How to Redact in Adobe

In this walkthrough, we've shared how to redact in Adobe Acrobat Pro, so that you can hide sensitive content on any PDF. Adobe's redacting feature allows you to make edits without altering the original page formatting, so it's extremely useful when working with complex documents.  

What is Redaction?
If you've ever seen a government document with black boxes hiding certain sections, you already have experience with redacted material. When you redact a confidential name, paragraph, or image, you're intentionally hiding this material from the public. Depending on personal preference, you can redact content with colored boxes, or make the content totally invisible. 

How to Redact in Adobe Acrobat
1. First, open a PDF in Acrobat Pro, and choose "Tools" > "Redact" from the main menu. You should now see the Redact toolset in Acrobat's secondary toolbar.   

2. Next, select "Mark for Redaction" > "Text & Images" from the Redact toolset. If you'd like to adjust the redaction mark style, choose "Properties" from the secondary toolbar, select the Appearance tab, and make your stylistic changes. 

3. When you're ready to start redacting content, you can double-click on a word or image, or simply drag to select a larger area. If you hold the Ctrl/Command key while dragging, you can redact areas in a scanned document. 

4. Meanwhile, if you want to redact the same item across multiple pages (such as a header or watermark), just right-click the redacted area and select "Repeat Mark Across Pages".  

5. After making your redactions, go back to the secondary toolbar, choose "Apply", and click OK. Once you save the document, your redactions will be made permanent. Acrobat will automatically add the suffix "_Redacted" to your saved filename, but we recommend saving a copy ("File" > "Save As") so that you retain the original file. 

Using the "Search & Remove Text" Function
The "Find Text" tool offers another way to locate sensitive content in a PDF, and then quickly redact it. Note: if you're viewing an encrypted PDF, this tool won't work. 

First, select "Tools" > "Redact" to show the Redact toolset. In this section, choose "Mark for Redaction" > "Find Text" and you should see a Search dialog box. Depending on your needs, you can search the current PDF or a group of PDFs. 

In the Search dialog box, select Single Word or Phrase, Multiple Words or Phrase, or Patterns (i.e. numbers, email addresses, dates). Enter the desired words or phrases, and then choose "Search & Remove Text". 

If you click on the plus sign, you should now see a full list of search results. Click on any results that you want to redact, and then choose "Mark Checked Results for Redaction". Then, save your file to make the redaction permanent. 
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