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Home > Editing Tips > How to White out PDF Files in Quick Way

How to White out PDF Files in Quick Way

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2024-04-18 11:56:27 • Filed to: Editing Tips • Proven solutions

A common problem faced by people working with PDF documents is their inability to protect sensitive content within the documents. Even if you encrypt PDF with a password, others can still hack the password and access the content. How to safely publish or share your PDF on the internet without information leakage? You only need to know how to white out PDF documents. This is fairly simple if you have Wondershare PDFelement - PDF Editor.

Part 1. 3 Steps to White out Text in PDF

The process of redaction is generally quite easy to follow. It requires users to select the data or image that is to be removed. Once that is done, then the redaction tool will simply white out that area of text or image and cover it with a redaction box. In this manner, the redacted portion ceases to exist and cannot be read by any other tool.

Steps on how to whiteout on PDF using PDFelement:

Step 1. Import PDF into PDFelement

After successful installation, run PDFelement on your computer. Open the PDF document which needs to be whited out by clicking the "Open File" button.

pdf white out

Step 2. Select the Area to be Redacted

Click on the "Mark for Redaction" button under the "Protect" tab. Then, select the entire text area or image that needs to be worked on.

how to white out a pdf

Step 3. White out PDF with Redaction

Right-click the Redaction area and choose "Properties." This will open the Properties window, where you can choose the color of the area that has been redacted. If you wish to add any text on top, simply choose the option that says "Use Overlay Text." You can also tick "Redaction Codes" to add further information. Finally, click "Apply Redactions" to permanently white out the PDF.

how to white out text in pdf

Possibly the best method to white out on PDF is by using a professional redaction tool that can allow a range of options with the PDF. One tool that is highly recommended is PDFelement. It is an entire suite that allows access to editing, transformation, organization, and combination tools for PDF documents. It provides users with the ability to manage a PDF as per their need and work on it without having to open the source document.

The smart tool can white out the required portions, such as text, images, and other objects on the document. You can also search specific text and redact the same words in a PDF at a time. PDFelement also gives you the possibility of changing the color of the redaction area, putting custom text or message, or adding a redaction code. It also has a built-in OCR, which can turn scanned PDFs into fully editable documents. This will help you easily white out text in a scanned PDF.

Part 2. How to White Out PDFs in Adobe Acrobat

By using Adobe Acrobat, it is also easy to white out your PDF file. To do this, do what I will show you below:

Step 1: Open the “Redact” tool

Click the “Tools” tab and then click the “Redact” icon below the “Protect & Standardize” section.

open the redact tool

Step 2: Enable “Mark for Redaction”

Click “Mark for Redaction” and select “Text & Images.”

mark for redaction

Step 3: White out

Select the text or image you want to white out. Now click “Properties,” select the white color from “Redacted Area Fill Color,” and finally select “OK.”

white out

Step 4: Apply

Click "Apply" and confirm. Now, you can see that the selected text is erased. A dialog box will emerge; I recommend selecting "Yes" to remove hidden information. Just save your file as a new one, and you will finish this task.


Part 3. 2 Easy Ways to White Out PDF Online for Free

Don't worry if you don't have Adobe Acrobat or a Microsoft Office account. There are online applications to carry out this process easily and for free. Next, I will give you two examples.

1. Whiteout on PDF Online for Free Using SmallPDF

Step 1: Upload your PDF

The first thing you should do is go to the official SmallPDF website and choose the option "PDF Editor," which you can find in the "Tools" menu. Once you're there, drag and drop your document inside the box and wait for Smallpdf to process it.

upload your pdf

Step 2: Set the white out section

Now, you will see the SmallPDF online editor. To white out a section, click on the box and select the area you want to cover. If the box appears in black, use the small menu above your selection and choose white for the outline and fill. When everything is ready, click "Download."

set the white out section

2. Make PDF Whiteout Using PDFzorro

Step 1: Upload your PDF

Go to the official PDFzorro website. Click the "Upload" button and set the path to the document you want to modify. Then, you must wait for your document to be processed and choose the option "Edit PDF."

upload your pdf

Step 2: Set the white out section

Now, you will see the online editor of pdfzorro. To white out a section, click the "Rect." found in the left panel. Once you have selected this option, select the area you want to cover. When you finish, click "Save" and "Finish / Download."

set the white out section

Part 4. How to White Out PDF with Preview

On the other hand, macOS users have a native application called Preview. This application allows you to view and modify PDF documents, including white out your documents. I will show you how to whiteout on PDF using Mac Preview below.

Step 1: Select the Rectangle Annotation tool

The first thing you should do is open your PDF using Preview. Once you have opened your document with this application, go to the Tools section, display the "Annotate" menu, and choose the "Rectangle" option.

rectangle option

Step 2: Choose color preferences

Now, you can place rectangles in your document, but the default settings of Preview will assign a black margin. To fix this, use the options bar and select the color white.

choose color preferences

Step 3: Adjust the size

To finish, click anywhere inside the rectangle and use the perimeter points to adjust the square in your desired position. When finished, be sure to save your changes or export a copy.

adjust the size

Part 5. How to White Out PDFs with Microsoft Word

The most practical way to white out your PDF is through Microsoft Word. To do this, you only have to do the following:

Step 1: Insert a text box

Open your PDF file in Microsoft Word and locate the content you want to white out. Now click the “Insert” tab, hit “Text box,” and then select “Simple Text Box.”

insert a text box

Step 2: Set the text box in front of the content

Select the text box and click the "Layout Options" icon. Click the lower-right icon to activate the "In Front of Text" option.

in front of text

Step 3: Customize the text box

Click “Shape Format” while you are selecting the text box. Customize color and outline; usually, the most practical way to white out the content is to choose a white fill color and select “No Outline” in the “Shape Outline” section.

customize the text box


PDFs are valuable documents, and it is sometimes desirable to erase information that can be sensitive and confidential. Fortunately, there is the option to white out the text, and this, as you may have realized, can be achieved through different processes. All of them are practical and safe, so the best one that makes it easier for you to do.

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Free Download or Buy PDFelement right now!

Buy PDFelement right now!

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Elise Williams

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