How to Redact in Adobe 9

By Ken White

When you redact a PDF file, you are hiding or obscuring information in the document from anyone who opens it. Redaction is often used to remove sensitive or personal information, such as names or Social Security numbers. Before the release of Adobe Acrobat 8, Acrobat did not have redaction tools, so redaction of a PDF file required third-party software or plug-ins. Acrobat 8, Acrobat 9 and Acrobat X have tools that will cover redacted words and images with a colored box or replace them with custom text.

Step 1

Open Adobe Acrobat 9. Click "File," then "Open" and load the PDF document you want to redact.

Step 2

Click "View," then "Toolbars." Click "Redaction Toolbar."

Step 3

Click "Redaction Properties." Select a fill color if you want to cover the redacted material with a colored box or click "Use Overlay Text" and enter your redaction text in the "Custom Text" field. Click "OK."

Step 4

Click "Mark For Redaction" in the Redaction Toolbar. Double-click the words you want to redact, or hold down the left mouse button and drag the tool across the words or pictures you want to redact.

Step 5

Click "Apply Redactions." Click "OK." to make the redactions permanent. Click "File,"then "Save As" and save the document under another name if you do not want to overwrite the original file with the redacted file.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you want to redact the same word or phrase throughout a document, click the "Search and Redact" tool on the Redaction Toolbar. Enter the word or phrase in the text field, click "Search and Redact," and select the instances of the word or phrase you want to redact. Click "Mark Checked Results for Redaction," click "Apply Redactions" on the toolbar, and click "OK."