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Home / Blog / Top 7 PDF Redaction Tools to Redact Content in PDF for Free

Top 7 PDF Redaction Tools to Redact Content in PDF for Free

By Charlotte | Follow twitter | Updated on November 2, 2022 | Deutsch
Sometimes you may wish to redact sensitive information in a PDF document, such as financial account numbers and ID numbers, to share the PDF without leaking privacy. Redacting a PDF is to remove private content from the PDF. The redaction can be easily done with a PDF redaction tool. With so many tools available on the market, you need to choose the best one.

Some software is designed for Windows or Mac, and some others work online. In this post, we will introduce you the top 7 PDF redaction tools to redact PDFs for free.

1. SwifDoo PDF - Your Best PDF Redaction and Editing Software

When it comes to modifying a PDF, SwifDoo PDF is always a stellar software application to help. It is a PDF redaction tool for Windows 11/10/8/7 users, and allows you to redact private text, images, or other content in a PDF with different colors. You can unredact the specific content or delete the redactions before saving the file within the software.

SwifDoo PDF redaction tool

As a powerful PDF editor, SwifDoo PDF enables you not only to redact PDFs for free but also add and delete text and images in PDFs like in Word. You can also use the software to add annotations, convert, compress, combine, sign, watermark, and password-protect PDF files. All in all, SwifDoo PDF is an all-around PDF software program besides a PDF redaction tool.


  • Redact selected PDF content, add or delete text and images in PDFs straightforwardly
  • Add hyperlinks, images, attachments, backgrounds, and many more objects to a PDF
  • Compress, convert, encrypt, and sign PDF files
  • Search for words or phrases in PDFs, do PDF word count, etc

2. Objective Redact - Redaction Tool for PDF and Many File Types

Objective Redact is a dedicated redaction tool that can permanently remove the content marked for redaction in PDF, Word, and Excel files. It lets you quickly search for and redact words or phrases as well as structured text such as social security numbers and email addresses, by adding redaction targets. The downside of the PDF redaction tool is it doesn’t offer any other PDF editing tools.

Objective Redact PDF redaction tool | SwifDoo Blog

3. Preview - Free PDF Redaction Tool on macOS

Mac OS 11 Big Sur or newer users don’t have to look for external software to handle PDF files as there are features already available in the native Preview application. Preview has a set of PDF markup and editing tools and acts as a redaction tool for PDFs. In terms of how to redact a PDF for free with the software, go to Tools on the top to choose the Redact option, and highlight the text. Once you’ve closed the document, the marked content will be deleted permanently.

Preview PDF redaction tool | SwifDoo Blog

4. PDF Expert - Go-to PDF Redaction tool for Apple Devices

PDF Expert is a versatile PDF editor. With this app, you can annotate, edit, combine, and sign PDF files. It’s also a redaction tool that allows you to black out text or graphics in PDFs. One of its significant advantages is the Find and Redact feature provides a way to search for and redact multiple specific data across the PDF. The PDF redaction tool is designed for free download on Macs, iPads, and iPhones.

PDF Expert PDF redaction tool | SwifDoo Blog

5. Adobe Acrobat Pro DC - Industry-leading PDF Redaction Tool

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC remains the industry standard for PDF editing. Its features range from converting and deleting text in PDFs to creating and encrypting PDFs. The program comes with many PDF protection options and has an excellent PDF redaction tool. With it, you can redact text, images, and entire pages, and delete hidden metadata in a PDF. It allows you to create redactions by searching words or phrases.

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC PDF redaction tool | SwifDoo Blog

6. PDF.online - Online PDF Redaction Tool

PDF.online is a website or browser-based software to redact PDF files for free. To redact a PDF with the tool, upload the file, draw a rectangle around the sensitive information and click the “Redact All” button. More than that, the software integrates a lot of functions for editing, merging, splitting, and signing PDFs. One thing you should note is that you’re limited to 2 free tasks per day.

PDF.online PDF redaction tool | SwifDoo Blog

7. AvePDF - Efficient Online PDF Tool for Redacting PDFs

When you want to redact a PDF online, there is another efficient tool to adopt, AvePDF. Similar to other web applications, it’s free and offers many common tools for dealing with PDF documents, such as PDF editor and converter. The free PDF redaction tool allows you to add redaction marks in various colors. When you finish redacting the data with the software, you can save it to your Google Drive or Dropbox.

AvePDF PDF redaction tool | SwifDoo Blog

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Redaction plays a crucial role in protecting the confidential or sensitive content in a PDF document. The action is irreversible to prevent unauthorized data recovery. Choose a redaction tool from this post to delete any information you don’t want to show in your PDF.

While the online tools save you energy and time downloading and installing packages, there are risks of exposing your data on the internet. Therefore, we prefer to recommend free offline redaction software like SwifDoo PDF to you.


Q:Why can't I apply redactions in Adobe?

If the PDF redaction tool doesn’t work in Adobe Acrobat, the PDF might be locked. You can go to “File” > “Properties” to change the security settings. Or, choose “Tools” > “Protect” > “Encrypt” > “Remove Security” to remove the protection. If you are not the owner of the document, contact the author.

Q:Can I redact a secured PDF?

You can redact a password-protected PDF in two ways. One is to enter the correct password within a PDF software program to get editing permission. The other is to use a PDF password remover to get rid of the security restriction for PDF redaction.

Q:How do I black out text in a PDF without redacting it?

To black out the text in a PDF file without redacting it, use the PDF annotation feature in a PDF software program to add a shape over it. In SwifDoo PDF, navigate to “Annotate”, click the “Shape” drop-down arrow to choose “Rectangle”, draw a rectangular area around the text and fill the shape with a color you like. Covering, blurring, or blacking out content with shapes will not permanently remove it and others can delete the shapes to get the content later.

Charlotte has been in the software industry for 8+ years. She works for AWZWARE now as a passionate writer. She is good at providing simple guides to use various video, office and entertainment software. Charlotte also recommends many other useful tools to make your work and life easier. A food lover too.

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