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Home / Blog / Guide to Remove Redaction from PDF Documents [2023 Newest]

Guide to Remove Redaction from PDF Documents [2023 Newest]

By Roche | Follow twitter | Updated on November 3, 2023 | Deutsch
Introduction:
For those who greatly value the security of the information in a PDF, redacting the PDF content before sharing can be a way out. Redaction is the action of blacking out text in a PDF, and this method can ensure information security as much as possible. What if users mistakenly blacked out the text and wanted to undo the redaction? Therefore, this post will cover several methods to remove the redaction from a PDF.
summary

First and foremost, these PDF redaction tools only apply when you haven’t finished the editing process yet saved the PDF redaction. Once you have blacked out the text, all the text or information you have redacted is gone for good, and it is impossible to uncover the blacked-out text. Please ensure you make a copy of the original file before the PDF redaction removal.

How to Remove Redaction from PDFs with Desktop Software

If you’re looking for a Windows PDF solution to undo redaction, the following products may be of help.

SwifDoo PDF

Most of us prefer a lightweight and portable PDF desktop program. SwifDoo PDF has a 30 MB memory size and integrates 35 different features to simplify every PDF-related task.

The whiteout feature enables users to black out the unwanted text while at the same time users deciding whether to reveal the covered content. Here are the steps to unredact a PDF document:

Step 1: Download and install SwifDoo PDF on your PC;

Step 2: Open a PDF document having redaction;

Step 3: Click on the Edit button and choose White-out, then apply redaction on the specified part;

How to remove redaction from a PDF in SwifDoo PDF

Step 4: Right-click on the redacted part, and select Delete White-out to remove the redaction.

How to uncover blacked out text in a PDF

SwifDoo PDF is one of the desktop tools to uncover blacked-out text quickly and easily. But this PDF software can only fulfill the basic needs of redaction. If you have higher expectations for undoing redaction, try the following two PDF tools. 

Nitro PDF

The following recommendation to uncover blacked-out text goes to Nitro PDF. It is another feature-rich PDF redaction tool that provides multiple features relevant to an eraser. Users can redact a PDF and perform PDF redaction removal within the Erase ribbon. Let’s go explore how to unredact a PDF in Nitro PDF:

Step 1: Download and install Nitro PDF, and then open a PDF document using Nitro PDF;

How to remove redaction from a PDF in Nitro PDF

Step 2: Choose Erase and then right-click on the redaction area to select Delete to easily reveal the blacked-out text from the PDF. 

Tips: Nitro PDF’s installation process might drive you crazy because the installer may occasionally break down.

In terms of PDF redaction, Nitro outperforms SwifDoo PDF, as the former PDF software provides more relevant options to reveal the blacked-out text.

How to Uncover Blacked-out Text on Mac

Although the inbuilt PDF viewer, Preview, can tackle different PDF tasks, it cannot perform PDF redaction removal. That’s why we need to include this part. If you’re searching for a tutorial to remove the redaction from a PDF on Mac, you’re in the right place.

Adobe Acrobat

If you’re an active PDF user, you must have heard about or used Adobe Acrobat to deal with PDF-related paperwork. As the leading software in this industry, Adobe has incorporated a flawless document protection system within its operation panel, including redaction. Here’s how to unredact a PDF on macOS:

Step 1: Download Adobe Acrobat DC from the App Store;

Step 2: Open the program and upload a PDF document;

Step 3: Go to the Tool menu and select the Protection option;

Step 4: Put your cursor on the redacted content and right-click the redaction area to choose Delete.

How to Undo PDF Redaction Online

If you need a web-based online PDF program to uncover blacked-out text, AvePDF turns out to be helpful.

AvePDF

AvePDF is an all-in-one online PDF program, and it’s totally FREE. With the ambition to demonstrate the newest technologies in the document management industry, AvePDF can help with e-signing, compressing, editing, combining, organizing, and converting PDFs. What’s more important, it can unredact the PDF to reveal the blacked-out text:

Step 1: To start, type the URL on the search bar;

Step 2: Import the PDF document to the workstation from Google Drive, Dropbox, or via a link;

How to remove redaction from a PDF online

Step 3: Click Protect and choose Redact PDF, then select Add redaction marks;

Step 4: Put the mouse on the blacked-out text and click on the Delete icon to finalize the PDF redaction removal.

Conclusion

Finally, we must reiterate that PDF redaction is conducive to protecting sensitive information, but it is rarely undone. So be careful to save all changes when you black out the text within a PDF. If needed, back up the original PDF before redacting a PDF.

FAQs

Q:Is PDF redaction permanent?

Yes, when you need to remove or redact a specific part within a PDF, almost every software will pop up a message alerting you that the redaction is irrevocable. Simply put, PDF redaction is permanent and cannot be recovered.

Q:Are there any possible ways to cancel the redaction?

If Adobe or Microsoft generates your PDFs, then the redaction is irrevocable. Otherwise, it is possible to retrieve part of the redacted data from the new file in some circumstances. To recover the original information, someone on Reddit suggests converting this PDF into a text file if the metadata has not been deleted.

With 2 years of experience writing reviews and roundup articles in the document management and software industries. Always have a passion for trying new things, especially software.

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