Last Updated on June 30, 2023 by Nadeem Ahmad

If you want to protect PDFs you can use redaction. Redaction is a useful feature offered by various tools and secures PDF software. It plays an important role in safeguarding confidential data, which this article will explore in detail. Redaction is different from using a password to encrypt PDF because redaction allows access to the file, but makes any sensitive or confidential information invisible or unseeable to everyone, even if they have the password. This feature of redaction makes adding a PDF password unnecessary, as you can simply redact the portions of the text you want to be covered. This article will tell you more about how to use redaction and what PDF editors offer.

Redaction to Protect PDFs

Redaction is a common way to protect PDFs, or, at least, the private information many of them contain. The practice is frequently used in various industries but it can also be done on home laptops and devices, especially if you have the right if you want to share a vital document but only reveal the necessary information, while leaving everything else covered.

But what is redaction? Redaction is the process of permanently removing or obscuring sensitive or confidential information from a document, ensuring it cannot be accessed or viewed. It plays a crucial role in various scenarios, including legal, healthcare, and business environments, where the privacy and security of sensitive data are necessary.

However, redaction is only useful for individuals. With redaction, they can protect personal details, financial information, confidential reports, legal documents, and other sensitive data. By selectively removing or masking this information, you prevent unauthorized access, eliminating the risk of identity theft, data breaches, or violations of your privacy.

How Does Redaction Work?

Redaction in PDF files involves selectively removing or obscuring specific content, such as text, images, or graphics. Depending on the PDF editor or tool that you are using, you may have different tools and settings to enable the redaction feature, but generally, the process involves steps such as drawing a text box around the text (lines or entire paragraphs) or highlighting it.

Once you have selected the text, you can redact it permanently. Unlike using white-out or tape on paper documents, digital redaction removes the text forever. Since the redacted text is irretrievable, you should make back-ups to all these documents to keep on your personal or private server. Redaction is important to many industries as it helps many companies protect their client’s private information per national and international personal privacy protection laws.

The Best PDF Programs with Redaction

Nitro Pro

Nitro Pro is a feature-rich PDF editor that offers a lot of redaction options and makes the process hassle-free. Nitro lets you redact text, images, and even entire pages from PDF files. Nitro Pro also provides options for customizable redaction patterns, so you can redact specific data formats consistently and in batches. You can also remove pages or import them to other PDF files if they are more relevant to other documents.

Lumin PDF

Lumin PDF is a versatile online PDF editor that includes an easy-to-use redaction feature, as well as full compression and conversion features. Lumin allows you to redact sensitive information from your PDF files, and save all copies to your cloud-based drive, whether it is Google Drive or Dropbox. Lumin PDF’s intuitive interface and collaboration capabilities make it a good choice for both individual users and businesses.

Adobe Acrobat

Adobe Acrobat, perhaps the most popular PDF editing software, offers advanced redaction capabilities, but mostly for the paid software, which comes with various. It allows you to selectively remove text, images, and even creation data about your PDF files so no one knows when they were made, sent, or used. Adobe also provides options to search for specific patterns or keywords for batch redaction and provides customizable redaction styles.

Foxit PhantomPDF

Foxit PhantomPDF is an all-in-one PDF editor that includes user-friendly redaction features. It lets users redact sensitive information while offering options for redaction exemptions, so certain data can remain visible even after redaction, which may be a good option for users who do not always need to redact documents.

PDF Element

PDF Element is a user-friendly PDF editor that offers powerful redaction capabilities. It provides both manual and automatic redaction tools letting you remove sensitive information from your PDF files more efficiently. Along with these features, PDFelement supports batch redaction, saving time when working with multiple documents.

Lumin PDF

Lumin PDF is a versatile online PDF editor that includes a reliable redaction feature. It allows you to easily redact sensitive information from your PDF files. Lumin PDF’s intuitive interface and seamless collaboration capabilities make it a popular choice for both individual users and businesses.

PDF Redactor

If you want straight redaction, without having to sign up for anything, you can use PDF Redactor. This redaction tool lets you remove sensitive content from PDF documents in seconds. It also offers advanced features such as customizable redaction styles, batch processing for multiple files and documents, and the ability to create redaction templates for recurring patterns. Unlike other tools on this list, all redacted information removed with PDF Redactor cannot be restored so all changes are permanent.