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8 Reasons Why You Should Not Use Strikethrough in Google Docs for Redaction

 Strike through in Google Docs

In the information age, ensuring sensitive information remains confidential is critically important. The inadvertent exposure of personal data, financial records, or classified information can create identity theft risks, legal problems, and even national security issues. 

However, the publication or transmission of documents containing sensitive information is often necessary to comply with legal requirements or fulfill transparency obligations. 

One common method of securing information is hiding it in the published document using a blackout marker or a digital feature like strikethrough in Google Docs. 

Look at these snippets:

This process of hiding or obscuring sensitive information is called redaction. There are different methods and tools to redact a document. You can cover a text or sentence by striking it through, replacing it with blanks, or redacting it with a dedicated tool. 

However, there are some serious reasons why strikethrough or any other masking feature should never be used in the place of true redaction. Read on to discover 8 reasons you should never use strikethrough in Google Docs to redact sensitive information. 

What is Strikethrough in Google Docs?

Strikethrough in Google Docs is a formatting feature that creates a horizontal line through the center of a word or phrase in your document. However, the reader can still see the words you're cutting because the strikethrough line doesn't entirely mask the content underneath it.

Strikethrough is often used to show changes made to a document over time. For example, in a legal document, previous versions of terms or conditions can be shown with strikethrough to indicate they are no longer valid. 

Because Google Docs is cloud-based, strikethrough is often used to show changes made by different collaborators, making it easy to see who made what changes.

How to Strikethrough in Google Docs [Step-by-step]:

You can access the strikethrough Google Docs feature from the format option in the menu. Here’s how to use it:

Visit Google Docs - choose Blank from the home page, and a window will open like this. 

  • Select the sentence or text you want to strike through.
  • Click on the “Format” option from the menu as shown.
  • A drop-down menu will appear like this when you hover.
  • Float the cursor over the “Text” option.

  • Another drop-down will appear as shown.
  • From that list, click on “Strike-through.”

*Bonus - You can do the same with using these shortcuts-

  • Windows users: Select the text > Press [Alt+Shift+5] > Done!
  • Mac users: Select the text > Press [Command+Shift+X] > Done!

8 Reasons why NOT to use Strikethrough In Google Docs for Redaction

Although strikethrough has its uses, it is not recommended for professional redaction. 

1. Lack of permanent and secure redaction

While strikethrough can obscure text, it doesn’t truly redact it. This means that the text is still there and can be accessed by anyone with editing or viewing permissions, potentially compromising sensitive information. 

In contrast, redaction tools actually remove the text from the document, making it inaccessible to unauthorized users. 

2. Difficulty in ensuring consistency

When using strikethrough, it can be difficult to ensure consistency across the document. If multiple people are working on the same document, for example, they may use different styles or colors for strikethroughs, leading to confusion and inconsistency. 

3. Potential for accidental removal

With strikethrough, it’s easy to remove text that you didn’t intend to accidentally. If you’re trying to strike a single word, you may accidentally select some additional text and inadvertently remove it. 

4. Limited formatting options

The strikethrough Google Docs uses is a simple format, and there are only a few ways to customize it, e.g., changing the color or thickness. 

5. Difficulty in tracking changes

It can be tedious to track changes when using strikethrough over time. If you’re trying to see how a document has evolved, it is difficult to tell if everything has been properly struck through. 

6. Not compliant with legal requirements

In many legal and professional contexts, proper redaction methods are required to ensure the complete removal of sensitive information. Strikethrough does not meet these standards.

7. Unprofessional appearance

Using strikethrough for redaction can make the document appear unprofessional and may raise questions about the credibility of the content.

8. Better alternatives available

There are more effective methods for redaction, such as permanently deleting sensitive information and replacing it with black bars or using dedicated redaction tools.

If you’re looking for a tool to help you redact sensitive information in Google Docs easily and securely, Redactable’s redaction tool is the perfect solution. Its intuitive interface makes removing sensitive content quick and easy without any hesitation or mistakes. 

Plus, our tool offers a wide range of formatting options to give your document the exact look and feel you want. You can even try Redactable for free today to see how it can meet your needs.

Why Is Redactable the Best Redaction Tool?

Redactable doesn’t just mask sensitive information like strikethrough does – it completely removes the information from both the text and the hidden metadata. 

Designed with modern business needs in mind, this innovative platform offers a range of powerful features that make it easy to redact sensitive information from any document, regardless of its format or complexity.

At its core, Redactable is powered by a sophisticated algorithm that automatically identifies and removes sensitive information from any document. 

Whether dealing with personally identifiable information(PII), confidential financial data, or sensitive legal documents, it can help you redact this information quickly and accurately, minimizing the risk of data breaches

Redactable also offers a user-friendly interface with an interactive UI that makes it easy to upload and manage your documents. Whether it’s a single file or a large collection, you can easily upload, preview, and redact your documents in a matter of minutes! 

Reasons to Choose Redactable Over Google Docs

Google Docs might seem like a simple and accessible solution, but it’s not really a secure or effective option. If you’re looking for a more powerful and reliable redaction solution, you should consider Redactable. 

Redactable offers:

  • Simple Interface: Google Docs is not built for redaction. With clunky formatting features as your best option and zero automation, it just doesn’t function effectively as a redaction platform. 
  • Smart AI Wizard and Auto-Redaction: Redactable’s advanced AI wizard and auto-redaction features powered by cutting-edge algorithms make identifying and eliminating sensitive information from your documents simple and intuitive.
  • Durability: Unlike Google Docs, which may be vulnerable to hacks and data breaches, Redactable is built for privacy. It uses high-level encryption and security features to safeguard your data from prying eyes. 
  • Collaboration: Bundled with features like version control and document locking, it becomes easier to collaborate with others. No risk of errors or miscommunications!
  • Top-notch accuracy: Precision can't be guaranteed if you rely entirely on manual redaction. Redactable can pair automation with manual redaction to give you accuracy and reliability every time. 

The Verdict 

Strikethrough in Google Docs is not an effective or compliant process for redacting confidential information. While useful for version tracking, strikethrough fails at actually eliminating sensitive data from the document. Redactable, by contrast, completely removes any and all confidential information, ensuring full data protection and preventing data leaks.

Whether you are a small business owner or a large enterprise, Redactable offers a comprehensive solution that can match your needs. Capable of automatically redacting thousands of pages, Redactable provides a seamless redaction experience that ensures your sensitive data is always protected.

So, what are you waiting for? Take advantage of our free trial and start redacting!

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