Redaction and Sanitization

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Redaction and Sanitization


editor.icon Redaction and Sanitization



Use the options in the Redact group to perform redaction or sanitization on the current document:



Figure 1. Protect Tab, Redact Group


Redaction "blacks out" designated document content. Click Mark for Redaction to determine sections of the document for redaction. The pointer will become a crosshairs icon. Click and drag to determine areas for redaction:



Figure 2. Areas Marked for Redaction


The area on the right has just been determined, which means editing options are available:


Use the control points to resize areas.

Use the editing aids detailed here to assist in the precise placement of areas marked for redaction.

Click and drag areas to reposition them.

Right-click areas for further options:

Click Apply All to redact all areas marked for redaction.

Click Apply Selected to redact only selected areas. (The Select Comments Tool can be used to select multiple areas).

See here for an explanation of the remaining options.


Click Apply All to perform the redaction. Marked areas will be replaced with black fill:



Figure 3. Redacted Areas


Note that the Format tab is enabled when the Redaction feature is in use. Use the commands in this tab to customize the style and properties of redactions:

Figure 4. Format Tab, Redaction Tool


Use the Fill Color dropdown menu to determine the color of areas marked for redaction.

Use the Stroke Color dropdown menu to determine the border color of areas marked for redaction.

Use the Opacity dropdown menu to determine the level of transparency in areas marked for redaction.

Keep Selected determines whether or not the Redaction feature remains selected after a single area has been marked for redaction. If this setting is enabled then the tool will remain selected and can be used to create areas consecutively. If this setting is not enabled then PDF-XChange Editor will revert to the designated default tool immediately after a single area is marked

Exclusive Mode simplifies the process of using the Redaction feature. When Exclusive Mode is enabled, the pointer ignores all interactive elements of documents other than base content. This makes it possible to mark areas for redaction without the risk of accidentally selecting undesired items. When Exclusive Mode is disabled, the pointer recognizes and interacts with all underlying elements in the usual manner.

Use the Overlay Type dropdown menu to determine the type of overlay used for the reaction:

Click Standard to use stand redaction overlays, which are a fill of a specified color.

Click Blur to use a blur for redaction overlays, or Blur Extra to use a stronger blur than the default option.

Click Pixelate to use pixelation for redaction overlays, or Pixelate Extra to use a stronger pixelation than the default option.

Use the Redaction Color dropdown menu to determine the color of redacted areas.

Use the Text Color dropdown menu to determine the color of text used to overlay redacted areas when the text option is enabled. Use the Text property in the Redaction Properties pane to specify the text used.

Use the Font combo box to determine the font used when the Text property is being used.

Use the Font Size combo box to determine the font size when the Text property is being used.

Use the Align options determine the alignment of text when the Text property is being used.

Enable the Repeat Overlay Text option to repeats the text used within redacted areas when the Text property is being used.

Click Apply All to apply all redactions marked in the current document.

Click Properties to view/edit the Redaction Properties pane, as detailed in (figure 4). Click to edit properties. Note that the options in the Overlay section apply to applied redactions.


Find and Redact


Click Find and Redact to launch the Find and Redact feature:



Figure 5. Protect Tab, Find and Redact Highlighted


This feature is used to search for specific words or patterns (phone numbers, credit card numbers, social security numbers, emails or dates) in documents and then either mark them for redaction or redact them immediately. When it is selected, the Find and Redact Text dialog box will open:



Figure 6. Find and Redact Text Dialog Box


Select Single word or phrase to search for a single word/phrase, then enter the desired word/phrase in the text box.

Select the Match Case box to match the case of word entered in the text box.

Select the Whole Words Only box to match only whole words in the document to the word entered in the text box.

Select the Use regular expressions box to enable the use of ECMAScript syntax-based regular expressions in the search. Further information about regular expressions is available here.

Select Multiple words or phrases to search for multiple words/phrases. Click Add/Remove to add/remove words/phrases, then enter the desired words/phrases in the text box. Click Save to save the current word list to a plain text file for subsequent use. Click Load to load a plain text file of words into the text box.

Select Patterns to search for specific patterns, then select either Phone numbers, Credit cards, Social security numbers, Emails or Dates to determine the patterns that you want to find.

Select an option in the Locale dropdown menu to determine the language used in the search.

Click Add to add a custom pattern to the available search options. Enter the name, value and description of the custom pattern and click OK to save. The custom pattern will then be available in the list of patterns.

Click Remove to remove selected custom patterns.

Select a Page text radio button to determine the outcome of the operation for page text:

Select Mark found text for redaction to mark search results for redaction.

Select Redact found text to immediately redact search results.

Select the check boxes on the right side of the dialog box to determine where you want to search for text to redact.

Select an Objects text radio button to determine the outcome of the operation for object-based text (such as text in comments):

Select Delete found text to delete text that matches the search terms.

Select Replace text with: to replace text that matches the search terms, then enter the desired replacement text in the text box.


Click OK to find and mark/redact content.


Sanitize Document


Click Sanitize Document to remove sensitive information from documents:



Figure 7. Document Tab Submenu, Redaction Options, Sanitize Document


The Sanitize Document Options dialog box will open:

Figure 8. PDF-XChange Editor Dialog Box


Select the check boxes of the document content that you want to sanitize in the document, then use the Rasterization resolution dropdown menu to specify the desired resolution for sanitization, and click OK to sanitize the document.