Bulk Upload of Redacted Documents


This technical note explains the process for bulk upload of redacted documents into the Lexbe eDiscovery Platform (LEP).  This feature enables the user to use offline redaction software to redact Personally Identifiable Information (PII), confidential, privileged and work product information and documents, and then batch upload to a case in LEP.  Once uploaded, the redacted version will associate with the un-redacted and other versions of a document in the Document Viewer. 

Some redaction programs (e.g., Adobe Acrobat Pro) permit bulk redaction of multiple documents using text search or other redaction tools. This enables built-in functionality of redacted versions of documents created using these programs in productions, etc. within LEP.  Bulk upload of redacted documents is an alternative option to using the built-in Redaction editor or manually uploading redacted documents one-at-a-time in the Document Viewer.

Note. Only Power and Account Admin users have the user rights to bulk upload redacted documents.  The following workflow requires some Excel skill and expertise.  Professional Services is available to assist in redaction or provide custom training, if needed (billable hourly).

Suggested Workflow for Bulk Upload of Redacted Documents

Identify Documents to be Redacted

From the Management->Manage Custom Doc Fields page, create a custom coding section/field to tag documents to be redacted.  For example, Coding Section: Redaction Workflow and Custom Coding Field: Docs to Redact.

To track the reason for redaction as a custom text field:  Reason for Redaction.

Code documents for redaction from the Document Viewer one-at-a-time or use Multi-Doc Edit feature from the Browse or Search pages to code many documents simultaneously.

Apply Control Numbers

Apply control numbers to the documents in the case (if not done previously) from the Case->Add Case Documents page. Control Numbers are sequential, similar to Bates numbers, and assigned at the document level with paginated numbers assigned during Briefcase export (e.g. 1.001, 1.002, 1.003).

The files to be redacted must be named using control numbers for export to briefcase so the file mapping Excel spreadsheet can associate the redacted files with the original documents in LEP.

Processing Time

Wait for the processing step to complete.  It may take several minutes to apply control numbers to a large number of documents.  Track the processing progress of control numbers by following the Progress Bar displayed on all pages of LEP.

Filter Documents Prior to Download

From Browse, display the custom coding field/columns: Redaction Workflow.

Apply a filter: Docs to Redact = checked to display only those documents.

For QC purposes, display the fields/columns for Control Numbers.

Download Documents to Redact to a Briefcase

Select All Docs from the Browse, click Export to Briefcase and save to local computer.

When creating the Briefcase, select the option Name Files->Using Control Numbers.

Once downloaded, the Briefcase will include two sub-folders entitled PDF and ORIGINALS.  Transfer the PDF sub-folder for manual redaction (not ORIGINALS).  Delete the ORIGINALS sub-folder.  Export the same documents downloaded to the Briefcase to an Excel spreadsheet (Export Log to Excel).  

Perform Bulk Redaction with Local Software/Services

Make sure the number of pages in each document remains the same when redacting (redact rather than remove pages).  Only redacted PDFs with the same number of pages as the unredacted PDFs can be uploaded.  If pages are removed from a redacted document as part of redaction, LEP will not process the bulk upload for that document.

Redact the downloaded PDFs using a PDF editor with specialized redaction capabilities (e.g., Acrobat Pro version 8, Nitro Pro, Auto-Redact Plug-in for Acrobat, etc.), other PDF redacting tools, or out-sourced redaction services like BeyondRedaction.  Use redaction tools and not drawing tools.  Drawing tools will not remove text layers of redacted text.

Make sure the redaction tool has removed the text layer as well as the image view of the redacted text.  Check this by copying out the text from Save As Text option in Acrobat Reader.  The user may also search for redacted text if the redacted copy has been OCRed.  Best practice is to save as an image with the PDF editor to remove all text possibilities.

Check for corrupt files, password protection, print restrictions, extraction restrictions, etc. (check properties in file within local PDF viewer).

The titles of the redacted documents should be the same as the unredacted version in LEP (Control Numbers on export). Do not add any numbers or letters to the titles.

Save the redacted documents to a sub-folder called REDACTED (title all CAPS).

