Put that marker down and Redact in Acrobat please!

 Sep 17, 2015

Remove sensitive data from your file with Adobe Acrobat's redaction tools.

Have you ever taken out a black marker and marked a document in an attempt to hide private or sensitive information? Did you then rescan the file to email it on to someone else? Last night, I watched an episode of the Aussie show Utopia. I cringed and laughed when a character in the show flourished a large black marker and begin to manually redact a document. If you use Acrobat Pro 8 or newer, there is an easier way.

Please, please, please, first make sure you have a backup copy of your file. This procedure is permanent just like the black marker.

Let’s Redact

The following steps and screen captures are from Adobe Acrobat XI Pro. However, as I mentioned above, this procedure is available as of Adobe Acrobat 8 Pro.

First, in Acrobat’s Tools panel, expand the Protection area.

  redact photoshop  

Next, set the redaction properties to the look you want, for the soon to be redacted areas. Replacing marked areas with black, is a common choice.

  redact photoshop  

Now click on the Mark for Redaction tool to activate it. The first time you do this, a dialogue explaining the process usually appears.

  redact photoshop  

Now press and drag across areas, of your file, you want to mark for redaction. These areas will appear, with a colour border, indicating they are now marked.

  redact photoshop  

After you have marked an area, you can preview what the redaction will appear as, by hovering over the marked area.

  redact photoshop  

To finalise your redaction, click Apply Redactions. Two dialogue boxes will follow. The first will confirm that you wish to redact the contents. The second will ask if you want to remove hidden information from your document.

  redact photoshop     redact photoshop  

If you click yes to finding and removing hidden information, Acrobat will now run a search. A new panel will present Acrobat's findings to you. Untick any items you wish to keep and then click remove.

  redact photoshop  

You have now redacted your document.

There is an additional Search & Remove Text command in the redaction tools area. This allows you to search for, mark and redact words in your file. It can be very helpful when looking for particular codes or names.

Until next time, enjoy letting Adobe Acrobat help you achieve your digital deployment and reporting needs. At our website, you can find more information about Adobe Acrobat and the New Horizons courses available to help you harness its power.

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About the Author:

Katherine Davis  

With over 15 years of experience, Kate is one of New Horizons most knowledgeable and skilled Desktop Applications and Graphic Design trainers. She approaches each training event with an understanding of the student’s perspective and with their learning goals in mind. Her extensive knowledge and dynamic training style enables her to engage users of all varying skills levels and ensure that each student’s learning goals are achieved. Kate is especially well known around the New Horizons office for her creative flair and talent in using the Adobe suite. She takes a genuine satisfaction from helping students solve issues and always makes an extra effort to ensure that students have an enjoyable learning experience.

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