Microsoft has released a new free add-in tool which allows redaction of MS Word 2003 Documents before distributing them. According to the download site, "The Microsoft Office Word 2003 Redaction Add-in makes it easy for you to mark sections of a document for redaction. You can then redact the document so that the sections you specified are blacked out. You can either print the redacted document or use it electronically. In the redacted version of the document, the redacted text is replaced with a black bar and cannot be converted back to text or retrieved.

"Sensitive government documents, confidential legal documents, insurance contracts, and other sensitive documents are often redacted before being made available to the public. With the Word 2003 Redaction Add-in, users of Microsoft Office Word 2003 now have an effective, user-friendly tool to help them redact confidential text in Word documents."

I’ve previously mentioned issues with properly redacting a PDF file. It seems like this release should cure that problem for PDFs generated from these MS Word documents.