The best way to remove redactions from a PDF.

A smiling person sitting on a bench using a tablet to remove redactions from a PDF.

Learn how to restore information by removing redactions in a PDF.

Redactions are a great way to hide sensitive information in forms and documents, but sometimes, you might need to take a second look. Luckily, you can remove redactions in a PDF if you have access to the original file.

Redaction removal from the original PDF file.

When you redact information in a PDF using an editor, it creates two separate files: the original and a redacted PDF.

If you have access to the original file, removing redactions in a PDF is easy.

  1. Open Acrobat Pro and select the PDF file.
  2. Click on the Edit tab at the top of the screen.
  3. Select Redact Text & Images. From there, you’ll be able to add new redactions or remove the existing ones.
  4. Once you remove the redactions, the colored bars will go away, revealing the information underneath.

This only works if you have access to the original PDF and not just the redacted file. Once a file is saved with redactions applied, there’s no way to get the information back. If you overwrite the original PDF with the redacted version, the redacted information is gone forever.

Consider adding the original page back to your PDF document for users to view. Adding a page to a PDF that is password protected will ensure only specific users can view the once-redacted information.

Add, remove, and change redactions with a PDF editor.

If you need to hide sensitive information on a PDF, simply adding a colored bar over text or images isn’t enough.

The best way to keep your data private is by using a PDF editor like Adobe Acrobat. PDF editors will actually remove the information from the file, ensuring that even the most tech-savvy individuals can’t get access to your sensitive data.

How to uncover blacked-out text in a PDF.

You can easily view blacked-out text in your PDF by following these steps:

  1. Open the PDF in Acrobat.
  2. Go to the Document menu.
  3. Click Examine Document.
  4. Adobe Acrobat will then scan the PDF and give you a checklist of items that you are able to remove by clicking on them.
  5. Choose the Preview button to see the hidden text.
  6. Choose the Show Preview button at the bottom of the dialogue box.
  7. Choose Show Hidden Text from the document preview.
  8. From there, you can scroll through the pages of your PDF by using the double arrow buttons in the navigation bar.
  9. Select the text from the PDF by pressing Crtl+A to include hidden words and Ctrl+C to copy the text. Press Ctrl+V to paste the text in a Word document.
  10. Your text will now be transferred to your Word document, including the blacked-out text.

Discover more about how Acrobat can help you manage and scan PDFs while keeping your sensitive information from prying eyes or password-protect your PDFs for added security.