Please Try a Different Browser

You are using an outdated browser that is not compatible with our website content. For an optimal viewing experience, please upgrade to Microsoft Edge or view our site on a different browser.

If you choose to continue using this browser, content and functionality will be limited.

Blurred business office shopping mall

How to Redact Sensitive Information From PDF Documents

Redactions aren't just for sensitive government documents released to the public. In many cases, even small and medium-sized businesses will occasionally find reasons to create censored versions of internal documents. Such use cases might include blacking out sensitive customer information on PDFs used for training purposes or removing personally identifiable information from documents that no longer require such data.

It's not uncommon for users to be unsure about how to correctly redact PDFs. Without the right tools, it's deceptively easy to create false redactions that don't fully hide the sensitive text. When you use software such as Tungsten Power PDF Advanced, however, you can redact text in seconds in a way that is both permanent and secure.

Smiling woman typing on laptop indoors.

5 Quick Steps for Redacting PDF Documents

Many people mistakenly think redactions are a tedious process that can consume hours of the workday. With Power PDF, that's not the case at all. It takes only five steps to hide text in a document so that no other readers can see it in the future. Here's how:

  1. Open the PDF file with data you must censor.
  2. Select the Security tab from the main ribbon.
  3. Click "Mark Redaction."
  4. Select the text you wish to redact, which places a red border around the text. The border indicates the area you will redact but note — this red box is not a redaction yet.
  5. Click "Apply Redaction" on the Security ribbon to black out the text. Save the document.

Be aware that applying redactions is a permanent change to the document. If you redact and save over the original file, you will not be able to recover the redacted text. Always create a separate redacted copy for data integrity purposes.

What if you have a large number of terms that you need to eliminate, and you don't want to find them one by one? Handling this concern is easy, too.

  1. From the Security tab, click "Search and Redact."
  2. Search for the specific sensitive terms in the document.
  3. Power PDF displays all relevant results. Select the passages that match your redaction criteria.
  4. Click "Mark Selected Results for Redaction."
  5. Power PDF blacks out the selected text as before. Don't forget to save your PDF.

At the end of this process, Power PDF provides you with an additional "Remove Document Elements" dialogue box. This option allows you to remove other content that could expose sensitive information in the document, such as metadata. Click the elements you want to delete, then click "Remove." Save your document with its newly applied redactions.

Secure Sensitive Documents With Power PDF Today

With a redaction tool that's so easy to use, companies can adopt a much improved workflow for scrubbing secret or identifiable information from important documents. Reports of failed redactions aren't uncommon in the media, but they can serve as cautionary tales rather than a vision of the future for your business. With Power PDF, editing and securing PDF documents is not only simple, but it's also cost-effective and easy to learn. Discover firsthand the difference it can make for business users when you download your free trial today.

We know PDFs can be critical to your individual or business needs.

Find the PDF solution that’s right for you