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How to Remove Text From a PDF

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PDF files are a great tool in any workspace. Unlike the Doc file, you can’t make any changes to them after you save them as a PDF. Or, you can allow only certain changes, like date, name, and signature. This ensures that the recipient of a contract doesn’t sign anything that you didn’t agree to beforehand.


But that doesn’t mean you can’t make any changes at all if you don’t have the original file. Small changes are usually possible if they don’t require a full re-edit. In this article, we’ll teach you a few methods to erase words from a PDF.


1. Delete Text From a PDF With Acrobat Reader

Adobe Acrobat Reader is a free tool that’s available on both Windows and Mac. It is a great tool to use if you need to sign documents, as it lets you save draw your signature and save it for future documents. It also has a lot of simple tools like highlighting text, adding text, and comments, and you can read documents in dark mode with it.

With the paid version, you can even edit certain documents. It means that you can delete text in a more professional way (as long as the document is not locked), and replace it with something else. With this option, there won’t be a blank space in the document, even if you don’t add new text.

However, you can still erase text with the free version, with this workaround:

  1. Open the document with Acrobat Reader.
  2. Go to Sign > Fill & Sign.
  3. In the menu that pops up, pick the Add Dot tool.
  4. Next to it, make sure that you set the color to white.
  5. Click on the word you want to erase.
  6. Click as many times as you need to create enough dots to erase the word. You and drag them around and make them bigger.
  7. Go to File > Save.

In the new version of the document, that word will be covered in white. It’s important to note that the text will not be completely removed from the document. If someone highlights that area and copies and pastes it, they’ll be able to know what was written there. So if you need a way to redact sensitive information in a PDF, this is not the best method.

2. Hide Text With Mac Preview Tool

Another easy way to whiteout text from a PDF is with the built-in Mac preview tool.

  1. Open the PDF document using Preview.
  2. Press on the top right-hand button that says Show Markup Toolbar.
  3. In the menu that opens up, click the Fill Color to ensure you use white.
  4. Then click the Shapes button and pick the rectangle.
  5. You will get a message that says the content behind this annotation will not be deleted. Click OK.
  6. Put a white rectangle over the word or sentence you want to delete.
  7. Go to File > Save.

As with the previous tool, this also won’t remove the text permanently. The text will still be available to copy from under the white part. However, Preview has a dedicated Redact tool that can get rid of text permanently by blacking it out.

3. Use SmallPDF to Edit Online

You don’t always have to install something on your computer to remove text from a PDF. If you want to do some edits online, SmallPDF is a great tool to help with that. You don’t need to pay for it, or even have an account.

  1. Drag your PDF file to the SmallPDF website. Or you can also upload a file from your Dropbox or Google Drive.
  2. On the new page, press the Shapes icon and pick Rectangle.
  3. Draw a rectangle on what you want to remove.
  4. In the menu above the rectangle, ensure that the color and outlines are white.
  5. Click Download PDF to get the edited file.

The free version of this website lets you edit one file per day. So it’s a good solution if you only have one small alteration, but otherwise, you may want to try one of the other methods.

Not Every PDF Is the Final Version

Most of the time, people create a PDF to ensure that the information in the document cannot be changed. However, that does not mean you can’t make small edits after that.

With the help of the above tools, you can not only remove text from a PDF, but all more text, mark important information, and more.



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