How do I white out text and type over it?

New Here ,
Oct 13, 2015 Oct 13, 2015

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I used to be able to do this in older versions of Acrobat (I am now using Pro DC). I would add a text box, with a white fill and no border to white out whatever I wanted covered up. Then I would create the text I wanted somewhere else on the document, type the text, then drag it over the white box.

Now, the text I drag over defaults to being hidden behind the white text box. I try bringing it front, that does nothing. I wouldn't even need to create additional text, but the text box text color defaults to red and I cannot change that either. SO FRUSTRATING, especially since I used to be able to do this. Someone please help! Thanks in advance.

-TJ

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Create PDFs, Macintosh

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correct answers 1 Correct Answer

LEGEND , Oct 11, 2016 Oct 11, 2016
Before you can Apply redactions you must create them by somehow marking where you want them. See the help file for your version for the ways you can do this.

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Oct 13, 2015 Oct 13, 2015

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Hi tjk84938930,

Please refer to this KB doc. Acrobat Help | Edit text in PDFs to get a better picture about how editing working in Acrobat Pro DC.

Use the Commenting tool -> Text box option, it will cover up you text then you can right click on that text box to change the properties like color.

Regards,

Aadesh

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New Here ,
Oct 14, 2015 Oct 14, 2015

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If only it were that easy. Please see the attached screenshot. It only gives me border color and fill color options. In the example let's say I wanted to whiteout the word "Statement" after account, and replace it with "Balance". I cannot bring the word Balance to the front of the white comment box. It defaults to hiding it behind it. Someone please help.

Screen Shot 2015-10-14 at 2.31.32 PM.png

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 14, 2015 Oct 14, 2015

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A more consistent approach would be to redact the content you don't want and then use the text box to add the text you want. I suggest that you then flatten the text so it's no longer a comment, which you can do with the following free JavaScript-based tool: UVSAR : Selective Flattener tool for Adobe Acrobat 8, 9 and X

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Adobe Employee ,
Oct 14, 2015 Oct 14, 2015

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Hi tjk84938930,


Please try the following steps:

1. Go to Comment tool.

2. Add a new text box.

3. Right click on the comment and choose Properties. Properties dialog will open up.

4. Change Border color and Fill color to white.

5. Now start typing in the white text box.

6. Press "Ctrl/Cmd+E" to open the properties bar.

7. Change the color or any text related properties.

Alternatively you can also use EDIT PDF tool as follows :

1.  Go to Edit PDF tool.

2. Select the text you want to white out/override.

3. Press DELETE\Backspace key.

4. Now, enter the text.

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New Here ,
May 20, 2016 May 20, 2016

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Hi tjk84938930

I know this thread is old but I have a similar requirement and the workarounds provided to you were a bit crappy, so I decided to post my solution.

I would refrain from using the commenting box in several cases because the commenting box will be a visible alteration in editing and commenting mode and can be shifted by the receiver, revealing that a workaround was used. This doesn't always suggest a suitable level of professionalism and, hence, is my least favoured option and would only be used if all revisions are being done through the commenting tools.

Deleting and re-entering text, as suggested by Priyanja, isn't always possible either i.e. due to corrupted text recognition.

The solution that works for me:

1. Create a white space image file

2. Import it into your pdf using "Add Image"

3. Alter the size as required

4. Create a text layer using "Add Text" which you can move over your white space

5. Done

Hope this helps.

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LEGEND ,
May 20, 2016 May 20, 2016

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I think there's an important point here. Does the PDF get delivered to someone? Is the information to be removed sensitive? If so, convering it up with a text box, or image, or anything else, is a catastrophe waiting to happen, because the original is still there, easy to get at . Often it's as easy as copy/paste. In this case the only right thing to do is use "redaction", designed to remove sensitive info. Then save and close and reopen. Now you can try to add text, which may or may not work, but at least the sensitive info is gone.

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New Here ,
Sep 26, 2019 Sep 26, 2019

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How do I create a White space image file?

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 20, 2016 Sep 20, 2016

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However old this thread may be, people still search and find it, looking for this info.  Here's what I do:

1) Go to "Comment" on right side of toolbar to open "Tools, Sign, Comment" side pane.

2) Under Drawing Markups, click on picture of text box ("Add text box").  Add text box over text you want to hide and size as needed.  Adjust color of box or border as needed by right clicking on box (while in text box mode, i.e., button is on)

3) Then, go to Annotations, above, and select the "T" ("Add text comment").  Type replacement text anywhere on doc (can't type over text box).  To edit the text, if little properties box is not open, click on side and click again on text (different from CNTRL+E).

4) Now, drag your text over your box and align.

5) Has to be done in above order.

