet viewer, which become challenging when changing to an image format. Although redacting in native file is preferred, it can create issues if the appropriate technology is not employed.

Problems with Excel Redaction

Excel spreadsheets may be massive, and converting them to photos can make them difficult for both the examiner and the document receiver. The ideal method is to keep the paper in its raw Excel format; however, this necessitates using tools that allow a reviewer to black out sensitive material and not otherwise alter the document. 

Numerous pages of rows and columns need help visually aligning so that they can be appropriately redacted and evaluated. Furthermore, essential data such as formulae, secret cells, notes, and so on may be removed once the Excel document is converted to the image files.

How to Redact in Excel?

One of the most unpleasant aspects of a reporting activity is controlling the information disclosed inside these redact spreadsheets, which can force huge legal departments and contractors to engage in labor-intensive and costly actions.

Here is a quick method for hiding some cells in an Excel worksheet.

1. After carefully editing the spreadsheet to remove the confidential information, copy it. Make sure to erase data rather than merely hide it.

2. Pick one or more cells.

3. To delete the cell's contents, press Delete.

4. To get the redacted effect, change the cell theme to black. Separately, select the desired cells, go to Home>Cells>Format>Format Cells>Fill, and select Black.

To get the redacted effect, change the cell theme to black. Separately, select the desired cells, go to Home>Cells>Format>Format Cells>Fill, and select Black.

5. Go to Home>Styles>Cell Styles>New Cell Style to change the style.

Any cells from which you have deleted material should be given a new style.

Any cells from which you have deleted material should be given a new style.

6. Ensure that any stray cell content is spotted. Right-click on your selected cell style and select Modify.

7. Make sure the Style is set to a bright color on the Font tab.

8. Take a screenshot of the worksheet's page and modify it.

9. Use the Word Redaction tool after copying the worksheet into a Word document.

10. Save the file as a PDF, then edit it. If you have a PDF editing tool and not simply a viewer, that is achievable.

Top excel redaction tools

Redaction software tools provide capabilities to republish across many file types, along excel file, and in customized forms that satisfy privacy aims and objectives, going well beyond what traditional redaction delivers.

Redaction programs provide characteristics, including the capacity to remove redundant data from excel file and add comments outlining the justifications for the redaction.

  1. Objective Redact
Various redaction solutions are available using the on-premises service called Objective Redact.

Various redaction solutions are available using the on-premises service called Objective Redact. This system uses optical character identification to browse through scanned documents. It can therefore redact almost anything. You may edit entire spreadsheet files in Word and PDF formats without printing your excel file with the Objective Redact solution.

Features

  • Allows scanned documents
  • Scanning documents automatically
  • The option for selective redaction
  • Keeps the original document safe.
  • Archiving modified files as PDFs

Advantages

  • Offers a template for bulk processing.
  • instead of rewriting documents, makes copies of them
  • Redaction of printed documents using OCR is possible.
  • Compliance reports are produced.
  • Identifying data formats for particular data types, such as social security numbers (SSNs)

Disadvantages

  • It must be hosted.

This system is simple to use in a single-user (Quick Project) version for small organizations and a Group version for more giant corporations. The group system gives you access to up to 20 people and comes with an admin panel for managing user accounts.

Larger companies should choose the Business plan. The system is billed monthly for the Quick Project plan or the multi-user options per user per year.

  1. PDFtron
A variety of redaction options are available in the online toolset for PDF production and editing provided by PDFtron.

A variety of redaction options are available in the online toolset for PDF production and editing provided by PDFtron. You have the opportunity to manually and automatically redact using the PDFtron tool.

Features

  • Works on report submission on the website interface
  • Restoring redacted documents as PDFs
  • desktop variation is accessible

PDFtron is all about PDFs, as the name suggests. But, as the tool can transform any file format into a PDF, it also means that any document may be redacted. Although this is an online application, using a computer or smartphone app is still feasible to use the redaction program offline.

Advantages

  • Redacts text while removing information and can be linked into automated processes
  • Document processing in batches
  • Possibly integrated into a Web page

Disadvantages

  • The smartphone app version is very power-consuming.

Extensive metadata cleaning is one of the system's redaction capabilities and can also redact visuals and photos. A document undergoing selective redaction might be shared to get feedback from others.

  1. EverMap AutoRedact
The tool on this list most appropriate for small enterprises is undoubtedly EverMap AutoRedact. This software has automated functions for applying redaction to a document set.

