How to Redact in Word: A Step-by-Step Guide to Protect Sensitive Data

How to Redact in Word

Redacting in Word is about hiding sensitive information in your documents. It’s easy! You’ll be using Word’s built-in tools to black out or remove text. Follow these steps to ensure your private details stay private.

How to Redact in Word

This section will walk you through the steps to redact information in your Word documents. By the end, you’ll know how to securely cover up any sensitive text.

Step 1: Open Your Document

First, open the document you want to redact.

Alright, make sure you’ve got Microsoft Word fired up and the document you’re working on is open. This is your starting point for redaction.

Step 2: Highlight the Text to Redact

Next, click and drag your mouse over the text you want to hide.

Highlighting is simple. Just click at the start of the text you want to redact, hold the mouse button, and drag until the end of the text you want to cover.

Step 3: Change Text Color

Now, change the highlighted text color to black.

With your text highlighted, go to the font color option in the toolbar and select black. This will effectively hide the text by blending it with the background.

Step 4: Use the Drawing Tool

Select the ‘Draw’ tab and choose a thick line to cover the text.

The draw tool is handy because it lets you directly overlap a solid block over the text. Choose a thick line to ensure nothing peeks through.

Step 5: Save Your Document

Finally, save your redacted document.

Go ahead and hit ‘File,’ then ‘Save As’ to save your document. This ensures all your redactions are kept in place for future reference.

After completing these steps, your sensitive information will be hidden. Scrolling through your document, you’ll see blacked-out sections where the sensitive text used to be.

Tips for Redacting in Word

  • Use high contrast: Ensure the text and the redaction color are the same to avoid accidental disclosure.
  • Double-check: Always review the entire document to ensure all sensitive information is covered.
  • Save a copy: Before you redact, save an original copy in case you need to access the original text later.
  • Use multiple methods: Sometimes, combining text color change and drawing tools provides an extra layer of security.
  • Test readability: Open the redacted document on different devices to ensure the redactions are consistent.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I undo a redaction in Word?

Yes, but only if you haven’t saved and closed the document. Once saved, the changes are permanent.

What if someone changes the text color back?

That’s why using the drawing tool for a solid block in addition to changing the text color is important. It prevents the text from being revealed by merely changing the color back.

Is there a way to automate redactions in Word?

Word doesn’t have a dedicated redaction tool. For more advanced redacting, consider specialized software.

Can I redact images in Word?

Yes, you can cover parts of an image using the drawing tool just like text.

Will redacting affect my document layout?

It shouldn’t. However, always double-check the document after redacting to ensure the layout remains consistent.


  1. Open your document.
  2. Highlight the text to redact.
  3. Change text color to black.
  4. Use the drawing tool for extra coverage.
  5. Save your document.


Redacting in Word is crucial for protecting sensitive information in your documents. It’s a straightforward process but requires careful attention to detail. Always make sure to double-check your work and use multiple methods to ensure your redactions are secure. Consider saving an original copy before making any changes. Remember, keeping your information safe is worth the extra effort. If you found this guide helpful, don’t forget to explore other tutorials for managing your documents effectively. Happy redacting!