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The More You Know: Redaction

There have been many exciting changes to our PDFelement Community, and I’d like to take this moment to point you in the direction of our monthly Tutorial Request Thread! There’s been a lot of feedback regarding the need for additional tutorials and explanations for PDFelement features, so I thought I’d give you a chance to tell me what tutorials you want to see in the future! 
 
This week’s tutorial will be on the topic of redaction. I’ve received a few different questions about the redaction tool in the forum over the past few weeks. 
 
For those of you who’ve never used this feature before, the redaction tool removes or hides information in a document, usually in the form of blacking sections out; the black bars notify the reader that the text or image contains sensitive information. This way, information can be selectively disclosed, and sensitive parts of the file remain secret. For example, in the United States, court records are made public, so lawyers often go over the transcripts after the trial to redact personal information. 
 
Of course, this feature isn’t limited to corporate use, and personal users can utilize redaction to protect their own sensitive information as well! 
 
Mac: 
 
Step 1: Locate the redaction tool under “Protect” -> “Redact”. You can change the color of redaction on the righthand side. While selecting colors, you’ll be able to see a sample of what the results will look like.  
 
 collate1.png
 
Step 2: Highlight the sections that you would like to redact. If you are performing redaction on a document with words, the program will likely detect it and highlight the words (refer to the image below). Otherwise, you can use the pointer to select the area that you would like to black out. 
 
collate2.png
 
 
Step 3: You can mark all the sections you would like to redact in the document before pressing “Apply Redactions”. It’s important to note that this is a non-reversible procedure. 
 
 collate3.png
 
Step 4: Ta-da! You will end up with a blacked out (or other colored out) redaction on all the information that you would like hidden. 
 
collate4.png
 
Switching colors 
 
Many people have been asking for a specific whiteout tool, but little do they know, this is it! You can switch the color of your redaction to suit your needs, including making it white. 
 
Step 1: Click on the eye dropper 
Step 2: A “+” sign will appear on the colored circle closest to the right. Click on this for the palette to appear. 
 collate5.png
 
Step 3: Once you select the color you would like to switch to, the last circle will become that color, appear under “fill color”, and it will show up on the sample section. 
 
collate6.png
 
Windows: 
 
On Windows, the procedure is roughly the same: you mark the areas that you would like to redact, then you apply your redaction permanently by selecting “Apply”, which is a separate button. 
 
 collate7.jpg
 
On both versions, you can utilize the sticky note feature to make a note regarding the reason for redaction. You can access this through the menu that pops up when you right-click. 
 
 
 
 

collate8.jpg

 
To change the color of the redaction on Windows, bring up the “Properties” menu via right-click. 
 
 

collate9.jpg

 
A bonus feature for redaction on the Windows software is the ability to search for certain words and redact them all at once. This can be handy when you have a large document and you’re trying to cover all instances of a specific name or phone number. To access this, select the “Search & Redact” function on the ribbon under “Protect”. 
 

collate10.jpg

 
Type in the word that you would like to redact throughout the document, and all instances of it will be highlighted.  
 
 

collate11.jpg

 
 
And there you have it. That’s my quick and easy guide on how to use the PDFelement redaction tool to secure your information and files. 
 
Is there another feature that you would like to see a tutorial on? Feel free to request it in our forum, or in the comments below! Plus, if you have any questions, feel free to comment below as well. 
 
By Rebecca Chen, Community Manager at PDFelement
 
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