Spreadsheet Review and Redactions

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Accessing and navigating the spreadsheet viewer

If the native file for a document is a spreadsheet, the spreadsheet viewer will replace the generic native viewer. The spreadsheet view will display a static view of the spreadsheet, including cell formulas, cell notes, hidden cells, and graphs. However, you will not be able to edit the contents of a spreadsheet or see dynamically generated pages, like pivot tables.

To access the spreadsheet viewer, click on the "Spreadsheet" button in the top right corner of the window, or use the keyboard shortcut combination of "v" then "n" to open the spreadsheet.


The top left corner of the spreadsheet displays the worksheets that make up the spreadsheet. To open any worksheet, click on the worksheet name. You may also navigate to other worksheets (pages) using the left and right arrow keys.


The spreadsheet toolbar contains various options for displaying your spreadsheet. You can toggle the grid view for your spreadsheet on or off and/or choose to force text wrapping for the cells in the sheet you are currently viewing. You can also select to hide images and comments on the spreadsheet. Additionally, you can specify whether you would like dependent cells to be affected by any redactions you make. To read more about dependent cells and redactions in spreadsheets, see the redactions section.

By default, hiding images and forcing text wrapping are toggled off, and redaction of dependent cells is toggled on. If an option is changed from the default state, the preference will be remembered for the duration of that spreadsheet’s viewing session.


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Seeing cell contents

To view the cell contents, simply click on a cell. The border of the currently selected cell will be outlined in blue. While a cell is selected, you can navigate to other cells in the spreadsheet using the arrow keys on your keyboard. As you navigate, the cell contents box below the list of available worksheets will update with the current cell's contents.

Just like in Excel, the cells in the table display the output values. To see any potential formulas underlying a value, navigate to a cell and look at the cell contents box. All hidden cells will automatically be expanded in the spreadsheet viewer. In addition, any graphs or highlights applied to the document will also be visible.


The spreadsheet view only displays a static view of the document. Dynamically generated pages, like pivot tables, will not be rendered.  If you want to access pivot tables, download the native file and open it in a native spreadsheet application.


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Searching the spreadsheet

You can search the contents of a worksheet through the search box in the upper right corner. Input a content search, and press the search button. A tooltip will appear that displays the total number of hits matching your search, as well as the instance of those hits that you are on. Press 'enter' on your keyboard, or the search button, to navigate from hit to hit. Note that the search only looks for hits on the worksheet you are currently viewing. If you want to search across multiple worksheets, you must click in to each one separately and re-run the search.



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Translating foreign language text in spreadsheets

To translate foreign language text in your spreadsheet, click on the translation icon in the toolbar. A text box will appear. Next, click and drag over some foreign text, and the English translation will appear in the box.


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Redacting spreadsheets

The above 6-minute video discusses native spreadsheet redactions.


You can redact as many cells as you’d like from the native view of a spreadsheet, down to the individual cell level. This will allow you to produce native versions of spreadsheets, without needing to image them, while still redacting sensitive information. Please note that you cannot redact spreadsheet comments using our native spreadsheet viewer and imaged spreadsheets do not display natively applied comments.

You can redact cells containing sensitive information by clicking on the redaction icon, located under the row of document views in the full screen review window, or on the left side of the top toolbar in the non-full screen review window.


You will then be able to redact cells in the following ways:

  • Clicking on individual cells
  • Clicking and dragging your cursor over a group of cells
  • Clicking on a row or column heading to redact the entire row or column
  • Clicking the top left corner of the spreadsheet, where the row and column headings intersect, to redact the entire spreadsheet

Redacted cells will turn black, and will show up as redacted if the document is produced. Embedded images and charts on spreadsheets cannot be redacted.


Each time you redact a cell or group of cells, a dialog box, or redaction control panel, will appear. If you have redacted a group of cells, the redaction control panel’s contents will reflect the topmost and/or leftmost cell that you have redacted; click on another redacted cell to view the control panel for that cell. The control panel gives you the option to choose a redaction stamp from a dropdown menu to apply to your redacted cells. The list of available stamps will reflect those that have been created in Case Settings for your case. Additionally, if the cell you redacted contains a value based on a formula, the control panel will show the cell’s original value as well as the formula.

