How to Redact a PDF to Protect Your Secret Information?

Fri. 20 May. 202228145

Are you looking for a solution to redact text or data from PDF documents? You

are in the right place, in this article I will show you how to redact a pdf document to protect your secret information.  

Before we start the tutorial, we should know what is PDF document redaction? 

PDF redaction is the process of modifying a PDF document to remove or hide secret information or sensitive data. If this process was made into a redaction tool, which could be used in many situations.

  1. Why Is PDF Document Redaction Important?

  2. How to Redact a PDF Document on Mac?

  3. Redacting a PDF Document on Windows


Why Is PDF Document Redaction Important?

For example, a trading company that shared its supplier certifications with a new customer usually needs to hide key information like certificate numbers to avoid being bypassed by customers. 

Redaction allows you permanently delete confidential information before you share PDF documents with others. So you can understand why is PDF document redaction important now, we can redact a PDF in different ways for many situations. 

How to Redact a PDF Document on Mac?

1. PDF Reader Pro

When you need to share a PDF document with another person on a Mac, sometimes you need to hide sensitive information such as bank account balance, phone number, or other types of personal information that can be redacted on a Mac in a few steps by a redaction tool.

Step 1: Download PDF Reader Pro for free.

Step 2: Select Redact on the toolbar and activate redact mode. 

Step 3: Drag the cursor over the text or image you want to hide to select it.

Step 4: Click Apply to permanently hide the selected sensitive information.

So if you are looking for a solution to redact a PDF on a Mac, the PDF Reader Pro will be your first choice. Except for the small redact function, this PDF software allows you to create PDFs and edit with many tools.  

Besides, if you recommend PDF Reader Pro to your friend to solve his urgent problem you may get a reward from your friend. 


One of my friends Jack Lau who is doing international trading business, one day got one inquiry from a new customer with around $700,000 amount order. But he needs to offer some certifications to prove his quality.

One of the certifications is owned by his supplier, he needs to hide the supplier name in the PDF document certificate to avoid the customer contacting his supplier directly. 

Redact a PDF Document (1)

After trying different ways, he still didn’t find suitable tools. So he called me to ask which PDF tools could help, I told him PDF Reader Pro will be the best option.

As expected the software helped change the PDF certification, his customer confirmed the quality and didn’t know supplier information before placing the order. 

Finally, he got the order and won a long-term contract. He gives me a surprise gift which was worth one month's salary to show his gratitude. So if you know something is valuable, don’t hesitate to share it with your family and friends.

2. Default PDF viewer

If you don’t want to download software on Mac to redact PDF files, you can try the MacOS default application Preview which is used for viewing PDFs and images. The steps are detailed below:

Step 1: Open a PDF you want to hide sensitive information with Preview App; 

Step 2: Access View on the toolbar, and then click show markup toolbar; 

Step 3: Click the Redact button on the top left

Step 4: To activate the redaction tool(click the OK button when presents a dialog explaining what this does). 

Step 5: Before you start the redaction, make a copy of the PDF you are going to modify.

Step 6: Drag your cursor over the text you want to hide, and you’ll see that it becomes black with hash marks.

However, this default application can be invalidated by anybody using the same tool. Thus, it’s not the most reliable option, either. So we still highly recommend you download the first option PDF software for Mac: PDF Reader Pro. It is more reliable and private.

Redacting a PDF Document on Windows

1. Adobe’s Acrobat Pro

Adobe’s Acrobat Pro software is the PDF tool that could create, redact and share PDFs from Windows 7 to Windows 11.  

You can redact a PDF with Acrobat Pro in an easy way. 

  • Open a PDF with Adobe Acrobat Pro.

  • Choose Redact tools in the menu.

  • Select the text or image you wish to redact, and replaced it with a black box or a space.

  • Apply the redaction and save PDF.

This is a simple and fast way if you want to hide the sensitive information in your PDFs on Windows. But this is not the only way, you still have another option to finish the redaction.

2. Soda PDF 

Soda PDF is one of the software which can create redaction in PDFs on a Windows computer with a free account. 

Here is how to use Soda PDF to black out text in your PDF file. 

Step 1: Download and install Soda PDF on your computer.

Step 2: Open the PDF document which you need to modify.

Step 3: Click the Secure on the top menu. 

Step 4: Choose to Create Redaction button.

Step 5: Hold down the left mouse button and drag the cursor to select the area you want to create redaction.

Step 6: Click Apply Redaction button, will be shown a message this operation can’t be undone once the document is saved.

Step 7: Click OK to finish the redaction.

This tool is available as a free alternative when you don’t want to use Adobe products. But this software needs to pay a monthly subscription after a free trial. Consider this, if you want a fully functional PDF editor, you can choose PDF Reader Pro which provides an affordable price with a lifetime license. 

The last word

Above are my suggestions of how to redact a pdf, you can try each of them and find out which one is the best suited PDF Reader. If you have other solutions or related questions, welcome to leave comments to discuss more. 

Get Started with PDF Reader Pro Today!