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Best way to redact a PDF (free preferably)?

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Best way to redact a PDF (free preferably)?

Anyone know of a good preferably free way to fully redact a pdf? I would like to share my report with someone but plan on going through it with a fine tooth comb to extract anything sensitive. There is a product from Adobe but it costs $195. The solution I am looking for would have to come from a reputable source and scrub all metadata.

Thanks.
Message 1 of 7
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Established Contributor

Re: Best way to redact a PDF (free preferably)?

Print the PDF. Use a marker to redact any sensitive info. Rescan redacted copy as a new PDF. Share it.
Message 2 of 7
Established Contributor

Re: Best way to redact a PDF (free preferably)?

Open the pdf file using Microsoft Word. Select the area you wish to redact. Select the 'Highight' icon. Choose the black color option. Save file as pdf or use MS's 'Print to PDF' option--which will save it as a pdf file. Rither way, be sure to RENAME the file in order to preserve the original file. Hope this helps.

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Message 3 of 7
Established Contributor

Re: Best way to redact a PDF (free preferably)?


@Achieving wrote:
Anyone know of a good preferably free way to fully redact a pdf? I would like to share my report with someone but plan on going through it with a fine tooth comb to extract anything sensitive. There is a product from Adobe but it costs $195. The solution I am looking for would have to come from a reputable source and scrub all metadata.

Thanks.

Yeah... the best/cleanest way really is Acrobat Pro. Yeah... it's expensive (but cheaper than it used to be).

 

The redaction tool in Acrobat Pro fully removes areas marked for redaction, and all hidden layers, metadata, etc.

 

You could do the monthly subscription for about $25 for a single month and then cancel...

 


@rbentley wrote:
Print the PDF. Use a marker to redact any sensitive info. Rescan redacted copy as a new PDF. Share it.

Yup. That works. It's messy and can make the resulting PDF look like a bad photocopy... but it's free and reasonably foolproof.

 

Not a bad option if you don't want to buy Acrobat Pro.

 


@SOGGIE wrote:
Open the pdf file using Microsoft Word. Select the area you wish to redact. Select the 'Highight' icon. Choose the black color option. Save file as pdf or use MS's 'Print to PDF' option--which will save it as a pdf file. Rither way, be sure to RENAME the file in order to preserve the original file. Hope this helps.

NO.

That is NOT a valid way to actually redact information - it's a good way to think you've redacted info, while actually leaving it fully available!

 

Doing this just results in black-on-black text in the PDF.  That would be ok if you then printed the document out... but sending someone that PDF means giving them access to the full original text.  (Hint: try highlighting and copying it...)

 

It's a common mistake, though, one that's caused problems for quite a few companies and government agencies over the years...

 

EQ8:850 TU8:849 EX8:847
EQ9:850 TU9:848 EX9:850
EQ5:809 TU4:791 EX2:806 - 2019-08-15
Message 4 of 7
Community Leader
Super Contributor

Re: Best way to redact a PDF (free preferably)?

Thanks, Iv, that's really good to know 

EX 754 EQ 773 TU 752
Message 5 of 7
Established Contributor

Re: Best way to redact a PDF (free preferably)?


@Remedios wrote:

Thanks, Iv, that's really good to know 


Actually, once you open the odf file in MS Word, substitute the Soc Sec digits as such, XXX-XX-XXXX. You can then highlight the substitution in black. Save the file with the modified SSN.


Life was a lot simpler when what we honored was father and mother, rather than all major credit cards. ~Robert Orben

SCORES: Excellent · 830 to 848
INQUIRIES: 0
UNIVERSAL REVOLVERS: $200K Club
NUMBER OF CC ACCOUNTS: Less than 10
CARD USAGE: Minimal
CREDIT HISTORY: Very Lengthy · Seasoned Accounts
INCOME: Sufficient
UTIL: 1-2%
PYMTS: 100% Positive · Always PIF · AZEO
INSTALLMENTS: No thanks!
ASSETS: 100% Equity
TOTALLY REFUSE TO: Pay Interest or Annual Fees, Combine Accounts, Reduce Limits, Submit 4506-T, SCT, App Spree, Accumulate Inquiries, Do business with Comenity, Synchrony, Cap One, Wells Fargo, Citi, Barclays or any other credit-cancerous lending institutions
Message 6 of 7
Established Contributor

Re: Best way to redact a PDF (free preferably)?


@SOGGIE wrote:

Actually, once you open the odf file in MS Word, substitute the Soc Sec digits as such, XXX-XX-XXXX. You can then highlight the substitution in black. Save the file with the modified SSN.


Again, that does nothing to remove metadata. (Although it's at least better than just making the text black-on-black...)

 

What you can't see.. can still exist, and hurt your privacy.  There are only two good ways to redact a PDF - the print/marker/scan route, or using proper redaction software.  Ignoring this has caused countless data leaks from businesses and government agencies.  Please don't make the same mistakes with your personal data.

 

EQ8:850 TU8:849 EX8:847
EQ9:850 TU9:848 EX9:850
EQ5:809 TU4:791 EX2:806 - 2019-08-15
Message 7 of 7
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