Thursday, January 06, 2011

Redactions and PDF’s, the right way…

Acrobat for Legal Professionals - Rick’s Acrobat X Redaction Guide

“Redaction is the permanent deletion of data from documents.

In the past, markers were used to black out information on documents.

These days, it simply doesn’t make sense to print out a document to redact it. The process is slow, expensive and inefficient.

Law firms, government agencies and corporations around the world rely on Adobe Acrobat to safely and permanently remove content from the data stream of documents.

Adobe first offered redaction tools starting with Acrobat 8 and redaction capabilities have continued to improve with each new release.

In Acrobat X Pro, several new Redaction features were introduced:

  1. Repeat Redaction Mark across Pages
    Useful for redacting headers and footers from documents
  2. Right-click to apply Exemption Codes
    Add case codes and privacy codes as overlay text to redaction marks.
  3. Ability to apply multiple Exemption Codes
    Multiple exemption codes may be listed as overlay text on a redaction mark
  4. Partial Pattern Redaction
    Use this feature to mark part of a pattern for redaction. For example, you could mark part of a Social Security Number or Credit card number. Useful for cases where you need to identify individuals in part of a case without revealing personal identifying information.
  5. Set Appearance of Redaction Marks
    You can now set the appearance of the Redaction marks during review. For example, you can mark items with a transparent red overlay if desired.
  6. Overlay Text indicated in Comments List
    You can now view overlay text in the Comment list for quick review.

So, you want to redact some documents. How do you get started?

To help, I bring you Guide to Using Redaction in Acrobat X Pro. This article is and update of my earlier article for Acrobat 9 and offers a step-by-step guide to using these tools in your firm or organization.

In this article I cover:

  • Redaction Preferences
  • How to mark text and graphics for redaction
  • Setting common redaction properties
  • Adding Overlay Text and Exemption codes to a redaction
  • Creating a report of redactions
  • Applying redactions to permanently remove information
  • Using an Action to automate the redaction workflow


Given how many times I’ve blogged about PDF redactions gone bad (see below), I felt it only right to blog about how to do them the right way…


Related Past Post XRef:
And AGAIN a PDF Redaction gone wrong... When will you get the message!?
PDF’s and Redaction gone wrong… again…
Another PDF Redaction Snafu
US Military PDF Redaction "Issue"
CSI Trick of the day: How do you look “under” black Magic Marker’ed text?

"Clean Up After Your PDFs"

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