Using The Redaction Add-In For Word 2003

Published Date
01 - Oct - 2005
| Last Updated
01 - Oct - 2005
Using The Redaction Add-In For Word 2003
Redaction refers to careful editing of a document to remove confidential information. The redaction tool is ideal for government documents, legal papers, insurance contracts and other similar sensitive documents.

For instance, if you have to distribute a document that contains some private information, then you should use the Word Redaction tool that can hide valuable details while keeping the rest of the document intact. With this tool you can redact text within MS Word itself. Moreover, you can generate a copy of the document containing your selected redactions while leaving the original document intact.

Step 1. Download And Install
Microsoft's redaction tool installs only if you have MS Office 2003 on your machine. You need to download the RedactionSetup.msi from

Once you download the tool, it's important that you close all MS Office applications before you start the installation. Next, you can run the installation by double-clicking the RedactionSetup.msi file and follow the instructions. Once you are finished with the installation, open MS Word 2003. You will see that a toolbar for redaction appears at the centre of the screen. You may dock this toolbar wherever you like.

Step 2. What Can Be Redacted
Using the Word 2003 Redaction Add-in, you can redact any text, including text in the body of a document, text inside tables, headers and footers, footnotes and so on. However, the current version of the Redaction Add-in does not support the redaction of graphics (including text inside graphic objects, such as text boxes or frames). The redacted text will appear as a solid black bar in the redacted version of the document.

Step 3. Using Redaction On A Document
We recommend you to work in the 'Print Layout' view while using the Redaction tool as it displays the entire document including Headers and Footers. Then, select the word or the line of text that you want to redact. If the text is within a table then select the particular row, column, cell or table.

On the Redaction toolbar, click 'Mark'. The marked text will turn grey. Repeat the above method for each section of the document you would like to mark for redaction.

Once you have finished marking the text for redaction, click 'Redact Document' on the Redaction toolbar. Depending on the complexity (such as tables) and the marked content for redaction, the process may take a few seconds and you will be prompted with a message when it is completed.

Step 4. Saving As A Redacted Document
If you click 'Yes', on being prompted with the message "Do you want to protect the redacted document so it cannot be modified?", then Word selects a random password and creates a separate redacted document which cannot be edited at all. Click 'No' if you prefer to have the option to edit the redacted document later. Save the document with the redactions just as you would save any MS Word document.

Step 5. Removing Redaction marks
The content in your original document that was marked for redaction remains so unless you remove the marks yourself.

To remove a single redaction mark, select the marked text and click 'Remove Mark' on the Redaction toolbar. To remove all the marks, select the entire document by using [Ctrl A] or choose 'Select All' under the Edit menu. Now, on the Redaction Toolbar, click 'Remove Mark'. Repeat the same process for Headers and Footers.

The Word Redaction Add-in will definitely reduce your concerns regarding vital office or personal documents. And its ease of use only adds to the necessity of such a tool.

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