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Blackout 4.6 Release Notes: dtSearch Syntax Rules

Blackout 4.6 introduces the option for using dtSearch Syntax in your rule groups!

Blackout Administrators can now create rules using the familiar dtSearch Syntax to which you've grown accustomed! This feature enables your team to accommodate the redaction of more complex patterns without relying on manual redaction or regular expression! Take advantage of dtSearch's built-in fuzzy matching and proximity searching to handle more scenarios than ever!


Important Notes

  • Full Release Number: 4.6.25542.26003



dtSearch Rules

Image, Excel, and PDF projects now include a dtSearch rule input when adding a rule group to the Blackout project. There are no additional setup or system requirements for integrating this feature into new or existing projects. To take advantage of the new functionality, navigate to a new or existing project, select the first dtSearch and start typing!

dtSearch Syntax Support

dtSearch includes special characters and other operators that you can use to define search criteria. The following table summarizes the syntax options available for dtSearch rules in Blackout projects.

Special characters or operators

Search functionality


Boolean operators

?, *


W/N (or WI)

W/N operator


Proximity with terms order

xfirstword, xlastword

Built-in search words


Operator precedence

" "

Search words that are operators


Fuzzy searching



(<?redact> {term})

Partial Redaction


Special Characters recognized as spaces that cause word breaks


Phonic searching


Numerical patterns

Noise words are not supported in Blackout Projects. Use the W/N operator for proximity matches in these instances.

Use regex rules instead of combining

Redact part of a search

By default, all terms in a dtSearch rule will be redacted. The terms should be surrounded with (?<redact> {term}) to redact part of a dtSearch rule.

Example 1 - Redacts just Randall

Example 2 - Redacts just pie, pit, pat, or put

To redact more than one term, multiple named groups must be defined.

Example - Redacts Tim and Randall when within 5 characters of Name

Match terms across cells

dtSearch rules automatically use cross-cell matching when identifying terms. If a rule has text that would span multiple cells, it will redact all cells containing parts of the matched term.

Word/Phrase and regex rules continue to ignore cross-cell matches.

TSV support

Support has been added for manually and automatically redacting TSVs.

Configurable logging level

An instance setting has been added that allows System administrators to change Blackout's logging level when recording errors and warnings. By default, the log level is set to Info.


Performance Improvements

  • Improved performance of Image Projects that place many markups on a single document.

  • Image Projects containing documents with many pages make fewer SQL calls, which should reduce the overall SQL load.

Bug Fixes

  • Added logic to reduce the frequency of document conversion, causing failed markup placement.

  • Resolved an issue where errors would fail to write to the system log table.

  • Improved stability of the Image Project revert action.




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