Create a Load file to Merge Redacted Files using a Custom Excel Spreadsheet

As noted above, export to an Excel spreadsheet the same documents exported to the Briefcase for redaction (Export Log to Excel).

Save the Excel spreadsheet to the local computer.

Rename the Excel spreadsheet using the naming format: ".mergemapping.xlsx" (e.g. Redacteddocs.mergemapping.xlsx). The file must be in an Excel format with an XLSX extension, supported by the last two versions of Excel (2010 and 2013).  The naming format must be followed precisely as outlined above to properly load and merge the redacted files.

Open the sheet.  After review, keep only fields/columns Doc Id and Control Number. 

Use Column C to format the Control Numbers from Column B, using a custom number formula to display leading zeros "0" (e.g. =TEXT(B2,"0000000")). Adjust the number of 0's as the number increases.  After formatting the control numbers, copy and paste the control numbers as values, and delete Column B.

Remove the first row (headers) from the spreadsheet and keeping only the rows of documents with two columns. The sheet should look like this after all the editing is done:

Save the Excel spreadsheet to a sub-folder called LOADFILES (title all CAPS).

See the .mergemapping.xlsx template attached below for additional reference.

Create a Unique Folder Structure Prior to Bulk Upload

Before bulk uploading redacted documents into LEP, the user must create a specified folder structure including two sub-folders with file titles in CAPS, as follows:

REDACTED: Includes all the redacted files originally downloaded from LEP. The original file names of the redacted documents must match exactly the file names of the documents downloaded from LEP or the upload will fail.

LOADFILES: Includes the file mapping Excel spreadsheet. The load file must be saved as an Excel spreadsheet with the file name ending with the extension ".mergemapping.xlsx" (e.g. Redacteddocs.mergemapping.xlsx). The Excel file will only need columns of data, no headers.

Compress both sub-folders mentioned above into one ZIP file prior to upload.  The compressed ZIP file format must have the file name ending with the extension "filename.mergedocs.zip" (e.g. BulkUpload01.mergedocs.zip).

Bulk Re-Upload the Redacted Documents

Go to the Case->Add Case Documents page and click the Upload button to open the Upload Dialog Box.  Click the Add Files button to select the bulk of redacted documents (e.g. BulkUpload01.mergedocs.zip).

After upload, click the Processing hyperlink at the top right of the screen to receive an email notification when processing/upload is completed. The user must wait for the upload process to finish before QCing or uploading more batches of files.  Generally, bulk upload of redacted documents will only take a few minutes to compete.  See Add Documents for more information.  

Conduct Quality Control of Uploaded Documents 

Quality control of the uploaded documents is important to ensure that all redacted documents were successfully imported. 

Go to the Browse page and display the built-in field Is Redacted and the custom field section Redaction Workflow (this will display the custom field Docs to Redact).

Filter on the documents tagged asDocs to Redact = checked.

The two fields should both be checked for all documents.  This will show that a redacted document successfully imported for each document intended.   The user can check this either in Browse or by selecting all records and downloading an Excel log.

Review sample files by clicking the title link to view in the Document Viewer.  Inspect the redacted version under the Redacted tab and Unredacted version under the PDF tab.

Return to Browse page and untag the redacted documents recently uploaded by using Multi-Doc Edit feature.  Select all documents uploaded and multi-doc edit Docs to Redact = unchecked.

Repeat the above-mentioned steps for future bulk uploads of redacted documents.

Other Bulk Redaction Items

Deleting Redacted Documents

It is possible to delete redacted documents (one at a time) in the Document Viewer->Doc Tab, section Redaction.

Replacing Bulk of Redacted Documents Previously Uploaded

The user may also replace redacted documents uploaded in bulk by following the steps described above. 

Alternatives to Bulk Upload of Redacted Documents

LEP permits the user to upload one document at a time from the Document Viewer->Doc Tab.  

The user may redact files directly in LEP by choosing the Open Redaction Editor button.  See Redaction for more information.  

Production Version of Documents

A production will only include redacted versions under the ORIGINALS, PDF, and TEXT sub-folders.