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A Detailed Guide on Redacting in Adobe (And How to Redact Using the Best Automation Tool)

redacting in adobe

Businesses worldwide rely on accurate data to make informed decisions and plan their marketing strategies for better ROI and growth. In addition, with the rise in digitization, companies rely on storing and recording information in several file formats.

However, keeping sensitive information hidden from unauthorized access is vital to safeguard your revenue and reputation. You risk being a target of cyber attacks or corporate espionage that can result in severe data breaches if you don’t secure your company data.

Adobe Acrobat is a popular platform companies use to view and manage PDF files. This article will guide you through redacting Adobe, its features, and the potential drawbacks of Adobe Acrobat Pro.

What are Redaction Tools, and Why Do I Need Them?

Redaction refers to the selective removal or censoring of sensitive documents before it’s shared with third parties or the public. Redaction aims to safeguard your data's privacy and security by keeping it hidden from cyber criminals who use it to commit identity theft and other crimes.

Redaction tools are software that assists in the redaction process for virtual documents. Robust redaction tools like Redactable, PDFtron, and ObjectiveRedact automatically detect classified information and remove them without leaving any traces behind. 

Manually redacting online documents creates opportunities for errors. For example, you could miss out on specific instances of text or images or make incomplete redactions. Proper redaction includes removing metadata and hidden elements, as hackers can recover redacted information with them.

Redaction tools scrub the document of all hidden elements to ensure your redacted information cannot be recovered by malicious third parties while completely removing the chosen information automatically when you’re redacting in Adobe. 

Automated redactions enable you and your teams to focus on other pertinent tasks instead of investing time and resources into scanning large, complex documents to ensure they remove all the sensitive data. 

About Adobe Acrobat Pro’s Redaction Feature


Adobe Acrobat Pro is a PDF management platform developed by Adobe and equipped with its redaction feature. Adobe Acrobat Pro’s redaction tool allows you to search for text using the “Find Text” option and redact them using an intuitive click-and-drag feature. 

When you’re redacting in Adobe, you can customize your redaction markings and choose between black-out boxes, redaction codes, leaving the redacted area blank, or using colorful figures and patterns instead of sensitive information. 

The “Remove Hidden Information” feature redacts information like text or images while allowing you to “Sanitize” your document as a checkbox to remove hidden document elements, metadata, and attachments. 

Adobe Acrobat Pro supports optical character recognition (OCR) to convert scanned files into editable documents with text and custom fonts. 

Redacting in Adobe: A Step-by-Step Guide

Now that you understand what Adobe Acrobat Pro is follow this guide to start redacting in Adobe:

1.First, launch Adobe Acrobat and open the PDF you want to be redacted.

2.Click “Tools” and select “Redact” from the drop-down menu.

3.Select the text or image you want redacted by clicking or dragging your cursor across the screen.

4.Right-click and select “Redact” on the right-click menu or the floating menu.


5.Click “Apply” or “Save As” to finalize your redactions and save your newly redacted document.

6.Toggle the “Sanitize and Remove Hidden Information” in the “Apply Redactions” box to remove metadata, bookmarks, hidden text, etc.


You can choose the “Repeat Mark Across Pages” option that automatically applies redaction for the same elements you want to be removed on multiple pages. 

To use the “Find Text” feature, follow these steps:

1.Open PDF file in Adobe Acrobat.

2.Click on Tools > Redact > Edit. 

3.Choose “Redact Text & Images.”

4.Click “Find Text & Redact” in the drop-down menu.


5.Search for specific words by choosing “Single Word Or Phrase.”

6.Choose Multiple Words or Phrase > Select Words for More than one word. Type in the “New Word or Phrase” for every word and click “Add.” Select “Patterns” to remove information sharing similar themes (addresses, social security numbers, credit card numbers, etc.). 

7.Click “Search & Remove Text.”

8.Click “Apply” or “Save As.”

Customize Default Redaction Markings and Change Their Appearance

Adobe Acrobat Pro adds a thin red line around the text and images you want to be redacted before putting in black-out boxes by default. In addition, you can configure the appearance of the redaction marks that Adobe will use by default when redacting text or images.

Here’s how you can customize these to your preference:

1.First, open the PDF file in Adobe Acrobat and click on Tools > Redact.

2.Click “Properties” in the Redact drop-down menu.

3.Choose between overlay color and opacity, border thickness, etc., from the “Appearance” tab.

Following are the options available for customizing redaction markings:

  • Redacted Area Fill Color: Select a color from the given palette for redaction boxes on the material to be removed. Choose “No Color” to make the redacted blank.
  • Use Overlay Text: Option for selecting custom text or redaction codes by choosing the font, size, and text alignment.
  • Custom Text: Replace the redacted area with the text you type in.
  • Redaction code: Choose from pre-existing codes, or select “Edit Code” to add a new code set.
  • Redaction Mark Appearance: Select “Outline Color” or “Fill Color” to replace redacted text or image with the chosen color and adjust the opacity. Select “No Color” to leave redacted areas blank.

