Blackout 1.8 goes live today and with it some of the most requested and important new features from our community of native excel users. This release expands the document coverage capabilities of the tool while also providing additional integration into your production workflow when considering native production.
Spiceworks, a professional network for information technology, recently published an article on the state of productivity suites in the workplace that included data on the prevalence of organizations still utilizing older Microsoft Office versions. In their research they found that 46 percent of companies are still using at least one instance of Office 2003, 15 percent are running Office XP, and 21 percent are still utilizing Office 2000. Their data also shows that as many as 3 percent of organizations still utilize Office 97. This research was gathered from a survey of nearly 1,100 IT professionals across US, Canada, and the UK who drive technology purchases for their businesses.
This information provides great context for why we still see so many XLS documents in eDiscovery. It is not uncommon for cases to span years or require collection from individuals or businesses that have been operating with older documents for years.
We are excited to bring XLS support to Blackout. The introduction of this feature will be seamless for Blackout customers. After updating to 1.8 you will be able to begin working with XLS exactly as you do now with XLSX. Whether you are manually redacting in the Relativity viewer or performing mass automated native redaction, XLS documents will be handled without any change on your end.
Redacted Extracted Text
One of the most time-consuming parts of producing documents that are natively redacted is providing the redacted extracted text as a part of the production. Whether you are doing so with Blackout or manually, documents need to be re-processed to get the extracted text without the redacted text.
Blackout 1.8 introduces a new tool aimed at eliminating this pain point whether you are redacting Excel documents with Blackout or combining them with manually redacted ones. A mass action has been added that you can distribute to groups within your workspace and secure based on your needs. This mass action will take any XLS or XLSX document selected and produce the extracted text into a long text field of your choice. This action can be performed on any excel whether you redact it with Blackout or not.
A Little More and What’s On Deck
In addition to these, Blackout 1.8 provides plenty of other new features including the ability to unhide sheets in the Relativity viewer and further improvements to usage logging. As always we continue to improve the stability and performance of the application. Additional resilience has baked into mass redaction jobs for both images and natives aimed at improving the overall user experience.
Our goal continues to be to allow Blackout to seamlessly aid your internal workflows while providing as little friction as possible to your review teams. To accomplish this we have several other new and exciting features in development right now including Native Markup Sets, a comprehensive Native Excel quality control tool, manual word scoped redactions and a reporting tool to see the native markup set and qc state for any document with native markups.
Finally, we’ll be introducing improved document tagging to make it easier than ever for you to identify documents with native markups and whether they still need to be reviewed or not.
We’re excited to bring you these new features and look forward to continuing to improve the ways your organization interact with our tools. As always if you have any questions, thoughts, requests, or suggestions reach out to your customer success manager or shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We love hearing from you!