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Update: Links updated to v1.0 version of the tool [12.4.08 5pm PST]
As someone who cares a lot about programmability in Word, I'm always looking for ways to showcase how powerful our object model is, and how it can be used to build really great solutions. With that in mind, I've been looking into ways to create a Word 2007 version of the Word 2003 Redaction Add-In, as we know that it's been an issue for some of our users that this add-in isn't available for Word 2007.
To that end, I'm really excited to announce the release of an open source Word 2007 Redaction Tool project on CodePlex: http://www.codeplex.com/redaction.
This isn't something supported by Microsoft, but this updated version of the tool, rewritten for Word 2007, provides the same mark and redact capabilities as the previous tool and now natively integrates with Word 2007. Once installed, it appears as a Redact group on the Review tab:
The current release is a v0.9 Beta release – it's functionally complete but I wanted to get it out there and get some public testing/feedback before I call it "done". If you are interested, please give it a try and provide feedback through the CodePlex site if you encounter bugs/have feature requests/etc. I hope to release an official "v1" version very shortly, based on feedback from users of this Beta version.
Creating tools like this one is one of my favorite things to do – it showcases the power of Word and how that doesn't stop with the features that we ship out of the box.
If you're not familiar with the word, you've probably seen it done – documents with black highlighting over names, places, etc. that's meant to be kept private even if the document itself is made public, e.g.:
The Redaction Tool enables that process of removing specific parts of text (redaction) to occur right from within Word. So I can select the regions of text I don't want in the final document, and press Mark to specify that they should be redacted, like this:
Then, once I've marked everything I want to remove, I can redact the document and the marked regions are replaced. This isn't just highlighting: if I copy out the text into another application, like Notepad, you can see that I cannot get the original test back – it's been replaced with garbage characters:
By doing this, I can release my document but keep the sensitive parts private.
ah ha!! i have been waiting for this! during office 2007 testing, I remember Microsoft actually had the 2007 redaction add-in version available, in beta, to download. later, it was even listed microsoft.com/download but then pulled completely.. I called up Microsoft at the time and they could see it listed in downloads, but no download.. god knows why Microsoft office team didn't ever release the redaction tool... - perhaps you could let me know why?!
Great! Haven´t heard of it till today but always wondered how people made it. Thanks for the info and the link. Although I don´t use word every day it´s really helpful!
A thought for a v2.0 release--how about allowing the redaction tool to randomly vary the scale or spacing of (i.e. expand or condense) redacted text? This would enhance the effect of redaction, as the number of characters and thus potentially the content behind the black box could no longer be imputed from its width.
@faramond Another solution would simply be to have each redacted word/space be the same width (say, four characters), which would achieve the same result.
@faramond That's actually exactly how it works - it applies a +/- 15% factor to the width of text it's redacting. Interesting idea about making that user-configurable, though.. @fixed Maybe something user could specify also, though that would change the layout of the file pretty drastically (so it might not be for everyone).
Word 2007 goes (not responding) with an attempt to Find or Replace two carriage returns ^p^p, something we did often in older versions. ^p works fine so there is a work around (change all ^p to &&, change all &&&& to &- or something else. Change all && to space. Change all &- to ^p I did a search and found nothing on this blog that gave a clue that this was a problem. Is it? Or is this blog output only with no real input?
mikefirth - please see: blogs.msdn.com/.../i-have-questions-you-re-not-posting-about.aspx -Jonathan (MS)
Microsoft Word 2007 Team:
This is on a different topic. Please tell me how to change the font size and color of the "Comment" function. I have scanned the Internet extensively for this information, but have not found anything that addresses this particular problem. Thank You
Unfortunately this is a known bug of Word 2007 and I don't think there's a fix available.
Richard - Click on the little arrow in the lower right hand corner of the Styles Gallery on the Home Tab. Click Options at the bottom of the pane that opens. Select All Styles and sort it Alphabetically. Find the Comment Text style in the pane. Modify that style. -Jonathan
To Jonathan: I am deeply grateful for you responding to my question about changing the font size of the "Comments" in Word 2007. I tried to follow your instructions to the letter, but when I did a "test run," I was not able to change the size of the text. If there are any pre-conditions involved in this change, would you please let me know. I really want to fix this problem; it has bothered me for 9 months. Thanks for your help!!! --Richard
Hi Richard – If you turn on the Reviewing Pane [Review Tab, Tracking Chunk, Reviewing Pane Button] you’ll see the increased font size there. It is not possible to increase the size of the text in comment balloons. Hope this helps. -Jonathan (MS)
To: Jonathan Thank you once again for responding to me re: the Comment function text-size issue. I appreciated your taking the time to give me the precise information I sought. However, I must confess that I'm a little bit disappointed in Microsoft for dropping the ability to change the font text size in the Comments. In my older version of Word (Word 97)
it is possible and relatively easy to change the size of the Comment text as it appears in the right margin. In the 2007 edition, you can only see the increased font size by turning on the Reviewing Pane (vertically on the left-hand size or horizontally on the bottom of the screen). Would you please convey my disappointment with Microsoft to the appropriate managers or programmers? At least to me, it makes little or no sense that Microsoft would retain this ability in 1997 software and then eliminate or omit it ten years later in 2007. Once again, thank you for responding to my two postings on the Comment text issue. Best regards,
Hi Richard – I dug into this a bit more and you can change the font size within comment balloons by changing the Balloon Text style. Sorry for the run around. -Jonathan (MS)