Masking of XLSX documents


XLSX files store repeated strings in an XML file (located in file.xlsx\xl\sharedStrings.xml). Masking a match that is stored as a shared string would mean masking its entry in sharedStrings.xml. This masks all instances of that string in the XLSX file.

There are two side-effects of this feature:

  • If a match is a shared string, masking the string always modifies all instances of the shared string in the XLSX file. You cannot mask only selected instances of the shared string.

  • When attempting to mask a match in an XLSX file, ER may display "Unable to mask". Checking the file will show that masking was actually successful. When a shared string in sharedStrings.xml is masked, ER detects the resulting change (to all instances of the shared string) as an external change applied to the file, and displays an "Unable to mask" error*.

*The scan trace log displays a more detailed error: "Unable to mask  File content appears to have changed since scanning. Please rescan before remediating." 

For further details please contact our support team.

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