Searching and Redacting Text

The Enterprise version of PDF Converter Professional lets you search and redact specific words or phrases from an open PDF document, selected documents in a PDF package or Portfolio, an entire PDF package or Portfolio, or in all PDF documents found in a specified folder or subfolder.


The program allows four search types as the basis for redacting:

  • search a single word or phrase

  • search multiple words or phrases

  • search by pre-defined patterns

  • search by custom written patterns (arbitrary masks)

When performing a folder search additional criteria can be specified by clicking the Advanced button and clicking on cells in the columns Key, Operation and Value. For instance:


[Keyword] [includes] ['Nuance']

[Author] [includes] ['George Washington']


See Search dialog box.


To search and redact text in a PDF document

  1. Click the down arrow next to the PDF Converter button mark redaction Searching and Redacting Text Mark Redaction button in the Security toolbar and choose Search and Redact in the drop-down menu, or select Document > Redaction > Search and Redact.

  2. In the Look In field, specify whether to search in the current PDF, multiple PDFs within a package, an entire PDF package or Portfolio, or all PDF files in a specified folder. Click Browse in the top-level folder list to specify a sub-folder.

  3. Choose a search type: single word or phrase, multiple words or phrases, pattern or mask. See Search dialog box

  4. To search a single word or phrase, enter any words, word fragments, or phrases of interest.
    To search multiple words or phrases, click Select Words and compile a search list.
    To search by pattern, choose the desired pattern from the drop-down list.
    To search by custom-defined pattern, enter the pattern using the syntax shown.

  5. Set the necessary search filters such as Match Case, Match whole word only, Include comments, Include Bookmarks etc. For a single-word search these options are in the main panel, for multi-word searches, they are in the dialog box called by Select Words. These are not available for pattern and mask searches.

  6. Click Search and Redact.

  7. Check the search result list. To refine your search, click New Search and modify search filters appropriately.

  8. In the search result list, check all items you want to mark for redaction. If you want to mark all items, click Select All.

  9. Click Mark Selected Results for Redaction. All checked search results will then be marked for pending redaction.

  10. To apply redaction, select Document > Redaction > Apply Redaction or click the down arrow next to Mark Redaction tool in the Security toolbar and choose Apply Redaction in the drop-down menu. You can also apply redaction in the document itself by right-clicking each individual redaction mark.

  11. In the Apply dialog box, check the types of markings that should be removed. If you check the option Remove all occurrences to the marked content, all referred object data will be removed from the PDF. Click Apply to perform redaction.

The topic Redacting Content explains how to redact text and images by selection and also shows the appearance of marked and redacted text.


Redaction cannot be undone once it is applied. To avoid mistakes, we strongly advise you to make a copy of the original PDF files before you perform redaction; or save a redacted PDF as a new file with a different name and/or location.



Searching and Redacting Text