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Reveal Review Publication

Native Redaction File Flattening

File flattening is part of the preparation process that makes native redaction possible. Below is a summary of items impacted by flattening.

Object Type

Flattening Result

Hidden Rows/Columns/Sheets


Password Protected Sheets

Remove password and unprotect sheet

Macro and module


Cells with formula*

Replaced with the calculated value

Pivot table

Replaced with static value


Removed to make all the rows visible


Removed to make the rows and columns visible

Frozen pane

Unfreeze all panes to make all the data visible

Screen split

Screen splits are removed


Converted to image

Embedded file

Replaced with an image


Replaced with the displayed text


All file sharing with external sources is removed

*Cell references across the worksheets are a type of formula which are converted to flat values just like the other formulas.

Additionally, Flattener also identifies invisible values (values with the same font and background color), PII values, empty rows/columns, and index documents. Other actions the Flattener performs:

  • generate a sheet-level hash to identify duplicate sheets,

  • create a data-type map to identify visually similar sheets, and

  • calculate hints to create Excel threads.