If you want to share a PDF file but sensitive data is visible, you can redact it for free so that it is no longer readable. You can find out how this works and whether the blackening is safe in this practical tip.
Edit PDF for free with Foxit PDF
Foxit PDF offers you a comprehensive free PDF solution. You can also redact texts and images with the program.
- Open the PDF file you want to redact in Foxit PDF.
- In the “Comment” tab, navigate to “Text markup”.
- Select the “Highlight” option and change the color to black under “Format”.
- Now select the text to be redacted and then save the file.
- Alternatively, you can also paint a rectangular shape over your text with the same properties.
Edit PDF with AnyPDF
If you don’t want to install software, there are various tools you can use online to edit your PDFs. One example is AnyPDF.
- With AnyPDF, just like in Foxit, you can edit PDF using rectangles and markings.
- To do this, upload your PDF file and then select the “Rectangle” option.
- Change the line and background color to black and then draw the rectangles over your sensitive content.
- Save your changes and download them as a PDF.
Edit PDF with PDFzorro
PDFzorro offers you a free tool for editing PDFs online.
- Go to the PDFzorro website and upload your PDF file.
- The rectangle function (“Rect.”) Is automatically selected and set to black.
- Use this tool to mark all sensitive content.
- Optionally, you can now select the option “permanently block blackened / erased areas”: Your PDF file is now first saved as an image file and then again as a PDF file, so that the blackening can no longer be undone afterwards.
- Then click on “Save” to save the changes.
- Download your modified PDF file by clicking on “Finish / Download”.
- Then make sure that your document is no longer stored on the PDFzorro server by clicking the “delete your files on server” button.
Free PDF Tools: Is Your Sensitive Data Safe Now?
When redacting documents using these free tools, keep in mind that they are often not completely secure.
- With some advanced PDF viewers, the marking functions can be undone or the text behind the redaction can be marked. The text can thus be copied and read.
- So only use Foxit, AnyPDF and PDFzorro if you want to print out the document afterwards and not to send it by email.
- You can do it even more safely with these free tools if you then print the document again as a PDF and activate the option “Print as image”. No more text can be marked. This function exists e.g. in Foxit. PDFzorro has now integrated such a function directly into the processing mask (see above).
- If you want to redact a PDF file so that the confidential content behind the redaction can no longer be read under any circumstances, you should switch to professional software such as Adobe Acrobat Professional.