How can I white out text using adobe acrobat standard?

I have been using the text highlighter to black out text by setting the colour to black and the opacity to 100%. This is very wasteful of printer toner. I would like to white out text, but if I set the highlighter color to white, it doesn't show up, even with opacity to 100%. Is there some other way to accomplish this? It almost seems to be a bug. If the colour is white with 100% opacity, it should obscure the text behind it.

Daryl Morse

6 Answers

Voted Best Answer

See the google search results for NSA Redaction report to see how NSA evaluated the various methods of obscuring/removing data and their conclusion as to the best method for removing sensitive data.

There are various tools that can decrypt and decompress PDF files that can restore the PDFs back into text files and one can even see the incremental updates. Only Redaction removes content and incremental update information.

By George Kaiser   

The highlighter is like the high lighter you used in school, it covers the text but still allows one to read the text.

If you want to remove the data or cover it so it is unreadable, also known as redaction, then you need to remove the data and fill-in the space of the removed data then use the Redaction in Acrobat Professional. If you want just a white cover over the text but still allow the text under the cover to located with find, search, and to be cut and pasted , then create a form field with the color white for fill. You could also change the color of the text to white.

George Kaiser   

If it is really only for yourself and for printing (and not for handing out the "redacted" document to someone else), you can use form fields to cover up the text you don't want to print. Make the field with white fillColor, and read-only.

That would be a quick and dirty way to go.

For serious redaction work, you might check with Appligent whether their Redax plug-in works with Acrobat Standard. You then would have the "industry standard" tool for Redaction.

Hope this can help.

Max Wyss.

Max Wyss   

What I'm trying to do is obscure personal information (e.g., account number) in a visa statement for printing. If there was a "white-out" pen that worked just like the high-lighter, except it was a solid colour, it would work perfectly. I don't need to remove the information out of the PDF, because I don't keep it anyway. I guess there's no easy way to do this without upgrading to Acrobat Pro. Thanks for the help.

Daryl Morse   

You can set the square under drawing markups to show the fill color of white and the line color of white and then add that to your tool bar. It works like white out.

Rebekah Jascha   

Thanks everyone for the comments. I was only using this to prevent personal information from being visible on printed PDF, so NSA grade redaction wasn't necessary. However, I was trying to do it easily, so I relented and upgraded to acrobat pro. Now I'm using the redaction feature, which allows no colour and therefore saves on toner.

Daryl Morse   

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