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Removing confidential information from Word Documents

re·dac·tion (rĭ-dăk'shən) n.

1. The act or process of editing or revising a piece of writing; preparation for publication.
2. An edited work; a new edition or revision.

Redaction is the careful editing of a document to remove confidential information. Sensitive government documents, confidential legal documents, insurance contracts, and other sensitive documents are often redacted before being made available to the public.

A free add-on to Word 2003 lets users black out sections of documents by removing confidential information prior to printing or e-mailing. You can then redact the document so that the sections you specified are blacked out. You can either print the redacted document or use it electronically.

Microsoft Office users can download the Word 2003 Redaction Add-in which installs iteself as a Redaction toolbar in the center of the screen of the Word program. Any text marked with the add-in is completely removed from the document and marked with black bars in both the on-screen and printed versions. A redacted version of the file can then be saved for printing and/or electronic distribution.

Redaction is a technique even used by the CIA to release more information with a page-by-page review of the document. In a paper on Cold War Documentation, Edmund Cohen Director of Information Management at CIA, said
CIA currently has the full-time equivalent of 350 people reviewing millions of documents for release under various release programs. About half of them are retired intelligence officers who are helping us with this important effort. There are no shortcuts here. It takes experienced, knowledgeable people sitting down with each document and going over it page by page, line by line. We call this process of extracting sensitive information "redaction."
adds a word of caution. We recommend that you carefully review any documents redacted using this tool to confirm that all the information that you intended to redact was successfully redacted. Found via Microsoft Offers CIA-esque Tool For Word