How to Redact Text in WordPress

Written by WordPress Expert

July 1, 2023
How to Redact Text in WordPress

Sometimes you may have information that may need to be private or blacked out. This is also called redacting text. So, how can you redact text in WordPress when you need to. In this article, you’ll learn how to redact text in WordPress.

What Does it Mean to Redact Text?

To redact text or redaction is a way to edit or remove parts of a document, text, or image, specifically for concealing sensitive information, classified information, or confidential information. It's most often used to protect an individual’s or organization’s privacy, or a means to or make sure that classified information remains secure.

An example of redacted text is usually marked with a black bar or box, or switched with a generic term such as "[redacted]" or even "XXXXX." Redactions are usually done by government agencies, legal organizations or sometimes even businesses, as many of them encounter confidential information on a daily basis. For the most part, redactions have been known in the past to be done manually on printed documents. To redact text, the individual doing the marking out would either use a marker or pen.

However, these days, since there’s a lot of sensitive documents online, you can digitally redact. This is done with content editing or image software that you can accurately edit text or images. As a note, with digital redacting, some software allows for uncovering redacted text. This means that if the sensitive information is approved by whatever party is in an authoritative role concerning the info, it can be uncovered at a later stage.

Why Would You Want to Redact Text in WordPress?

In most sites, you probably won’t need to redact any text. Also, as a precaution, don’t mistake redacting text for crossing through text, also known as strikethrough. Redaction is the total masking of the text that it is covering, not a simple line through it. An example of needing redaction is covering information about individuals or specific information that is private.

As a note, if you aren’t approved to post specific sensitive information that is from a government agency, individual, or business, then it’s best not to post about it on your website. You could face being approached by any of those individuals or organizations and sued, or depending on your country, charged with a criminal act. Make sure to brush up on laws in your country before posting sensitive information.

Aside from the serious example, a lighter example of needing to redact, is if you’re posting a resume example and need to mask specific information, like someone’s name and address on the document.

5 Steps to Redact Text in WordPress

For this tutorial you’ll be using the Eyes Only plugin. This plugin is simple and allows you to redact text.

  1. Install and Activate the Eyes Only plugin
  2. Go to the page or post you wish to redact text
  3. Copy the text you wish to redact
  4. Open Settings > Eyes Only in WordPress in another browser tab or window
  5. Add the word you want to redact and the word you wish to replace it with.

Install and Activate the Eyes Only plugin

Install and Activate the Eyes Only plugin

Go to your Add New menu item under your Plugins section of WordPress and search for Eyes Only. It should come up as the first resort. Install and activate it.

Go to the Page or Post You Wish to Redact Text

If you already know what text to redact, make sure to open the page or post that you want to work on. You will need to keep that page or post open throughout the process.

Unfortunately, using the shortcode is a bit faulty with some themes and plugin combinations, as they may not allow the replacement properly. Using the code editor instead of the visual editor may also not work well. Instead, you will need to use the other option available in the plugin, which is manually entering what word or group of words, and adding what default text you wish to replace with it.

As a note, if you are using the Classic Editor, you can use the [redact] shortcode before your term and [/redact] shortcode after your term. This tutorial will continue from this point to focus on using Eyes Only while using the Gutenberg content block editor.

Copy the Text You Wish to Redact

Copy the text you wish to redact

Copy the word or group of words you wish to redact. If the post has several areas you’re redacting, then you’ll need to go back and forth between that page or post, and the Eyes Only settings. You can use a regular paragraph block or the Classic editor content block for this. It doesn’t matter.

In the case of this tutorial we’ll pretend “INFO” is super sensitive information.

Open Settings > Eyes Only in WordPress in Another Browser Tab or Window

You will need to right-click open a second tab by navigating to Settings > Eyes Only, in your WordPress admin. Make sure to keep your page or post open. You’ll need both windows for this tutorial.

Add the Word You Want to Redact and the Word You Wish to Replace it With

Add the word you want to redact and the word you wish to replace it with.

In the case of this tutorial, we’re replacing “INFO” with “BLAH BLAH BLAH”. You will add the word you want to redact in the first field, and the one you wish to replace it with, in the second field. Click save.

Now go back and save the page or post as a draft and preview.

save the page or post as a draft and preview

As you can see, from the example above, “INFO” was successfully redacted. You can use other things like blocks and such. You can also alter the CSS to suit your needs, especially if you prefer to see a black block. You might have to dig a bit to find the right CSS used for the plugin in order to customize it.



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In Summary

Now that you know how to redact text in WordPress, is it something that you might need for your own website? If so, hopefully this article is handy. If not, at least you now know in case you need to redact text in WordPress in the future.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is WordPress free?

All you need to do to use WordPress is to invest in a web hosting plan since the software itself is free.

Are WordPress plugins free?

WordPress has loads of plugins you can install, some of them are free, but some of them you will need to pay for. You can learn how to use WordPress Plugins on our blog.

Is a WordPress blog free?

Anyone can download, use, customize, and edit the WordPress code as long as they release it under the GNU General Public License (GPL). Even though the software is free, you can end up paying for things like premium support and hosting.

Are WordPress-free themes safe?

People often think that free themes have low quality. However, free WordPress themes actually have high quality and are free to use.



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