Redacting a PDF Using CutePDF

Whether for security or legal reasons, it is occasionally necessary to redact text or data from a document. Because of their tendency to accrue and store metadata, PDF files are among the most difficult to successfully redact. While there are expensive programs that will do the job, it is possible to completely redact information from a PDF file using only the free PDF conversion and editing program CutePDF.


    • 1

      Open the CutePDF program.

    • 2

      Open the document you wish to redact by choosing "Open" from the "File" menu and navigating to your desired file.

    • 3

      Cover each instance of sensitive information with a black rectangle. To create the rectangle, select all sensitive text and navigate to the "Tools" menu in the toolbar. Select the "Back Fill" option, and set the color to black.

    • 4

      Convert the PDF document to a TIFF image. Select "Save As" from the "File" menu. Choose TIFF from the list of available file formats, and click "Save." Converting the PDF temporarily to a TIFF file removes the PDF's metadata, eliminating the text from the back-filled rectangles.

    • 5

      Close CutePDF, and open the TIFF image file of your document.

    • 6

      Convert the TIFF file back to a PDF file. Select "Print" from the "File" menu. Choose "CutePDF" from the list of available printers, and click "Print." The document will open as a successfully redacted CutePDF file.

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