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How to Black Out Text in PDF

Aug 8 2023

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Protecting sensitive information is critical in today's digital age. Whether you need to share a PDF that contains confidential data or just want to hide certain areas of a document from view, blacking out text is a secure way to do so.

While several PDF tools can open, view and edit the content, not all of them have the ability to black out text in PDF securely - this is where our free PDF redaction tool comes in. 

In this short guide, we'll show you how to securely black out text in your PDF online using Xodo.

How to Black Out Text in PDF Permanently

Follow these easy steps to permanently black out any text or any sensitive information in your PDF:

1. Open your PDF with Xodo’s free Redact PDF tool. 

2. Mark text or entire regions you want to black outby clicking and dragging over it. You can use the search bar to find certain keywords or patterns to mark for redaction.

3. Customize the blackout style and colors if needed.

4. Once ready, click the Redact All button to permanently black out any data.

5. Download your newly redacted PDF when you're done.

Black out text in PDF permanently

Note that once the text is blacked out, it cannot be recovered, making it a safe option if you're looking to protect and permanently remove sensitive information like social security or credit card numbers.

Alternatively, if you don't want to permanently black out your PDF text, you can use our PDF editor to quickly draw black rectangular areas over text or other content that you want to hide.

Black out text in PDF online

How to Black Out Text in Scanned PDF

Due to the static nature of scanned documents and the fact that text is part of the image that is no longer editable, blacking out text in scanned PDF files can be quite challenging.

Thankfully, our free online PDF redaction tool makes the task not only possible, but rather simple.

1. First open your scanned PDF in our free PDF redactor.

2. Then use the tool to draw over the text or content you wish to hide and permanently remove from the scanned document.

3. Lastly, once you're done download your file to your device or cloud storage.

Black out text in scanned PDF

Note that since the scanned PDF is basically an image of the document, you won't be able to use the search bar to locate certain words or patterns for redaction. Instead, you’ll have to do it manually. 

Is Blacking Out Text in PDF Safe? 

Adding a simple black rectangle over text is not safe since the rectangle can be potentially moved or deleted, revealing the original text.

On the other hand, blacking out text in a PDF with a permanent redaction tool like Xodo is a secure method for hiding sensitive information as it ensures that the text cannot be read or recovered.

Therefore, knowing how to permanently black out and how to hide text in PDF correctly is crucial for data privacy and safety. Permanent redaction is the safest option.

How to Remove Black Out from PDF

You may find yourself wanting to see the text hidden behind a blacked-out part again due to an error. But keep in mind that if the content black out was performed using a permanent redaction tool, then it can't be undone.

However, if the blackened areas are mere black rectangles added over the text, there's still hope. Those can be easily removed using the Eraser feature available in Xodo's PDF editor.

Remove black out from PDF

Equip Yourself with Secure PDF Tools

Blacking out text in a PDF will help you safeguard sensitive information within your important documents, and with Xodo doing so is both easy and secure.

Xodo offers flexibility and security that suits the needs of any user. From simple text blackouts to more complex PDF content redactions, you can do it all locally on your device without any uploads to external servers.

Why not try it for yourself? Experience the extra security and all the advanced features with a 7-day free trial for Xodo Pro below.

Start Free Trial Now
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Reena Cruz

PDF Productivity Expert

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