The Redaction tool completely removes all traces of the redacted content from the document. Not only does it remove text, annotations and form fields, but it is also capable of redacting partial and entire images.

Note: If you wish you can further sanitize any hidden information within the document using the Sanitize Document tool.


What is Redaction?

PDF Redaction is when you remove any information from a document prior to publication or distribution. This is often necessary when you have confidential or private information that you do not want others to see or have access to but still want to make part of the document available. The most common example of this is a black rectangle covering portions of text.

It’s EXTREMELY important that when redacting text/objects from a document that it is done properly. Not all redactions are the same and if done incorrectly an individual can still retrieve the information. Take for example the text below, it appears that part of the text has been redacted and you don’t know what it is.

My bank account number is 123456789 and routing number is 654987.

If you use your cursor to highlight the above text you be able to easily see the text. Just covering the text with a black opaque rectangle appears to have hidden the words but in reality the information is still there. Anyone can just copy and paste the information into any other document. The same also applies to attempting to cover up text with a Black Square Annotation. The text still exists beneath the annotation and can easily be accessed by deleting the annotation or extracting text.

Redaction Steps:  

  1. Redaction Annotations: Adds redaction annotations to the document that offer a preview of what the document will look like after redaction, and also allows you to adjust Redaction Properties before being applied.
  2. Applying Redactions: This "burns in" the annotations and removes any text, image, annotations, form fields or drawings from the document that is underneath the annotation's area.

Starting the Redaction Tool

  1. Activate the tool by clicking on the Redaction Tool button on the Document Tab or using the shortcut key Ctrl + Shift + Y (⌘ + Shift + Y on Mac)
  2. Then click or drag an area with the mouse to select the desired text, images, or areas you wish to redact.
  3. Once selected right click (Mac: Ctrl + Click) and choose Apply All Redactions in the mouse menu or go to the Redaction Tool button on the Document Tab, click on the down arrow and select Apply All Redactions.
  4. To exit the selection mode, simply click on the hand tool or Esc on the keyboard.