Blackout 4.5 Product Manager's Debrief

Today we're announcing Blackout 4.5, featuring the long-awaited character scope redaction feature for Blackout projects!

A new option, Character, has been added to Markup Scope when creating image and spreadsheet projects! This new feature helps your teams locate and redact precise portions of critical to redact PII. Whether you are redacting part of an email address or everything but the last four digits of social security numbers, we have you covered!


Below, Blackout Product Manager Marko Iwanik answers three key questions users may have about the upcoming release in a conversation with Milyli's Director of Product Management, Tim Randall.



TIM: What use cases have customers run into that led to the introduction of character-scoped redactions?

MARKO: The need for character-scoped redactions is one of those tricky requirements that can be easy to overlook until it's time to place thousands of partial redactions. It would be best if you looked to an automated solution to help out. The most common workflow we've seen over the years when working with our clients is a need to redact the username of email addresses across tens of thousands of imaged emails, leaving the domain and extension visible.


Until Blackout 4.5, our OCR only provided the ability to find whole words, so we could only place boxes around the entire email address. Our CA team helped teams develop different workarounds and workflows to get past this, but the discussion was always there – it would just be way easier to redact the exact matches with a Blackout project!


Over the years, we've also run into other workflows, such as account numbers, social security numbers, tax codes, and many other patterned content examples that need to be partially redacted, so this feature was a no-brainer!


After upgrading, customers should expect to see the new option (which already exists in PDF projects) under Markup Scope when creating new projects. Existing projects can have rules added to take advantage of this as well.


Marko at Relativity Fest 2022
Marko at Relativity Fest 2022

TIM: What are the other substantial features people should be excited to start using and why?

MARKO: As Blackout fans can guess, we've had to make changes under the hood to get the location of every character on an image. We've taken advantage of the opportunity and tinkered with some additional improvements. This includes:

  • Upgrading the underlying OCR engine, Tesseract, to Version 5.2 which extends all of the significant improvements made to you.

  • We've made the system smart – if you don't need character OCR, we continue to run it in word mode.

  • Several interactions with Relativity have been improved, including how we make specific object manager queries and work with extremely large image documents (think 25,000 pages or more!).

  • We've started taking advantage of some additional compression with the OCR engine so that the new OCR will take up less space in the database.

On top of these behind-the-scenes changes, we've also improved the loading performance of our views when navigating from document to document, increased the readability of the view original text modal on Excels when performing QC, and, of course, fixed some bugs!


TIM: Do you have any recommendations for Blackout users headed into 2023?

MARKO: The Customer Advocacy team has also worked hard on making substantial changes to our Blackout documentation. Most pages now include both a video and a downloadable one-pager. Head to the live Blackout documentation to take advantage of these new resources!

Also, during Account Reviews with our Customer Advocacy team, we presented details about our early 2023 roadmap. If you have one coming up, join us to learn more; otherwise, reach out to our CA team or schedule your account review at a time that works for you!


Finally, if you are interested in receiving additional training on this release (at no cost), you can sign-up directly on our support website by following this link!



TIM: Thanks, Marko! As always, let us know..."






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