3 Methods on How to Redact a Document in Word

Last updated on March 12, 2024

Summary :

A redacted document can effectively prevent the leakage of confidential information. If you are also looking for a solution for redacting documents, this article will help you.

 Table of Contents

How to Redact Document

How to Redact Document

When sharing documents, especially those containing sensitive information, it’s crucial to ensure privacy. One common method is to redact specific text in a document.

By doing this, you’re ensured that certain content is permanently removed, and the recipient won’t have access to the confidential part of a file.

While Microsoft Word doesn’t have a built-in redact tool, several ways are available to help you hide confidential information in the Word document. Keep reading, and choose the one that is in your favor!

Please be aware that document redaction is often irreversible. Please make sure you have a copy of the file to prevent permanent information loss.

How to Redact a Document by Replacing the Sensitive Information in Word

Replacing the content is a method to remove private info while keeping the consistency of the whole file. The original information will not be searched or recovered by others.

Step 1. Open the target MS Word document. Press the Ctrl + H keyboard shortcut to open the Find and Replace window.

Step 2. Next, enter the text that you want to replace in the “Find what” box. Then, enter the term “redacted” in the “Replace with” box below.

Step 3. Click the “Replace All” button to hide the sensitive information in the Word document.

How to Redact a Document in Word

How to Redact a Document in Word

How to Use Document Inspector to Redact Private Content in Word

The Inspect Document feature in Word is designed for identifying and removing personal or sensitive information, text phrases, and other contents within the files.

Step 1. Open the Word document and click the “File” tab at the top-left corner. Select “Info” > “Check for Issues” > “Inspect Document.”

Inspect Document in Word

Inspect Document in Word

Step 2. Next, select all the content you want to check and click “Inspect.” Check the “Document Properties and Personal Information.” This will inspect for the hidden metadata or personal information saved with the document.

Check the Document Properties and Personal Info in Word

Check the Document Properties and Personal Info in Word

Step 3. After it finishes the inspection, you can review the inspection results. If it finds some hidden metadata personal information in the Word document, you can click the “Remove All” button to remove them.

Redact a Word Document by Blacking out the Text and Turning It into an Image

Generally, image-based files are difficult to modify or edit. Thus it’s suggested to black out the sensitive content in a document and convert it to image format.

Step 1. Open the target Word document > click and drag the text you want to redact.

Select the Text for Blackout in Word

Select the Text for Blackout in Word

Step 2. Under the “Home” tab and in the “Font” section, you can click the arrow icon next to the pen icon. Choose “Black” as the highlighting color to cover the text.

Black out Text in Word

Black out Text in Word

Step 3. Follow the same operation to highlight all sensitive information in the Microsoft Word document to black.

Step 4. Take a picture of the Word document or you can use some professional online free Word-to-image conversion tools to convert the Word to a JPG image, and then share it with others.

The above solutions are all convenient to utilize in Microsoft Word. In some cases, the files are in PDF format and you may need to cover certain content before printing it out for share.

Here in this post, the PDFgear online editor is offered as a bonus to simplify your work of PDF redaction. No need to convert a PDF to Word first, you can remove the sensitive content right away.

Best Method to Get PDFs Redacted Online for Free

Requiring only an internet connection, the PDFgear Online Editor serves as a handy redaction tool to hide sensitive information anywhere and anytime.

It is free to use with no registrations or subscriptions, delivering a seamless, professional, and complimentary redaction function.

Step 1. Upload the PDF to PDFgear Online

Go to PDFgear Editor Online > Click “Upload PDF files” to browse the files on your device > Select a PDF to upload.

Add a File to PDFgear Editor Oline for Redaction

Add a File to PDFgear Editor Oline for Redaction

Step 2. Redact the Text

Click “Add or Edit annotations” > Select “Add Shapes” > Move your mouse to cover the text you want to redact > Hit “Change Color” in the ribbon.

Redact Documents with PDFgear

Redact Documents with PDFgear


What are the best practices for redacting documents in Word?

As mentioned in this article, 3 practices are very effective for redacting a document in Word. Replacing sensitive information, blacking out content, and covering private content using Inspect Document are all convenient for users to redact certain content.

Can you undo redactions in Word?

Yes, you can undo redactions in Word if the document hasn’t been saved or if you have a version history available. on the other hand, if the redactions are made by permanently deleting or replacing text, then it’d be more difficult to undo them.

Are there third-party tools for redacting documents?

Yes. PDFgear is a third-party tool that enables PDF redactions. It provides both an online PDF editor and software, on which you can cover the text or images with opaque black boxes or colored shapes.

Bottom Line

Redacting a document is a good way to secure your private information in a document. Whether it’s done by replacing the text, blacking out the text, or using Document Inspector, all the methods are effective and simple for redaction. For PDF redaction, PDFgear is a handy tool to hide sensitive content.

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