Redaction tools have become more common due to growing concerns about data privacy in recent years. These tools allow users to conceal private information that, if shared publicly, could harm them or their organizations.
Online redaction tools' emergence also sparked the creation of free redaction tools, which offered basic redaction features to users on a budget or those who only wanted to dip their toes in the water without fully committing.
When selecting a redaction tool, data security is an important consideration. The good news is that free online redaction tools have established their reliability. This article will examine your preferred redaction tools while considering security, usability, and effectiveness.
Top 3 Free Redaction Tools
PDF.online is a free redaction tool that allows you to redact up to two documents (you have two actions to perform for free each day) without any account.
With one document, you can perform multiple redactions by marking all the items to remove, then applying redaction to all of them at once. You can meet your redaction needs with PDF.online for free if you have only two documents to redact.
You must sign up for a free account to do more redactions on the same day. Also, to enjoy more features of PDF.online such as redacting multiple pages instantly, you will need the PDF.online pro version.
All the redactions in PDF.online are done locally (on the client side). No redactions happen at the server level. PDF.online also allows you to delete your document after redaction.
How do you Redact in PDF.online?
Redacting in PDF.online is easier than you think.
- Access PDF.Online on your browser
- Select your PDF document
- Choose the Mark to Redact option to select all the areas you would like to remove
- Then, apply redaction. All the selected items will be blacked out permanently.
- You can then download your document. Saving it with a different name is advisable to avoid overwriting the original copy.
For additional security, remember to delete your document after downloading a copy.
- You have a limited number of actions and features with the free account
- Only one person can work on a single document at a time
Similar to PDF.online is PDFfiller’s free redaction tool online. However, unlike PDF.online, which offers you a chance to redact your PDF free without an account, PDFfiller only allows you to redact data after signing up for your free account.
PDFfiller includes adding digital signatures and notes after redacting your document. You also have the option to erase sensitive information rather than blackout it.
Another helpful feature of PDFfiller is the ability to upload multiple documents. You have two options for adding additional documents; either open a new document and save the current one or add a new one and merge it with the current one.
PDFfiller supports multiple file formats. You can also perform format conversion, such as converting a word document to PDF within PDFfiller.
How do you Redact in PDFfiller?
From PDFfiller’s page, selecting a file from your device redirects you to the document management page.
The tools menu contains a list of actions you can take for your document.
- Redact: Choose the blackout option and select the items to remove from your document. The tool then prompts you to okay the redaction, which is then done automatically.
- Download: Clicking done after blacking out or erasing the sensitive information requires you to sign up for your free account to download the redacted document.
- The PDFfiller online has lesser features compared to the mobile/desktop versions.
- Even though you can upload multiple documents for redaction, you can only work on each at a time since PDFfiller doesn’t support collaboration.
3. PDF Buddy
PDF Buddy is another free redaction tool online that removes sensitive information from your document using the whiteout feature, page by page.
To use PDF Buddy for free, you need to sign-up for a free account, similar to PDFfiller.
How do you Redact in PDF Buddy?
PDF Buddy's page allows you to choose a PDF to Edit or drag and drop the document you want to redact.
- Choose PDF: Uploading the document opens a new page with various editing features. The whiteout feature helps removes sensitive information by selecting the items you want to remove.
- Redact: You are required to select the whiteout feature every time you move to the next page to make it active.
- Save changes/Download: Saving the changes and downloading requires signing up for a free account if you are not logged in.
- Tedious process: You must go through all your documents' pages, removing the sensitive data.
- Human error: It's a tedious process for large-volume documents and a loophole for human error. It is possible to leave out sensitive data mistakenly.
Another free redaction tool, much like PDF.online, is AvePDF. The redaction, too, is one of the features in the Protect of the AvePDF’s page.
For the security of your document, you can delete the redacted copy after saving it. If you forget to delete the redacted document, AvePDF automatically deletes it from its servers.
