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Black text out in Adobe Reader X and make it uneditable?

New Here ,
Mar 09, 2011 Mar 09, 2011

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I want to be able to black out certain text lines from some PDFs and then send the PDFs to people without them being able to remove the blacked out bars.  I do not want them to see the text that is being blacked out.  Is there anyway to do this within Adobe Reader X?

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General troubleshooting, Windows

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Adobe Community Professional , Mar 09, 2011 Mar 09, 2011
In Adobe Acrobat Pro (not Adobe Reader) you can use the redaction tool.

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LEGEND ,
Mar 09, 2011 Mar 09, 2011

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Not with the free Reader.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 09, 2011 Mar 09, 2011

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In Adobe Acrobat Pro (not Adobe Reader) you can use the redaction tool.

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 09, 2011 Jun 09, 2011

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If you highlight the text you want to black out and then change the highlight colour to black (right click & go to properties) it works for me.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 10, 2011 Jun 10, 2011

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If you highlight the text you want to black out and then change the highlight colour to black (right click & go to properties) it works for me.

That's a very bad advice. It is extremely easy to remove those highlights, or change their color, or read the text underneath them programatically.

The only real solution is to use the Redaction tool, as mentioned above.

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 10, 2011 Jun 10, 2011

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That's true, but if you only have the free reader, you don't have the redact tool. I am retired & cannot afford to buy all the adobe products now. At least it works as a temporary solution.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 10, 2011 Jun 10, 2011

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You can use the free trial version for 30 days.

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 10, 2011 Jun 10, 2011

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Thanks. I don't like to do that too often.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 10, 2011 Jun 10, 2011

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You can only do it once. Afterwards you will have to totally format your

computer if you want to try it again.

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LEGEND ,
Jun 10, 2011 Jun 10, 2011

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robyncoolum wrote:

At least it works as a temporary solution.

Actually, it's worthless since all they have to do is remove the highlighting. What would be the point?

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New Here ,
Dec 20, 2011 Dec 20, 2011

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The answer by robyncoolum actually works. I am using Adobe Reader X ver 10.1.1.

Maybe some clearification:

1. Select the text you want to black out.

2. Mark the text selection using the tool and it will be marked yellow.

3. Right click the selection and select Properties.

4. Change the color to black or whatever color you want.

Works for me. If it doesn't - maybe there are some document protection properties enabled that prohibits this?

But for the original post - even if you save the pdf the black out will not be embedded into the document. Another user can remove it.

On the other hand - if printing to paper is all you want then it is ok.

Also if I print (NOT Save as) it to another pdf file using e.g. CutePDF the blackout is saved embedded. I don't know if it can be removed - I can't.

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New Here ,
Jan 27, 2013 Jan 27, 2013

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I tried this, using PrimoPDF instead of CutePDF. I found that though I cannot un-do the highlight or the highlight color, I *can* select the text and copy it to the clipboard.

Therefore the highlight method is still an unacceptable solution if the resulting file will be transmitted to someone.

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New Here ,
Feb 14, 2013 Feb 14, 2013

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I was able to do this using the "Take a snapshot" tool under the edit menu. I opened paint, pasted the copied image and then used the painting tools to black out the text. I saved the edited image as a jpeg, but any other format would probably be fine. I opened the resulting file in several image-viewing programs and wasn't able to figure out a way to see the text I blacked out.

I only needed to edit a small portion of one page, so this probably wouldn't work if you were trying to black out text accross multiple pages of a document. But for small edits, it should work - until someone on this forum tells me I'm wrong 🙂

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New Here ,
Jan 22, 2021 Jan 22, 2021

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Redact as instructed above.  THEN instead of saving to your PC as a regular .pdf.  Use the file print menu and choose the PRINT TO .pdf option instead of selecting a printer.  You will then follow the printing prompts to save the .pdf.  When you open the .pdf you will only see the redacted info as an image and not text.  This then saves the redacted item as an image and cannot be altered by others in Acrobat or others.

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New Here ,
Jan 22, 2021 Jan 22, 2021

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Redact as instructed above.  THEN instead of saving to your PC as a regular .pdf.  Use the file print menu and choose the PRINT TO .pdf option instead of selecting a printer.  You will then follow the printing prompts to save the .pdf.  When you open the .pdf you will only see the redacted info as an image and not text.  This then saves the redacted item as an image and cannot be altered by others in Acrobat or others.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 22, 2021 Jan 22, 2021

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This will not remove the sensitive information.

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New Here ,
Aug 02, 2017 Aug 02, 2017

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Comments > Rectangle tool> Right click > Properties > Fill color > OK > File > Print > Printer: Print to PDF > Print

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 03, 2017 Aug 03, 2017

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This will not remove the sensitive information.

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New Here ,
Aug 24, 2017 Aug 24, 2017

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Unfortunately it seems in order to properly redact the information you need Pro. I personally only redact documents a few times a year so and I use redactpdf.com for those occasions. It removes the text and meta data, is completely free, and doesn't even require registration. A pretty great tool, I am surprised Adobe charges for redaction.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 25, 2017 Aug 25, 2017

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So instead of spending money on a proper application that does it correctly you prefer to upload files with sensitive information to some unknown website and redact it there? Do you know whether they keep the files you send them, or what they do with them? Do you have any guarantees that the redaction they apply really does prevent the data from being extracted later on?

By the way, it's possible to apply redactions using Adobe Acrobat Standard too, although it requires using a script.

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New Here ,
Sep 10, 2017 Sep 10, 2017

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This is what I did earlier to protect my personal information on a document I needed to upload:

1. In Adobe Acrobat, on original PDF, highlight the text that you want hidden (yes I know, this is not removing the sensitive info since they can remove the highlights, but stay with me)

2. Change color of highlight to black (View>Tools>Comment>Open) select the highlighter button on the top left and change the color with the bucket icon on the top right

3. Rotate document so that the whole page will show on your computer screen (View>Rotate View>Counterclockwise)

4. Exit out of your tool bar in Adobe Acrobat

5. Show document full screen while it's still rotated horizontally (View>Full Screen Mode)

6. Press the "PrtSc" button on your keypad to take a screenshot of your edited document

7. Open up the paint application on your computer

8. Select "paste" to paste the screenshot

9. Save the document

10. Rotate back to original

11. Save again (Tada!)

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 10, 2017 Sep 10, 2017

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It is better and faster when you redact the information with Adobe Acrobat.

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