If you’re reading this, chances are you have a PDF document containing sensitive information you must hide before sharing it with others. Redaction — obscuring or removing sensitive details — is often associated with Adobe Acrobat Pro, a powerful but pricey software.
But what if we told you you could redact a PDF without Adobe? Let’s find out how.
Alternative Software for PDF Redaction
First things first, let’s clarify what “redaction” means. You remove or hide sensitive information from a document when you redact something. For this purpose, Adobe was usually used.
You may be wondering how to redact a PDF without Adobe Pro. Well, you can easily find a free PDF converter on the internet. Such online tools have loads of features to simplify your work with documents. Redaction is one of them.
Many online PDF converters are free. Unlike Adobe, which needs a paid subscription to unlock all its features, they let you do your redacting without spending a penny. Perfect if you don’t need to redact your documents frequently.
You can redact your documents on any device or platform. Mac, Linux, or Windows — no matter. Your PDFs are also well protected from data breaches and other possible cyber threats, which is crucial today. Redacted information also can’t be recovered or viewed by unauthorized parties.
Step-by-Step Guide to Redacting PDF Content
Regardless of your chosen service, a general redaction process slightly varies from tool to tool. It is usually as follows:
- After choosing a redact tool PDF, open the PDF file you need to redact. Usually, there is an “Open” or “Upload” button to do this.
- Look for the redaction feature in the tool and select it. It might be labeled as “Redact,” “Blackout,” or “Whiteout.”
- Use your mouse to select the text or image you want to redact. This is typically done by clicking and dragging to form a box over the area.
- Once you’ve selected the sensitive info, apply the redaction. The selected content should now be hidden, often appearing as a black or white box.
Always remember to save your work after redacting (there is usually a “Save” or “Download” button).
Tips for Effective and Precise Redaction
Now that you’ve got the basics down on how to redact PDF free without Adobe, we’re sharing our wisdom with you — tips for effective and precise redaction:
- Double-check, then check again. Once you’ve applied the redaction, take a moment to double-check your work. You’d be surprised how easy it is to miss a line or a small part of an image. So, give your document an extra once-over just to be safe.
- Use the zoom feature. Ever tried reading the fine print without your glasses? Well, it’s tough. That’s why zooming in helps spot small details that need redacting, especially in images or densely packed texts.
- Save a backup before redacting. Do you know how you save your work on a project frequently just in case your computer updates unexpectedly? The same rule is important here. Before starting the redaction process, save a backup of your original document. If you make a mistake during redaction, you can always revert to the original file without losing any information.
- Test your redactions. After you’ve redacted and saved your document, try copying and pasting the redacted areas into a new document. If you’ve done the job right, nothing should show up. But if the original text or image pops up, you’ll know you need to go back and redact again.
- Keep things fresh. Keep your redaction tool updated to its latest version as such versions often have improved security features and bug fixes.
So, now, you’re a true pro in redacting your PDFs without Adobe. Use your wisdom to handle your documents with free alternatives that work just as well.