You don’t need to sign up for an account to redact your document. Hence the redaction process is easy and time-saving.
How do you Redact in AvePDF online?
Go to AvePDF’s page, then choose Redact PDF from the Protect tab.
- Upload document: Choose the PDF file you want to redact either from your device or from a cloud storage
- Mark for redaction: Choose the add redaction marks feature and select the areas you want to redact.
- Redact: Once you confirm that you have marked all the sensitive data set for redaction, apply redactions, and those areas you had marked for redaction, will be redacted automatically.
- Download: Download the redacted document to your desired destination.
Like the free redaction tools discussed, AvePDF requires you to go page by page, marking the redaction areas, which is tedious and may leave out some sensitive data.
Having looked at PDF.online, PDFfiller, PDF Buddy, and AvePDF free redaction tools online, it is essential to note the following common limitations.
- Manual Redaction
Most free redaction tools available online let you manually select the sensitive information you want to remove from your document.
How long will it take you to go through each page of a 200-page document and mark the sensitive information? Of course, a lot of time.
Again, once redaction has been applied, there is no way to ensure that all sensitive data has been eliminated. The only way to accomplish that would be to review the document once more to ensure that nothing has been missed.
Online free redaction tools are your go-to tool if you have a few pages to redact and are certain of the information you want to remove from the document.
Although a tool like PDF Buddy applies AES 256 encryption to secure your information, most free online redaction tools only advocate for the deletion of your document from the servers after redaction.
You need an efficient redaction tool to meet your redaction needs if you deal with large organizations that handle sensitive data, such as government organizations, healthcare providers, court systems, law firms, and Hr departments.
Why is Redactable a better option?
The software applications remove your sensitive data in one click and provide redaction certificates with time stamps to track the redaction activities. That Software is none other than Redactable.
Redactable is a cloud-based auto-redaction software that instantly and permanently removes sensitive data from your documents.
You give it to Redactable and let it do the magic. Redactable uses NLP/ML technology to automatically identify sensitive information in your document.
It can match patterns by associating sensitive information, such as Personally Identifiable Information (PII), with identifying and removing them permanently.
Have you seen those redaction tools hidden within menus as part of document editing features? Redactable understands that all you may be looking for is a redaction tool that requires no technical expertise.
It is dedicated to ensuring the security of your sensitive information efficiently.
- Ease of use
Have you had experience with Redactable’s interface? You should see how Redactable walks you through the process of redaction. Also, the interface is designed to ensure usability at all literacy levels.
This simplicity is unlike other redaction software with a confusing interface; you can spend hours figuring out the feature you want.
Unlike other redaction tools that let you do all the work independently, Redactable allows you to collaborate with your teammates on large projects and deliver within deadlines.
Your sensitive information is secure with Redactable as it is removed permanently, leaving no path to trace the removed data. Hence, hackers cannot access the redacted information at all costs.
Redactable provides legally approved certificates for all your redaction activities, making it easy to account for the information removed.
Remember those times you urgently need to redact and share your document? Redactable will afford you the convenience you deserve. Guess what? It takes only 2.5 minutes to redact a 10-page document with Redactable.
Redactable knows no limit. You can achieve unlimited redactions for unlimited pages in unlimited documents. There is also no limit on the number of team members.
Tampa Bay Wave, Hustle Fund, and Chisos are some of the many companies that have found Redactable trustworthy.
How do you Redact with Redactable?
Just four easy steps and you have your redacted document!
- Upload your document
- Let the wizard automatically identify the sensitive information
- Remove the identified information
- Download your redacted document
Start Your Free Trial now with Redactable, the best redactable on the market. It doesn't even require your credit card to get started.
Redactable Pro Hint
If you are part of an organization looking for an efficient redaction tool API, then search no more. Redactable can provide access to its API for integration with your document management systems.
You can check out the Pricing Plan for more details on API accessibility.