The tool on this list most appropriate for small enterprises is undoubtedly EverMap AutoRedact. This software has automated functions for applying redaction to a document set. 

It may be installed on Windows and is available as a plug-in for Adobe Acrobat. If you frequently use Adobe Acrobat, this utility is simple to use.

Features

  • Redacts PDFs
  • Integrates into Adobe Acrobat
  • Batch processing is possible.

It is simple to convert any electronic copy, including printed text documents, into a PDF; this effectively allows you to apply redaction on any paper, even if the system only acts on PDFs due to its integration in Acrobat. The EverMap package also includes tools for manual redaction.

Advantages

  • The user selects the sections to be hidden.
  • All references to a specific data value will be redacted after a thorough document search by the system.
  • Developing a vocabulary of words to redact allows redaction to be controlled throughout volumes of documents.

Disadvantages

  • Fails to function in the most recent SasaS version of Adobe Acrobat.
  1. CaseGuard
A great data redactor, particularly for video, is CaseGuard. This technology can recognize people, location indicators, and license plates on moving vehicles and hide them.

A great data redactor, particularly for video, is CaseGuard. This technology can recognize people, location indicators, and license plates on moving vehicles and hide them. CaseGuard can analyze sound and bleep out sensitive information in addition to words, videos, and photos. The service can visually redact images.

Features

  • Redacts text, voice, video, and picture data
  • Identification of delicate picture details automatically
  • Several usages case

This system can process several file types in significant volumes. The CaseGuard service also offers automatically generated documents of audio and video that have been appropriately redacted.

Advantages

  • Impressive faces, license plates, street names, etc.
  • Detection in videos.
  • Effective at removing personal information from documents.
  • Creates transcripts of audio and video with excel redactions

Disadvantages

  • No alternative for self-hosting
  1. Redactable
Redactable is a web-based, AI-powered application that removes sensitive information from papers.

Redactable is a web-based, AI-powered application that removes sensitive information from papers. Proprietary systems use NLP/ML technology to identify sensitive data in documents and redact it entirely. Redactable is the industry leader in redaction software because it offers collaboration, data elimination, and safe redaction capabilities.

Features

  • You may interact and rescind with peers on large-scale redaction tasks simultaneously using this cloud-based platform.
  • You can upload and export your documents with two-way sync to third-party applications like Box or Dropbox.
  • You will receive automatically created, protected redaction records.

It is an AI-based tool that helps redact documents, eliminates information, and more for companies in the law, financial, property investment, medical, and financial sectors.

Advantages

  • This platform conforms with GDPR and HIPPA. Therefore, there are no regulatory concerns for you.
  • Its machine learning algorithms find the private information that users need to remove automatically.
  • It automatically removes the data as well as any hidden cells.
  • You can find and redact your phrases or keywords instantly in bulk.

Disadvantages

  • All excel redactions are irreversible.

Writer’s Choice

Excel files, which can range in size from the smallest of excel files showcasing basic banking details to large investigating excel files containing thousands of sheets, hundreds of columns and rows, complicated patented technology equations, and concealed cells, comprise crucial information that is held in many contemporary conflicts.

Redactable is my top choice for redaction tools since it offers all the tools required for performing sensitive document management and DSAR information releases. I found that this tool has solutions for human redaction and automatic redaction solutions for handling large documents. It can work with Word, PDF, and electronic documents, all document kinds you'll come across in your business.

Redactable was developed to assist attorneys in better controlling this workflow, lowering costs, and enforcing adherence to disclosure and litigation laws that encourage the sharing of documents in their native format.

Redactable was developed to assist attorneys in better controlling this workflow, lowering costs, and enforcing adherence to disclosure and litigation laws that encourage the sharing of documents in their native format.

Users using Redactable can:

  • Redact responsive words or phrases and statistics on a "Browse and Redact" basic principle (such as instantly identifying and redacting social security numbers, date of birth data, and other private details); redact spreadsheets documents in a near-native depiction, eliminating the requirement to photo or publish excel files at a considerable cost;
  • Apply redactions with a "Click to Redact" button, offering text-based, white-based, and black-based redactions.
  • evaluate and remove secret information that their solution automatically reveals (such as hidden rows);
  • inspect and remove embedded items and comments made by their answer.

Various encrypted communications and file-sharing options are available from the Redactable platform, and the data management system may be incorporated. Before sending an email, the redaction service automatically searches for and redacts any relevant material.

To evaluate the system, you may schedule a demo.

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