If you want to prevent sensitive information in your PDF files, such social security numbers, credit card information, and product launch dates, from getting into the wrong hands, simply placing a black block over text or images isn’t sufficient. The text and images are still there. Anyone can access them simply by putting their cursor over the area and copying and pasting to another document.
Instead, use Foxit PDF Editor Pro which contains "Whiteout" and "Redaction" these two true redaction features. These tools let you permanently remove (redact) visible text and images from PDF documents to protect confidential information such as social security numbers or witness photos. Or use the "Smart Redact" plugin ( requires a separate purchase) integrated in Foxit PDF Editor and Foxit PDF Editor Pro to redact documents automatically with its AI-based redaction capability.
There are three different methods you can use:
- The first method is Whiteout feature.
- The second method is Mark for Redaction feature.
- The third method is Smart Redact Plugin ( requires a separate purchase).
Whiteout is a one-click method that erases the content you select and switches the area it was in to a white background. Importantly, unlike other PDF software, the Whiteout feature in PhantomPDF Business is true redaction. It eliminates the data, metadata, and structural content where the tool was applied, which cannot be retrieved.
Mark for Redaction also eliminates the text and images you select but also provides you with additional capabilities in the Properties menu and to Search and Redact based on patterns. Redaction requires two steps: selecting (marking) the content for redaction and applying it. This enables you to review the content and be sure you want to redact it before you commit to it.
Smart Redact Plugin provides a powerful AI based redaction capability for users to redact sensitiveFoxit PDF Editor information in PDFs while they are in the same PDF editor where they are executing
their typical document workflows.
In all of the above mentioned three cases, the redaction is utterly secure, removing the original text or image from the document. No one can hover over the area to copy and paste, because the content is gone, period. Also, both methods are permanent and cannot be reversed.
Here’s how to apply them.
Foxit PDF Editor Pro provides the Whiteout feature to enable you to erase information with one click to speed your workflow.
To remove content from your PDF with the Whiteout command, do the following:
- Choose Protect > Redaction > Whiteout. The cursor changes into a cross.
- Click and drag a rectangle around the content you want to remove.
- Click OK in the prompt warning you that the “Whiteout” cannot be undone. You can click Don’t ask again in the prompt so that you won’t be bothered the next time you use the feature.
Now you can see the selected content is removed and replaced with the white background.
Mark for Redaction
Using Foxit PDF Editor Pro, redaction is a simple two-phase process that lets you first mark the text or graphics for Redaction, and then apply the redaction.
1:Mark the texts&graphics, Mark pages or Search texts for redaction:
To mark text or graphics for redaction, select Protect > Redaction > Mark for Redaction > Text & Images, and the Hand command changes into a Cross automatically. Then do any the following to mark the content:
- Drag a rectangle where you want to add redaction. This method allows you to select and mark both text and images at the same time.
- Double-click an image to mark an entire image.
- Hover the pointer over the text. When the pointer changes into, click and drag to select the text you want to redact.
- Right-click the redaction box and choose Properties and choose options such as redaction fill color, overlay text, and redaction codes.
To mark pages for redaction:
Pleasse select Protect > Redaction > Mark for Redaction > Pages, and choose the page range you want to add redaction to. In the Extract menu you can choose even or odd pages from the page range to add redaction to.
The marked content or page will be filled with black color in a red rectangle. You can move and resize the rectangle before you apply the redaction.
To search texts for redaction：
Please go to Protect > Mark for Redaction > Search and Redact. (Or click the Search or replace icon in the upper right corner of the application window, and choose Search & Redact.) Then specify what you want to redact in the Search panel. Then do one of optional steps below:
- To search and redact an exact word or phrase, select Match exact word or phrase. Then type the text you wish to find and redact into the search dialogue box.
- You can search and redact multiple words or phrases at the same time. Select Multiple words or phrase, and click Select Words…. In the pop-up dialog box, enter the word or phrase you want to search and redact, and click Add. Repeat until you add all the words/phrases you want to search for. Or you can click Import to import a text file with the list of words or phrases to search for. For the words you have added, click Export to export them to a text file.
- To search and redact a predefined redaction profile, select Redaction Profiles and then select an existing redaction profile you want to use. See also Create and manage redaction profiles.
- To search and redact patterns (such as phone numbers and credit card numbers), select Looks like search pattern. Then select the pattern you want to search from the Select your pattern drop-down list, and choose the specific country or region from the Country/Region drop-down list.
Click Search, check the results you want to redact, and choose Mark whole word(s) for redaction to mark all characters of the word(s) you search, or choose Mark partial word(s) for redaction to mark the specified characters of the word(s). If you choose Mark partial word(s) for redaction, the Settings dialog box pops up and allows you to specify the characters you want to mark. To change your Foxit PDF Editor character settings, click the Settings button in the Search panel.
Click the button Mark Checked Results for Redaction at the bottom of the search dialogue box.
You need to apply the redactions after marking the text, graphics, pages ,or searched results you want to redact. To apply the redaction, do the following:
- Select Protect > Redaction > Apply Redactions. You can also do this by right-clicking the marked content and choosing Apply or Apply All to redact either the selected content or all of the marked content in the document.
- A dialog box pops up to give a warning message and asks if you are sure to apply the redaction or not.
- Select OK after you have marked all content that you want to redact.
You can save the redacted file automatically as a new file with a preconfigured filename that PhantomPDF Business gives it automatically. If you want to change the filename, select Adjust filename when saving applied redaction marks and input text in the Prefix and Suffix boxes in File > Preferences > Documents > Redaction.
Using these redaction tools, you can distribute files with confidence by permanently removing sensitive data, ensuring no confidential information gets accidentally distributed.
In addition, both Foxit PDF Editor and Foxit PDF Editor Pro have integrated Foxit
Smart Redact (requires a separate purchase) as an optional plug-in since version 12.1 . This plug-in provides a powerful AI-based redaction capability for users to redact sensitiveFoxit PDF Editor
information in PDFs while they are in the same PDF editor where they are executing
their typical document workflows. It builds upon the redact capability in PDF Editor by supporting batch
redaction using one redaction profile and expanding the number automatic sensitive
data pattern searches, including those without static patterns - like person names,
organization names, personal roles. To start an automatic sensitive information
detection and redaction in PDFs, please navigate to Protect > Smart Redact. For more
information about Foxit Smart Redact, please refer to Foxit Smart Redact Quick Start