Downsides of Using Adobe Acrobat Pro for Redaction

Despite the various tools and options available on Adobe Acrobat Pro, there are several drawbacks you would face when you’re redacting in Adobe:

  • Adobe Acrobat Pro relies on manual redaction, causing you and your team to invest significant resources and time to scan large documents and make complete redactions.
  • Adobe’s pricing is costly for individuals or smaller organizations who do not need to redact documents as frequently.
  • Users face a steep learning curve for navigating Adobe's interface and what features to apply, such as multiple code sets or “Repeat Mark Across Pages.”
  • Some users face problems with the Adobe redaction tool not working properly, like the pop-up window for confirming redaction appearing blank and crashing the program.
  • Adobe redactions are often inconsistent, as redactions on a single page sometimes appear on multiple pages in the same place, regardless of the content.
  • Users can face performance issues and slow redactions for more comprehensive documents.
  • Document scrubbing features like removing metadata and hidden elements are optional. However, forgetting to check them can make your PDF files vulnerable to hackers with little technical expertise to recover redacted data and compromise privacy.

Redacting in Adobe Acrobat Pro brings more hassle with complex interfaces and manual redaction. Wouldn’t you prefer a redaction tool that automatically detects and redacts sensitive information for you while scrubbing your document? 

If such a service sounds exciting, look no further than Redactable.

Redactable: The Ultimate Solution For Error-Free Redactions

Redactable is a robust cloud-based redaction software that relies on AI and Natural Language Processing algorithms that safeguard your sensitive information by automatically detecting and redacting them. 

Redactable’s OCR technology redacts data from specific sentences to vast text sections in every instance. You can choose exact keywords or phrases to remove with the “Search Text” option or use “Patterns” to redact the same type of classified information.

Our Redaction Wizard automates the redaction process seamlessly without needing individual input. Alternatively, you can scan and redact the document with the “Manual” option, where the One-Click Redaction feature gives you a hassle-free redaction experience. 

Redactable removes text, images, videos, and scrubs document elements like metadata, digital signatures, and other hidden document elements so hackers cannot retrieve redacted information or identify the redactors involved in the redaction process.

Redactable Workflow lets you streamline your project workflows and set up collaborative projects on our browser platform so you and your team can work on redacting large, complex documents simultaneously and save time.

We offer integrations to Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox, and Box for easy file import and export. Redactable also supports several file formats, such as Microsoft PowerPoint, Word, Excel, PDFs, HTML, and XML. 

Redactable complies with GDPR and HIPAA guidelines and has a transparent Privacy Policy

Redactable is user-friendly and incredibly simple to use. Here’s a simple 5 step guide to show how you can redact on our platform:

1.Open Redactable on your browser.

2.Upload the document you want to redact.

3.Select the content you want to be redacted (unless you’re using our Redaction Wizard!)

4.Click “Finalize Redaction.”

5.Download the newly redacted file.


Redactable comes with a transparent pricing plan and a free trial to make error-free redactions in your sensitive company documents confidently.


  • $39/mo.
  • Redact 40 documents per month
  • No page volume cap
  • Search Text Redaction
  • AI-powered Redaction Features
  • Built-In OCR
  • Built-in integrations
  • Collaborative redactions
  • Manage redaction workflow
  • 24/5 Support

Pro Plus

  • $89/mo.
  • Redact 150 documents per month 
  • No page volume cap
  • Search Text Redaction
  • AI-powered Redaction Features
  • Built-In OCR
  • Built-in integrations
  • Collaborative redactions
  • Manage redaction workflow
  • 24/5 Support


  • Get a Quote
  • Unlimited Redactions
  • Unlimited Documents
  • No page volume cap
  • Search Text Redaction
  • AI-powered Redaction Features
  • Built-In OCR
  • Built-in integrations
  • Collaborative redactions
  • Manage redaction workflow
  • 24/5 Support
  • Cloud Deployment
  • Access to Redactable API



Redaction is essential when sharing documents containing classified information and data with third parties or the public. Data in the wrong hands can lead to severe repercussions, legal disputes, and significant losses in revenue and reputation.

While Adobe Acrobat Pro is a popular tool for business users to create, redact, and edit PDF files, you must consider its drawbacks when redacting in Adobe. Additionally, Adobe makes inconsistent redactions that can take more time to undo. 

With Redactable, you can easily circumvent these problems using our automated detection and redaction features, collaborative workflows, and document scrubbing. Automated redaction lets you and your team focus on operations that help your company drive more revenue. 

Subscribe using our premium plans or apply for a free trial to experience the freedom of sharing documents with complete redactions with Redactable today!

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