6) In order to hide the fact that I've made changes, or ensure that my changes don't get changed, I then print to Adobe to create a new doc.

7) One last thing.  When you print, make sure that under "Comments & Forms" on your print dialog box, you have "Documents and Markups" selected from dropdown.

P.S.   OP, it sounds like you didn't do it in the right order, or you tried to repeat, which doesn't work either -- have to do the steps.  As for the red, see my description of changing color.  There are various ways to create text boxes, so must use method above.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 20, 2016 Sep 20, 2016

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Doing that doesn't guarantee at all that the text you've overwritten can't

be accessed. The only way to do that is to use the Redaction tool, and then

you wont have to print the file, which causes all kinds of problems on its

own.

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 20, 2016 Sep 20, 2016

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I've done this many times.  How would it be accessed and what are the "all kinds of problems" you refer to?

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LEGEND ,
Sep 21, 2016 Sep 21, 2016

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Well the text is still there because you only covered it up. There are many ways to get the original text. For example, select all, copy, paste. In any case why use such a very long set of steps rather than the right and safe way?

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New Here ,
Oct 05, 2016 Oct 05, 2016

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I am trying to do this for a form other people need to print out. I want to change to "return to" information, but I did not create the original, so am unable to edit it. I can cover the original text with a white rectangle via comments, but when other people print it out, they won't know to chose print "document and mark ups", so the original text prints. Is there any way to add a permanent shape to the document that will always print? I am using Adobe Acrobat Pro. Thanks 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 06, 2016 Oct 06, 2016

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The best way is to use the Redaction tool, under Tools - Protection.

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 06, 2016 Oct 06, 2016

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Vee63,

You could try printing to pdf, or just scanning a new copy.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 06, 2016 Oct 06, 2016

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Why? That doesn't actually get rid of the text and it does get rid of a bunch of other useful stuff.

This is not a good advice.

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New Here ,
Oct 10, 2016 Oct 10, 2016

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Thanks for the suggestions. Unfortunately, I can't use the redaction because "Apply redactions" is shaded - I assume because I didn't create the file. However, I found a great website that allows editing of PDFs under their 'use free' tab. I was able to easily make and save my changes there. PDFescape - Free PDF Editor & Free PDF Form Filler

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New Here ,
May 05, 2018 May 05, 2018

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this site is awesome!! Thanks!!

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LEGEND ,
Oct 11, 2016 Oct 11, 2016

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Before you can Apply redactions you must create them by somehow marking where you want them. See the help file for your version for the ways you can do this.

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New Here ,
Oct 24, 2016 Oct 24, 2016

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Acrobat Pro XI is very frustrating.  Looking at all of the solutions makes no sense.  In Pro 6, it was very simple.  XI take several steps to accomplish the same result. 

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New Here ,
Mar 25, 2017 Mar 25, 2017

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I wanted to white out text and add text. I hit Edit on the right side menu. Boxes appeared around all portions of text in the document. I selected text and deleted then added text. Served the same purpose as whiting out.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 25, 2017 Mar 25, 2017

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That is risky. There's no guarantee that if you do that the text you deleted is really gone. Someone who knows what they're doing might be able to retrieve it. If you want it to be really, 100% gone then you have to use the Redaction tool.

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New Here ,
May 09, 2018 May 09, 2018

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I’ve got it!!  I did some experimenting, and was shocked to discover that when I “edit” a PDF I’d previously filled in and sent by inserting a white text box to hide unwanted data, and then send as an unzipped pdf, that the recipient can actually see the handles on the text box!  They can easily just move it around or even delete it!  But.... if after adding the text box, you right click on it to access Text Box Properties, there is a little selection box at the bottom labled “Locked”. This, my friends, will anchor your little box and prevent recipients from moving or deleting it!  Same method to replace text... simply type new text in your text box (make sure it has a white background), drag it and re-size it as needed, and then lock it down!!

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LEGEND ,
May 09, 2018 May 09, 2018

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Sorry, this ”protection” is worthless. It would take seconds to get the original info, as well as Google including it if the file is online. This is why the redaction function was added.

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New Here ,
Jul 10, 2018 Jul 10, 2018

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I'm a new (returning) user of Acrobat Pro. I was using Nitro Pro but switched back to Acrobat when most of my office did the same. Generally, I like Acrobat Pro. It seems to have come a long way since I last used it with any frequency. But I cannot figure out why they don't have a 'whiteout' tool like Nitro does. Nitro cleans that space of any data. In fact, Nitro shows a warning indicating you will lose any data you are erasing and the action cannot be undone. Can anyone explain why this function is not available in Acrobat (I'd even settle for educated guesses at this point). Very frustrating.

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