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Blackout 4.3 Release Notes: CSV Support

Blackout 4.3 is a major update to Blackout. This release adds support for native redaction of a new file type, CSV.

CSVs can be natively redacted in Relativity using either the document viewer or Blackout Spreadsheet Projects. Additionally, Blackout 4.3 introduces several manual review updates that alert reviewers when the viewer and review panes are out of sync as well as updates to how reverting inverse redactions, is handled to align more closely with reviewer expectations.

Please note that manual native CSV redaction requires documents to be displayed in a table format similar to Excel. As a result, manual CSV redaction is only available in Relativity Server 2022. Additionally, support for CSV delimiters is restricted to commas, tabs, semicolons, colons, and spaces.


Important Notes

  • Full version number: 4.3.25295.35108

  • Relativity 10.3, Relativity Server 2021, and Relativity Server 2022 are supported by this release

  • Right-click manual CSV redaction is only available in Relativity Server 2022.



CSV support

Blackout now supports redacting CSV files.

CSV files are text files, so they are restricted to having only text redaction placed on them. CSVs can be included in spreadsheet projects either alone or alongside Excel files.

Support for manual text redaction has been added but is limited to Relativity Server 2022. Before Relativity Server 2022, CSV files are not displayed in the viewer with table styling limiting the ability to identify where the user is clicking within the CSV. As a result, manual redaction is not available for Relativity 10.3 and Relativity Server 2021.

While manual redaction for CSV is unavailable on the viewer in Relativity 10.3 and Relativity Server 2021, you can redact CSV using Blackout Spreadsheet Projects. CSV redactions will display in the Markup Review Pane when viewing redacted CSVs on the viewer in these versions and can be accepted and rejected.

In addition to project and manual support, we have added CSV support for external redactions and propagation projects. All manual failure workflows behave identically to existing spreadsheet workflows for CSVs.

Handling CSV Delimiters and CSV Qualifiers

Blackout tries to auto-detect delimiters and qualifiers. Blackout provides support for double-quote and single-quote qualifier characters.

The following delimiters are supported (presented in order of detection priority):

  • Comma

  • Tab

  • Semicolon

  • Colon

  • Space

If none of the above delimiters are detected, Blackout treats the CSV as a single-column CSV. Blackout will provide document warnings indicating which CSVs failed to match on a delimiter to identify which documents may require manual review.

Highlighting CSVs

CSV files do not support native highlights. If a Blackout Spreadsheet Project rule has a markup type of highlight and hits on content within a CSV, the CSV will appear in the document warnings and remain unmodified.

Blackout Project Updates

  • Spreadsheet Projects

    • CSVs included in a saved search will be processed by Spreadsheet projects using this saved search.

    • Any rules with unsupported markup styles (e.g., white redactions, black redactions) will use the configured fallback text to place a text redaction on the CSV. The fallback text can be modified when creating or editing a project.

      • This behavior is consistent with a current header, footer, comment, and chart label redaction functionality.

    • Rules with hits on CSVs with a markup type of highlight are recorded as document warnings, and the CSV remains unmodified.

  • Propagation Projects

    • CSVs may be included as source and destination documents

Document Viewer Updates

Support has been added for redacting CSVs to the Aero document viewer in Relativity Server 2022.

  • Right-click redact functionality has been enabled

    • Users may choose from either text or cell content redactions

    • CSV files must appear in table format in the relativity viewer before the right-click menu becomes available

  • Markup Review Pane

    • CSV redactions will display in the markup review pane and can be accepted or rejected on all versions of Relativity

  • CSVs have full feature parity with Excel and PDF documents.

Default Fallback Redaction Text

Historically, by default, Blackout has automatically placed a text redaction when a markup style is configured to place a redaction in a location where that style is not supported. In these situations, the text [Redacted] would automatically be used. An example of this would be placing a black redaction on an Excel comment.

With the introduction of CSV support, this same concept now applies to CSV as well. To help support additional workflows, all these scenarios will take advantage of the existing option on the Blackout Settings page in each workspace, Default Redaction Text. Customizing this value helps create flexibility from the current built-in default.

In addition to this change, the fallback text may also be customized per project basis. A new option, Fallback text, has been added to the Spreadsheet project creation page.

Markup Review Pane Banner

When redactions are added or removed from a document, a dismissible banner will appear in the Markup Review Pane, indicating the list of redactions is stale and the banner should be refreshed.


Bug Fixes

  • Resolved an issue where manually reverting inverse redactions would sometimes clear the 'Has Native Highlights' field.

  • Resolved an issue where failures to read the extracted text of an excel file could cause the file to be retained twice by production preparation projects.

  • Resolved an issue where manually redacting PDF attachments caused other PDF markups to not display in the viewer.

  • Resolved an issue where a cell content redaction could span a cell range. The result was the redacted file no longer loading.

  • Resolved an issue resulting in PDF Production failing when generating redacted extracted text - this operation has been made significantly more resilient and performant.


Open Source Notice

Blackout now leverages a library called UDE which is used for detecting the file encoding of CSV files. To comply with the MPL licensing, we are informing you of your ability to view and download the source code for this tooling.

The full source code can be found here:



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