To delete or hide all cell redactions on a spreadsheet, activate or click on the Annotations tab or icon and navigate to “Native Redactions.” Clicking on the eye icon will allow you to hide all redactions on your spreadsheet while you are still viewing the document. Clicking on the trash can icon will allow you to delete all cell redactions.


Produced spreadsheets on Everlaw are cut off at the last row or column of content. Therefore, if you redact a full column or row at the end of your sheet, those redactions will be hidden. 

Native document, redacted column


Produced version of the document, redacted column is hidden



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Redacting dependent cells

When redacting a cell, the redaction tool will take into consideration cell dependencies. A dependency is any other cell that is dependent on the cell you've chosen to redact. For example, if you have a list of values and one of the cells is a formula, say a sum of the values, then the cell that includes the formula is a dependency of the values in the other cells.

Let's use this example below for illustrating redaction of dependencies. This spreadsheet displays earnings from a lemonade stand over the course of the week. It also includes 

  • The total earnings that week
  • The average earnings that week
  • The total weekday earnings
  • The average weekday earnings
  • The total weekend earnings
  • The average weekend earnings


Cell B9 is the "total" of all earnings that week. That means it is a dependency of all cells that include earnings, B2-B8. Similarly, since B11 is the sum of all weekday earnings, it is a dependency of cells B2-B6. 

If you redact a cell that has dependencies, the control panel will show the total number of dependencies and give you additional options for redacting them. You will be able to choose between redacting the dependencies completely, replacing the dependencies with a formula, or keeping the dependencies' original values displayed. Any option you choose will be applied to all dependent cells. By default, dependent cells are redacted completely.

Let's use the same example to illustrate.


Let's redact Wednesday's earnings, cell B4. B4 has four dependencies: B9 (total earnings), B10 (average earnings), B11 (weekday sum), and B13 (weekday average). These cells all include formulas that depend on the value of cell B4. When redacting cell B4, you have the option to redact the four dependencies completely, replace with their formulas, or keep their values. In the below example, we've chosen to redact the dependencies completely.


Choosing to replace a dependent cell’s contents with a formula or keep the cell’s original value is known as a partial redaction. For any selected redaction, fully redacted cells will be gray, while partially redacted cells will have an orange border. Otherwise, redacted cells will be black, and partially redacted cells will have a red border.

Note that in our example, the totals and averages are dependencies of the values, but the opposite is not true. The earnings reported each day are not dependent on the total/average cells to compute their values. Therefore, if you were to redact Total earnings, cell B9, there would be no dependencies listed or available for complete or partial redaction. 


Importantly, if a cell is dependent on two redacted cells, and different partial redaction options are selected for those dependencies, the original will be completely redacted.

Using the lemonade stand example to illustrate, let's say we redact Monday's earnings, cell B2, and choose to partially redact its dependencies to show their formulas. 


Now, let's say we also redact Tuesday's earnings, cell B3, but we want to partially redact its dependencies and show their values. Since Monday's earnings and Tuesday's earnings share dependencies (total, average, weekday total, and weekday average), those dependencies have conflicting decisions placed on them. Therefore, Everlaw chooses to redact all those dependencies completely. 


If you have disabled the ability to redact dependencies for your spreadsheet, the option to redact dependent cells will not appear. Instead, the redaction dialog will display a warning message letting you know that your redactions will not affect dependent cells.


If you are redacting cells in a very large spreadsheet and have enabled the redaction of dependent cells, the redaction operation may time out. This occurs to prevent the entire spreadsheet from crashing.


Should a timeout be triggered, the ability to redact dependent cells will automatically be disabled for the spreadsheet during the viewing session.

You can close the redaction control panel by clicking on the X in the upper right hand corner or the blue Done button on the bottom of the panel. Clicking on a redacted cell will reopen that cell’s control panel. You can click the trash can icon in the bottom right hand corner to delete individual redactions.

There are some important caveats to keep in mind when producing spreadsheets with redactions. While native versions are usually withheld for redacted documents, the opposite is true for redacted spreadsheets. This is because spreadsheets are redacted in native view, while other documents are redacted in PDF or image view. Therefore, if you choose to include natives when producing redacted spreadsheets, the subsequent production will include native spreadsheet files, with redactions intact, and placeholder image files. If your native file format was originally .xlsb, the produced and redacted native documents will be .xlsx.

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