Excel Secrets: How to Redact Your Data and Keep Your Secrets Safe

Last updated on August 24, 2023

Summary :

If you need to redact data in excel, you have come to the right place. This article provides you with three very detailed redaction operations that you can implement in excel like a pro.

How to Redact Your Data in Excel

Excel is mainly used to record data, manage data or create tables. This data is often private and confidential, so it needs to be erased, hidden, or deleted when necessary by some technical or human means. In this way, the data can be effectively protected. In this article, you can learn three ways to redact in excel. Please read on to learn more useful information.

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How To Redact in Excel by Using the Filter Tool

For spreadsheets with a lot of data, the Filter tool is often used to better review and find information. If you want to hide or redact the data, then using the Filter tool can also be a good way to meet your needs.

Step 1. Open the excel in Microsoft Excel. Locate the “Sort & Filter” tool, and click “Filter” to bring up the filter. (Shortcut: Ctrl+Shift+L)

Open the Filter In Excel

Open the Filter In Excel

Step 2. According to your needs to filter data elements, that is, uncheck the data items you need to hide to hide the information.

Filter Data in Excel

Filter Data in Excel

Step 3. Click “File-Print-Microsoft Print to PDF” in Settings to adjust the page layout to meet your needs and improve readability, you can see in the preview panel on the right to print out the display look for reference. After the completion of the settings click on the top left corner of the “Print” to download and save it. This will not only keep your data from being changed but also prevent changes from being tracked and restored.

Printing the Filtered Form

Printing the Filtered Form

How To Redact in Excel by Blacking Out

Blacking out a table of specific cells is also a way to redact data. Regardless of the file format, blacking out is a great way to cover up text or images that you don’t want others to see. Even PDF documents with high privacy, complete the operation of blacking out text in PDF with third-party tools, or techniques is also possible.

Step 1. Select the cell box that needs to be redacted, hit the “Delete” key on the keyboard to delete the data, or click the right mouse button and then select “Clear Contents” to clear the data.

Completely Delete Sensitive Data From the Table

Completely Delete Sensitive Data From the Table

Step 2. Still select the cell you want to redact and locate, in the upper ribbon, click “Home-Format-Form Cells”.

Call the Form Cells Pop-Up Box

Call the Form Cells Pop-Up Box

Step 3. In the pop-up window of the “Fill” panel in the Background Color color card, select black (or other colors you like) and click “OK” to apply. (Preview is available in the Sample box).

Black Out the Cells in the Table

Black Out the Cells in the Table

Step 4. To make it easier for you to access the data, you need to save a copy of the modified table as a separate file. It will allow you to check or retrieve the data later. Click “File-Save As” to convert the table to a PDF document to ensure that the person who opens it cannot trace your changes again.

Save the Edited Form as a PDF

Save the Edited Form as a PDF

Note: To ensure the compatibility and originality of the data format, you can also use PDFgear online excel to pdf converter to help you achieve the format conversion.

How To Redact in Excel by Document Inspector

If you need to modify a large database excel, the automatic detection and removal method may let you complete the task more efficiently.

Step 1. Click “File-Info-Inspect Workbook-Inspect Document”, and you will get a prompt box, it is recommended that you click “OK” to ensure that your original data will not be lost.

Start Document Inspector in Microsoft Excel

Start Document Inspector in Microsoft Excel

Step 2. Click Confirm, and the “Document Inspector” pop-up window will appear automatically, then click “Inspect” in the bottom right corner to inspect the data.

Start the Automatic Data Inspection Tool

Start the Automatic Data Inspection Tool

Step 3. In the next pop-up window, you can see some privacy and personal information data filtering tips. You can directly click “Remove All” to delete this kind of data.

Removing Private Information in Excel

Removing Private Information in Excel

Tips

If you want to reconfirm whether your data is deleted or not, click “Reinspect” to check.

FAQs

How Do I Redact Text in an Excel Cell?

Of course, you can. You have three options to redact text in Excel. The first one you can use to redact is by selecting “Home > Format > Form Cells” to fill the cell table with black. The second way is to remove the text that needs to be hidden and print the form as a PDF file. The third is to use the “Document Inspector” tool to automatically screen and remove forms.

How Do I Black Out Text in Excel?

To black out text in a form, simply select a black fill color for the cell form in “Home > Format > Form Cells”. Or just select black from “Front > Fill Color > Theme Colors”.

How To Redact a Column in Excel?

If you want to hide the data in one of the columns in the form, then you can hide it directly, and then print it to PDF format to complete the redaction. select the column by clicking the right mouse button and select “Hide”. Click “File-Print” to adjust the paper style after the download and save.

Conclusion

The above three ways of redacting in excel should be able to solve your needs, of course, the ways given here are all based on Microsoft Excel. Remember, when you make any changes to the data, please make sure to save the original data first and save the modified version as a copy. This will certainly play a key role in the review process later.

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